The current Accredited Management System Process defines the rules applied to the certification and registration of management systems, operated by organizations for every industrial & service sector. The general term “management system” will be used.
The definition of the terms used in the current document complies with the integrated Management Systems - Fundamentals and vocabulary"
Furthermore, the following definitions apply:
a) Applicant: Organization seeking the certification and registration of its management systems by SAARA Management System Pvt. Ltd.
b) Organization: Under the current Process, the term "Organization" is used to designate an organization as in the ISO Standard (organization: group of people and facilities with arrangement of responsibilities, authorities and relationship).
c) Certified/Registered Organization: organization of which SAARA Management System Pvt. Ltd. has certified the management system.
d) SAARA: SAARA MANAGEMENT SYSTEM PVT. LTD.
e) AB: Accreditation Board
f) IAF: International Accreditation Forum
The certification process applied is based upon a demonstrated compliance with the requirements of the latest version of ISO series of standard for management Systems Certification- Requirements.
4. GENERAL RULES
4.1. The current Accredited Management System Process are applied by SAARA for certification of management systems complying with the standards and normative documents listed in par. 3.
4.2. Any organization seeking certification and registration of its management system by SAARA must abide by the Accredited Management System Process in force at the time the certification contract is concluded.
4.3. When the Accredited Management System Process is revised, the organizations concerned may choose either to adopt the revised version or the one already applicable to them. This option is available until the next renewal audit.
4.4. The specific conditions defined in the certification contracts may not alter nor modify the requirements of the current Accredited Management System Process.
4.5 The organization need to sign the SAARA Certification Agreement & Rules by which the client agrees towards the requirement and provides a legal acceptance.
5. CERTIFICATE CHARACTERISTICS
The SAARA management system certificate attests that the management system implemented by a Certified Organization complies with the requirements of the reference standard.
5.2 PERIOD OF VALIDITY
The SAARA certificate is valid for a period of three years from the date of issue. Subject to successful completion of Surveillance Audits. The period may be adapted taking account of the limits of the period of validity of the reference normative document.
At the end of the said period, SAARA automatically apply a new procedure as defined in par 7.9 of the current Accredited Management System Process.
5.3 CONDITIONS OF VALIDITY
The validity of a SAARA certificate is maintained provided that the Certified Organization concerned continuously complies with the following requirements:
- The certified management system is continuously maintained.
- A controlled and updated copy of the management system manual and/or procedures is maintained at the Organization's site for review by SAARA. The manual will be made available to SAARA upon request.
- Any significant modification to the management system is communicated to SAARA within one week from its occurrence. (See also par. 8.1. Certification modification)
Replacement/change of the Management Representative
Addition of a new production line / Site
Stop or repulsion of existing activities
Significant increase or decrease of the number of employees
Change of the Organization's name or address
- Any complaint raised by a third party about the quality of products or services covered by the certified management system is recorded and presented to SAARA auditors upon request.
- The frequency of the surveillance audits is maximum 12 months to keep a valid certification. In case of multi-site certification a yearly surveillance audit is not systematically required in all sites.
- SAARA may carry out unscheduled audits at any time. See: § 8.3. Short notice audit.
- During the certification, surveillance and renewal audits, the certified organizations accept, if the case arises, the presence of representatives of the accreditation bodies.
- All financial obligations with regard to SAARA are satisfied.
6. CERTIFICATION APPLICATION
6.1Any organization interested in the certification of its management system may apply to SAARA.
6.2 SAARA will supply the interested organization with a Application Form. The organization completes the questionnaire with appropriate information about its organizational structure, activity, products or services to be covered by the management system to be certified, etc.
6.3 As soon as the necessary information has been collected and reviewed, SAARA will propose the certification conditions, which are finalized in a quotation. These conditions will define at least:
i) the applicable certification model (ISO series of standard)
ii) the Applicant's entities concerned
iii) the activities, products or services concerned and
iv) the audit-time based on the IAF guidelines and the applicable certification model
6.4 At the Applicant's request, the certification process may include pre-audit of the management system, which is to be certified. Pre-Audit man-days shall not exceed certification audit man-days. SAARA cannot carry out more than one pre-audit of the management system, which is to be certified.
