Qualitas Group offers several different kinds of certifications. The exact certification process might differ from sort to sort, but below we will give a general illustration of what the certification process might look like.
Although we are always happy to welcome a new application, there is a number of things we need to verify before commencing a certification. Prior to engaging in any certification, Qualitas Group will first conduct a application review to learn whether we are an adequate certification body to grant the certification and are qualified and capable enough for the certification. For this, we might need additional information, like the desired scope of the certification, the standards certification is wished for and details regarding the applicants organisation. In case of a need for more information, we will contact you. Following this, we will accept or decline your application.
After deciding to help a client with certification, an audit programme is conducted. For more information on auditing, please refer to the Audit process. Upon completion of the audit(s) an audit report is composed. The information from the audits and from this report give the initial information for making the certification decision.
This decision will be made by executives that are under legally enforceable arrangement with Qualitas Group and that have not been involved in the auditing process. In the making of the certification decision, the following will be considered:
- Information provided by the audit team;
- Major and minor non-conformities;
- Results of the certification audits.
Certification is refused when the non-conformities are to big to overcome within a reasonable timeframe or when the requirements clearly are not met. Of course, the feasibility of major improvements on the short term is considered here.
When the certification decision is positive, you will receive a certificate regarding the certification scope and scheme and applicable to the certified products(s), process(ses), service(s) and/or system(s). The usage of the certification and any references to it is bound to Qualitas Group’s rules. These can be found here (link).
Where applicable, other certification documents will be provided after certification is granted. For these documents the same rules apply as for the references.
Qualitas Group will hold records of all certifications in order to demonstrate that all certification process requirements have been met. These records are subject to the principles of confidentiality and integrity.
Following certification, the goal is to maintain certification. This may include the execution of surveillance activities by Qualitas Group and recertification (including recertification audits). In order to maintain certification, we need demonstration that the requirements continue to be met. In some cases, external or internal conditions may affect the maintenance of certification. External conditions may include changes in the requirements or standards according to which the certification was granted. In case of such changes, you will be informed by Qualitas Group as soon as reasonable possible. Internal changes may include changes in the certified product(s), process(ses), service(s) or system(s) or in the production process, management or any other relevant organizational elements. If any of such changes take place, we request you to contact us as soon as reasonably possible.
The decision to renew certification is based on the following:
- Results of the recertification audit(s);
- Results of the review of the system over the period of certification;
- Complaints received from users of certification.
TERMINATION, WITHDRAWEL, SUSPENSION OR REDUCTION OF CERTIFICTION
When the client does not continue to meet the requirements of the certification, certification may be terminated, suspended or withdrawn or the scope may be reduced. In this case, additional rules apply regarding the use of references to Qualitas Group’s certification. These can be found here (link).
Certification is suspended in the following cases:
- The client persistently or seriously fails to meet the certification requirements;
- The client does not allow surveillance or recertification audits to be conducted at the required frequencies;
- The client has voluntarily requested a suspension.
When the problem that resulted in suspension has been resolved, the certification can be restored. Failure to resolve the relevant problem(s) within a reasonable timeframe may result in withdrawal or reduction of the scope of the certification.
EXPANDING THE SCOPE OF CERTIFICATION
When you believe to be able to expand the scope of your certification, for example adding more certification schemes, there is always the possibility to submit a application for expansion. Qualitas Group will then decide which activities are necessary to be able to decide on the expansion of the scope. A process similar to the initial certification process, or a shortened version of the process, may then be conducted. Is it possible to combine this with surveillance audit(s).
For more information, see our pages about the general audit process and the use of marks and logo’s.