1. PURPOSE: To describe the procedure for appeals and to ensure that the appellant’s complaint is dealt with in the most effective manner.
1.1 SCOPE: Appeals Received by Asia Certification.
1.2 RESPONSIBILITY: CEO/MD
2. ADMINISTRATION OF APPEALS
2.1 In the event of an applicant, Certified Company or any interested party, wishing to contest any decision of Asia Certification, he shall, within 14 days after having been officially informed of such a decision, give notice in writing to Asia Certification of his desire to appeal against the decision. The receipt of the appeal is acknowledged by CEO and the applicant is informed of the progress made and the outcome. Asia Certification is responsible for all decisions at all levels of the appeals-handling process.
2.2 Tracking and recording appeals, including actions undertaken to resolve them ensuring that any appropriate correction and corrective action are taken are done by CEO in format no AC-F-018 and presented in front of Appeal panel.
2.3 On receipt of such an appeal, the CEO, shall advise the Board of Directors and the Impartial Committee of the details of the appeal received. The Board of Directors will proceed to constitute an independent Appeals Panel in each case in consultation with the Impartial Committee. The Appeals Panel will comprise of a Chairman who will be assisted by two members of the Impartial Committee representing the area of technical expertise related to the nature of the appellant activities under certification. The appellant will have the right to object against the inclusion of any person in the Appeals Panel. All members chosen to form the Appeals Panel shall not have been previously involved in the decision appealed against. Asia Certification also ensures that the persons engaged in the appeals-handling process are different from those who carried out the audits and made the certification decisions
2.4 The meeting of the Appeal Panel shall be held within 30 days of the receipt of notification from the appellant and the appellant will be provided with at least 7 clear days of written notice of the time and place of the Appeals Panel Meeting. Prior to the meeting of the Appeals Panel the existing decision of Asia Certification is to remain in force.
2.5 At the Appeals Panel meeting of both the appellant and the appropriate representative from Asia Certification shall be entitled to be heard in confidence and majority decision of the Appeals Panel shall be final. While taking decision the results of previous similar appeals are taken into account
2.6 The CEO shall ensure that the appellant is advised in writing of the decision of the Appeals Panel within 7 days of the decision. The CEO shall record details of the appeal in the Register of Appeals and implement the decision of the appeals panel, as required. On conclusion of the appeal, the CEO will also review the grounds of appeal and evaluate if any possible improvements to Asia Certification control systems are required. A description of the appeals handling process is available on Asia Certification website to make it publically accessible.
2.7 Asia Certification ensures through Appeal Panel that the decision to be communicated to the appellant made by, or reviewed and approved by, individual(s) not previously involved in the subject of the appeal
2.8 The CEO shall ensure that the submission, investigation and decision on Appeals shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the appellant that any appropriate correction and corrective action are taken. The certification body shall give formal notice to the appellant at the end of the appeals handling process.
PROCEDURE FOR HANDLING COMPLAINTS
An applicant, a certified company or any interested party may lodge a complaint. This procedure is also publicly available on Asia Certification website www.asia-certification.com it is also enclosed with the certificate when issued to each client.
2 ADMINISTRATION OF COMPLAINTS
Any complaint received by Asia Certification in writing or by e-mail or telephone in respect of its functions as a certification body or a company certified by it, shall be fully reviewed by the CEO and shall be recorded in the complaint register with its nature. The tracking and recording complaints, including actions undertaken in response to them is maintained by CEO.
2.1 If the complaint relates to the certified client,:
CEO must ensure that the effectiveness of the certified management system is checked by competent auditor(s), who were not involved with the client previously.
The letter in question is sent to certified client within 14 days of receiving of complaint and recorded in the complaint register. The tracking and recording complaints, including actions undertaken in response to them is maintained by CEO.
2.2 If the complaint is about certified client management system:
The CEO ensures that the effectiveness of the certified management system is checked by competent auditor(s)/person(s) who were not involved with the client previously.
The concerned auditors may be summoned to confirm the facts if it relates to certification activity.
After root cause analysis, method to eliminate cause of complaint would be arrived at and suitable corrective and preventive measures instituted.
If the complaint is against an officer of Asia Certification including CEO then it will be investigated by the chairman of the Impartial Committee. The complaint shall be closed within 45 days of the receiving of the complaint.
3. ACTIONS ON COMPLAINTS
In case of any complaints CEO shall
Verify the promptness and effectiveness of the actions. Taken in respect of the complaint received ensure its prompt disposal.
Ensure that the complainant is advised of the result of the investigation within six weeks of the receipt of the complaint.
All complaints, after redressed & disposal, shall be closed through a closing note / closing call by the CEO. Where applicable, certification will be restored as quickly as possible.
Ensures that any appropriate correction and corrective action are taken and also suitable preventive action is taken to avoid recurrence of such cases.
Ensure that Effectiveness of the measures adopted are covered during the Management Review Meeting
The entire process to be followed meets the requirement of confidentiality as it relates to the complaint and to the subject of the complaint. The complaints are recorded in the complaint register.
Gather and verify all necessary information to validate the complaint.
Ensures that the acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint is sent to the complainant and is informed about the progress and outcome of the result in writing every month till its closure.
Ensures that the decision communicated to the complainant is made reviewed and approved by the individual(s) not previously involved in the subject of the complaint.
Give formal notice of the end of the complaints-handling process to the complainant.
Ensures with the client and the complainant to the extent to which complaint may be made publicly available.
Ensure that the complaint has been closed within the 45 days of the receiving of the complaints.
4. ESCALATIONS AND COMPLAINTS
if a complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the Asia Certification complaints handling process, the complainant may refer the complaint to ACCREDITTION BOARD directly
if the Complaints are not closed out within a timeframe as prescribed then agreed with the complainant shall be escalated to the Asia Certification top management to ensure that the complaint receives the appropriate priority.
The Complaints which are not closed within agreed timeframe as prescribed shall be brought to the attention of ACCREDITTION BOARD.