6.5 Upon agreement, the Applicant will fill in and the sign the relevant order form, part of the SAARA quotation.
6.6 The relevant order form must be returned to SAARA, possibly attached to a standard order. The provisions of the purchase order will not be contrary to the requirements of the SAARA order forms nor the current Accredited Management System Process.
7. CERTIFICATION PROCESS
7.1. APPLICATION REVIEW
SAARA reviews all orders received and provides feedback on the audit schedule. Before launching the certification process, SAARA will communicate the names of the assigned auditors to the Applicant.
The Applicant may refuse the participation of audit team, providing such refusal is made in writing and not less than one week before the beginning of the certification audit. SAARA will inform the Applicant of Auditor change in writing.
Since SAARA Accredited Management System Process is a part of the Terms and Conditions accepted by the management of the organisation, the Certification Agreement & Rules becomes legally enforceable agreement between SAARA and the client. All disputes are subject to New Delhi Jurisdiction.
7.2. STAGE 1 Audit
A member of the audit team shall review the system documentation (usually the Integrated Management system manual, supported by organisational procedures) before or during the site visit. The stage 1 site visit is conducted on site to verify the following:
During stage 1, arrangements shall be made about:
Identifying date, site location and site specific conditions,
Collecting necessary information regarding the scope of the management system, areas, processes, compliance to related statutory and regulatory aspects and the responsible persons to be audited. Confirming that internal audits and management review have been planned and performed.
Gathering reasonable knowledge about the client’s management system and site operations in order to plan the stage 2 audit.
Review of client’s status and understanding regarding the requirements of the standard and readiness for Stage 2 audit.
Review the allocation of resources for Stage 2 audit and to aware the client about the requirements of Stage 2 audit.
In case, during Stage 1 Audit, auditor finds the information provided by the client before submission of quote is incorrect, he shall immediately inform the administration / Certification Manager / Assessment Manager. The Certification Manager shall ensure that the quote is reviewed and contract review is done to address the changes.
After the completion of Stage 1 audit, the lead auditor shall write and send the stage 1 audit report together with the stage 2 audit schedule to the organization. The minimum time gap between Stage 1 and Stage 2 would be reasonably of one week but can be reduced.
In case of any major area of concern during the Stage 1 audit, the lead auditor can postpone the date of Stage 2 audit (not over 60 days) so that the organization gets time for doing the improvements. After 60 days, the CM shall decide whether Stage 1 to be carried out again.
7.3. STAGE 2 AUDIT
The audit process commences with an opening meeting involving the Applicant's management and the auditors. During the meeting, the participants introduce themselves and the details of the audit program are defined.
The audit itself begins usually with an interview of the Top Management. During the certification audit, the appointed auditors conducts a process approach audit and verify that the management system described in the manual and in the supporting procedures is effectively implemented and in compliance with the requirements of the reference normative document. The personnel involved in the management system are interviewed and the relevant management reports are analysed. In this phase, all levels of responsibility are involved and the audit is conducted on the Applicant's premises and other premises if these areas are relevant to the agreed scope of the audit.
For the duration of the audit, an office with sufficient seating and desks will be allocated to the audit team for their meetings.
It ends with a closing meeting with the management of the Applicant and the auditors. During the closing meeting the auditors will present their findings and issue corrective action requests (CAR's) for any nonconformity disclosed.
If this is the case, the Applicant will respond to the CAR's by giving his position and a proposed completion date for each accepted CAR. These responses will be sent to SAARA at the earliest convenience but in any event not later than two weeks after the end of the audit.
The Lead Auditor will inform the organization about the overall conclusion of the audit team and about the further development of the certification process.
A post-audit may be requested in case disclosed major nonconformities. A complete re-audit will be requested in case of
i) high number of major non-conformities or total breakdown of system, or
ii) high number of customer complaints and no clear evidence of action taken towards customer satisfaction.
7.4. STAGE 2 AUDIT REPORT
Following the audit, a confidential report will be established, including a brief description of the Applicant and the products or services covered by the related management system, the Corrective Action Requests (CAR's) on the disclosed non-conformities and the Applicant's responses to the CAR's and the recommendation of the audit team.
Generally, the report will be mailed to the Applicant after the Certification is granted along with the accepted CAR submitted to SAARA.
7.5. CERTIFICATION DECISION
SAARA’s Certification Committee will review the certification file for decision.
