Once your company has acquired a standard/s, you’d complete a gap analysis to ensure your business practices comply with its requirements. Having embedded required processes and procedures you’d then run your business for a minimum of 3 months, internally review everything is running properly and then apply for assessment by QSS.
A QSS auditor assesses the company against their chosen standard/s. If the auditor finds the company to be compliant, we will then issue a certificate confirming that the applicant satisfies the requirements of the standard/s. If any ‘nonconformities’ are found, the company is given 30 days in which to address the issues and submit evidence of corrective action that has removed any nonconformity. The certificate is not issued until this has been concluded to the satisfaction of QSS.
Once certified, a company is subject to a surveillance visit once a year, which includes careful monitoring of the ways in which the certificate and logos are being used. The company would then be expected to undertake ongoing internal auditing and regular management review (this is mandatory for ISO standards) to ensure the system continues to meet the requirements of the standard/s.
At any time, a company may wish to become certified to additional standards or to reduce the scope of their certification. An appropriate application should be submitted for consideration and will normally be granted.
The certificate must be current (not beyond its expiry date) and may be displayed in the premises of the certificated company. The certification marks (supplied by QSS) may be used on stationery, publicity materials and vehicles. They must not be used in an inappropriate manner which might result in a negative impact on the certification or on QSS itself. The UKAS Crown and Tick Mark (when awarded) can only be used as set down by UKAS and may NOT be used on vehicles or packaging.
Suspension of certification can occur for various reasons. The main ones are:
An appeal may be made to the QSS Board about any certification decision made by the General Manager or by a Certification Auditor. They must be made in writing and addressed to the Managing Director. An appeal may be heard by the Managing Director or by the Board, depending upon its importance.
Yes, it can. For example, if a company does not resolve nonconformities within the agreed timescale following an audit, certification would initially be suspended and then, potentially, cancelled. Repeated failure to comply with important elements of the standard, or a breakdown of the quality system in a number of areas, could also lead to withdrawal of certification.
A procedure to handle complaints is used by QSS and these are initially recorded by the Quality Manager or by the General Manager. A copy of the Procedure is available to customers or others on request.
If/when QSS is required by law or authorised by contractural arrangements (e.g. with UKAS) to release confidential information, the client shall, unless prohibited by law, be notified of the information provided.
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