The committee is composed of Managing Director and Lead Auditor with veto right. The Lead Auditor is a Lead Auditor having the benefit of a long experience and of a high esteem in his work field.
If necessary, the concerned Lead Auditors will be heard too. In each case, the Certification Committee will decide either to grant a certificate and under what conditions, or to refuse the certification and for what reasons.
The decision of the Certification Committee will be communicated to the Applicant within two working days.
When granted, the effective date of issuance of the certificate will be the date of the Committee meeting. The certificate is valid for 3 years maximum. Subject to successful completion of Surveillance Audits.
7.6 REGISTRATION AND PUBLICATION
After a positive decision for certification, SAARA shall issue certificate, identifying the following:
The reference standard,
Name and address of the certificate holder,
The scope of the certified activity,
The registration number of the certificate
SAARA, Certification Body logo and address,
The logo of the Accreditation Board
The name and signature of the Managing Director,
The effective date of certification (the date when the certification decision has been taken)
The validity period of the certificate (maximum 3 years from the date of certification decision) Subject to successful completion of Surveillance Audits.
7.7 CERTIFICATION SURVEILLANCE
The maintenance program consists of a sequence of surveillance audits on site. There shall be not more than 12 months between two audits, starting from the previous renewal or initial certification audit.
During a surveillance audit a number of elements defined at the certification audit have to be re-verified. These elements will be spread over the several surveillance audits in such a way that all the relevant items will be covered within the scope of the maintenance programme. The maintenance programme shall include at least:
Internal audits and management review.
A review of actions taken on nonconformities identified during the previous audit.
Treatment of complaints. Effectiveness of the management system to achieve Organization’s objectives.
Progress of planned activities aimed at continual improvement.
Continual operational control.
Review of any changes.
Use of marks or reference to certification
The surveillance audit report and the auditor recommendation shall have to be submitted to the Certification Committee for further decision in the following cases:
i) Disclosure of major non-conformities or unreasonable accumulation of minor non-conformities.
ii) Any other reason for suspension of the certificate.
iii) Request for modification of the current certificate.
Three months before the end of the validity period of a given certificate, SAARA will issue a proposal for the renewal of the certificate. The renewal process is comparable to the original certification. However,
i) the program takes account of the knowledge gained of the management system to re-assess.
ii) the Accredited Management System Process in force at the date of the renewal proposal are applicable,
The renewal audit on site shall be conducted like the initial certification stage 2 audit and shall also address the following:
i) Effectiveness of the entire management system despite internal and external changes.
ii) Continued relevance of the scope of certification.
iii) Commitment to maintain and improve the effectiveness of the management system.
iv) Achievement of the organization’s policy and objectives.
8. SPECIFIC CASES
In addition to the standard certification program described above, special cases can also be accommodated. The most common examples are detailed below.
8.1. CERTIFICATION MODIFICATION
A Certified Organization may request to modify elements on its current certificate. (See also § 5.3.) This request may involve modified, additional or excluded processes, products, services, activities, locations or organization. In such a case, a specific program is developed, taking account of the nature of the request. In general, the program is limited to the Certified Organization's entities concerned.
Where the modification is accepted, the initial certificate is adapted to the new situation or replaced by a new certificate with new conditions. The certification surveillance program will be modified accordingly.
8.2. MULTI-SITE CERTIFICATION
Upon request, SAARA organize the certification of several sites belonging to the same organization.
In such a case, a single or several certificates are issued by SAARA.
8.3 SHORT NOTICE AUDIT
SAARA may request an audit on short-term notice at any time to verify handling of customer’s complaints, important modification within the organization or any reason leading to withdrawal or suspension of the certificate In case of Short Notice Audit because of Customer Complaint, the audit team is not allowed to disclose the name of the complainant.
SAARA will communicate the name of the appointed auditor. The organization may refuse the appointed auditor and request once for a substitute. After the audit, the auditor shall report about the results of his investigation and shall make his recommendation to the Certification Committee for further decision.
9. USE OF THE CERTIFICATE AND THE REGISTRATION LOGO
The Certified Organization need to follow the guidelines for usage of Logo (Annex 4) after the issuance of certificate by SAARA.
10. CERTIFICATE SUSPENSION
A certificate may be Suspended by SAARA only in the following cases:
- Continued misuse of logos
- Failure to apply corrective action as a result of discrepancies found at audit or surveillance visits.
- Any other breach of SAARA's Certification Agreement & Rules (SAARA-F-04).
- Non Payment of Audit Fee as agreed
11. CERTIFICATE WITHDRAWAL
A certificate may be withdrawn by SAARA only in the following cases:
- Failure to respond to requests made by SAARA after suspension of certificate
- Failure of a client to settle a financial account
- the client's request
Following either the suspension or withdrawal of a certificate the client will discontinue its use and return the original to SAARA and discontinue to claim accredited management system registration.
A withdrawal is notified to the Certified Organization concerned by registered mail.
12. COMPLAINTS & APPEALS
The client of may lodge any appeal or complaint via www.saaracertification.com.
The complete personnel of SAARA, including external personnel if any concerned, Committee members and all the Empanelled Auditors having any relationship with SAARA certification activities are bound by legally enforceable agreement, committed to safeguard the confidentiality of the information obtained or created during the performance of the certification activities.
SAARA has taken the necessary measures to restrict access to client’s records, documents on any information in general.
With exception of the situations described here under, no any other information concerning clients shall be disclosed to third parties, without written consent of the client’s representative.
Clients are hereby informed about the information SAARA is requested by accreditation rules to disclose and under which conditions:
Information about certificates granted, suspended or withdrawn is accessible to the public on simple request from any party. Valid certifications shall show the name, reference standard, scope, city, and country of each certified client.
Where SAARA is required by law to release confidential information to a third party and unless regulated by law, the concerned client representative shall be notified of the provided information.
When confidential information is required by and made available to the Accreditation Body, members of the Impartiality Committee, SAARA shall inform the concerned clients about this action.
SAARA’s Top management understands the importance of impartiality of its mission and shall manage any conflict of interest and ensure complete objectivity when carrying out certification activities. For those reasons, SAARA, including management, internal and external personnel, shall:
i) not certify other certification bodies for IMS
ii) not carry out any IMS consultancy or internal audits
iii) not have any relationship or linked activities with IMS consultancy organizations
iv) not utilize personnel involved with consultancy activities or internal audits over the last 2 years for certification activities at the same client
v) not utilize personnel for certification activities on clients having commercial, financial or other pressures to compromise impartiality of this personnel
vi) not accept any finances or sources of income that could compromise its impartiality
vii) not outsource audits or certification activities to any IMS consultancy organization, but may offer audits to individual contracted external auditors or technical experts.
viii) not act contrary to the declaration of impartiality agreed and signed by each individual member of SAARA
In case, any person, body or organisation’s actions would lead to the threat to SAARA’s impartiality, SAARA shall initiate legal action against that person, body or organisation.
15. CERTIFICATION FEES
Certification fees include standard fees and specific fees. The standard certification fees fixed by SAARA are defined in Quotation Format.
Specific fees are defined for each particular case and are based upon the same principles as the fees for standard certification services.
16. REFERENCE STANDARDS CHANGES
When a revised reference standard or normative document is published, a transition period is defined in compliance with the criteria defined by the competent authorities in the matter: ISO, IAS. During this period, Applicants and Certified Organizations shall have the choice between the previous or revised version of the normative document. Beyond this period, the latest edition will apply only. Non-conformities against the new version of the standard will first be noted as remarks and will be written as Corrective Action Requests only after the transition period.
17 ACCREDITATION BOARD
At any time of the Certification cycle the Accreditation Boards auditor may accompany the SAARA Audit Team for the evaluation of the SAARA Auditor’s. Also the accreditation Board auditors may visit personally without any representative from SAARA in both the cases organization is liable to allow them to audit there system and verify the documents related to Management System but under prior and timely information.
18 DIRECTORY OF CERTIFIED CLIENT
SAARA has directory for certified on website having the detail about certified, suspended and withdrawal clients.
19 PUBLIC INFORMATION
The SAARA shall maintain (through publications, electronic media or other means), and make public, without request, in all the geographical areas in which it operates, information about
- Audit processes;
- Processes for granting, refusing, maintaining, renewing, suspending, restoring or withdrawing certification or expanding or reducing the scope of certification;
- Types of management systems and certification schemes in which it operates;
- The use of the certification body’s name and certification mark or logo;
- Processes for handling requests for information, complaints and appeals;
- Policy on impartiality.