ABAC Certification follows the criteria specified in the ISO/IEC 17021-1 for a Certification Body recognized as competent and reliable in operating Management Systems Standards. This Agreement shall be governed by English Law.
2 SCOPE OF THE RULES OF REGISTRATION
These Terms and conditions apply to all ABAC Certification registered firms that have confirmed acceptance of these Terms & Conditions as part of their condition of approval for ISO 37001 Certification. Each applicant must agree to supply all necessary information as determined by ABAC Certification to fulfil the criteria of ISO/IEC 17021-1.
2.1.1 Consultancy Services
As an accredited assessment body, ABAC Certification does not offer/provide consultancy services and will refrain from offering certification services to CRI Group Clients. As an example, the following activities would be, but are not limited to, consultancy services:
i) performing the role of ABMS coordinator,
ii) Offering customized training services or related services
iii) performing risk assessments,
iv) performing ABMS internal audits,
v) communication with regulatory authorities on behalf of the Client,
vi) assistance in developing an organization’s ABMS and,
vii) accident and incident investigation.
For these Terms and Conditions: Client means an individual, body corporate or unincorporated applying for a Certificate of Registration. Assessment means verification of the effectiveness of the relevant Management System operated by a Client through the examination of objective evidence established by the Client within its Management System. Certification Committee is the committee which is responsible for Certification decisions. Certificate: a document issued by ABAC Certification in recognition that the management system operated by the applicant meets the requirements of the applicable Standard and these Terms and Conditions. Certification of a Management System means independent demonstration that the management system of the organization
a) Conforms to specified requirements
b) Is capable of consistently achieving its stated policy and objectives, and
c) Is effectively implemented.
Certified Client means an individual, body corporate or unincorporated which has been granted a Certificate of Registration. Scope of Registration means the range of products, services, and activities covered by the management system of a registered company specified on the Certificate of Registration. Standard means the Standards or other requirements for which the client organization is seeking certification.
Observer means someone who accompanies the audit team but does not act as an auditor. An observer can be a member of the auditee, a regulator) or other interested parties. In addition, a technical expert may accompany an auditor but not act as an auditor in the audit team unless qualified.
4 PRESENCE OF OBSERVERS, TECHNICAL EXPERTS ETC
It is a condition of clients applying for and maintaining certification that, when required by ABAC Certification or a regulatory body, they make provisions and accommodate the presence of observers. When required to do so. 4.1.1 Rotation of Assessors To maintain impartiality, it is a condition of the ABAC Certification that clients/ registered companies allow ABAC Certification to rotate its assessors at least once in three years.
4.2 APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION
On receipt of a Client Inquiry Form and Client Risk Profile for certification from a Client, the ABAC Certification reviews the information provided to determine the number of assessment days and associated costs required to carry out the initial certification and ongoing registration costs. A quotation is then produced and issued via a Proposal to the Client, including the number of assessment days and costs of certification.
To confirm acceptance of the quotation, the Client must sign both the “Service Level Agreement” and “Client Proposal” and submit it to ABAC Certification with the down payment for the Stage 1 Planning Visit. The ABAC Certification team will then arrange arrangements with the Client for the Stage 1 assessment.
The balance of certification/registration costs, i.e. Stage 2 Initial Assessment, should be made as per the Payment Schedule detailed in the Client Proposal.
5.1 ACCESS TO PROCESSES
For all assessments, clients are required to make all necessary arrangements for the conduct of the audit, including access to all processes and areas within the organization, records and personnel for ABAC Certification, having the ability to undertake each assessment effectively. This policy also applies to follow-up audits following a complaint from an interested party, e.g. about the products/services provided by the certified organization.
5.2 ASSESSMENT METHOD
The first stage of the assessment process carried out by ABAC Certification is to review the Client’s documentation and readiness for the Stage 2 assessment. Applicant companies agree to provide ABAC Certification with access to documents, areas and records for conducting assessments.
For all Client companies that do not hold registration approval, a Stage 1 Planning/Readiness Visit is carried out at the Client’s premises to review the adequacy of the documented management system and status of implementation. Upon completion of the Stage 1 visit, the audit findings shall be documented and communicated to the Client, including identification of any areas of concern that could be classified as a non-conformity during the Stage 2 audit.
The Stage 2 assessment is carried out at the Client’s premises against the requirements of the appropriate standard/s and the Client’s documented management system, and the assessment process includes an audit of relevant processes, records, interviews with senior management and relevant staff members and audit of working practices under the agreed scope of assessment.
The Stage 2 audit shall be conducted within 3 months of the Stage 1 audit. Any further delay shall require a Stage 1 Audit to be carried out again. There is no restriction on minimum time duration; however, the general practice is at least 7 days, depending on the findings of the stage 1 audit and client readiness.
On completion of the Stage 2 assessment, the Lead Auditor issues a report to ABAC Certification Committee along with a recommendation form for approval which will be submitted for impartial, independent review. The Client is included in the ABAC Certification directory of Certified Clients if certification is granted, which is available to the public via the ABAC Group website.
NB: The Directory remains the sole property of ABAC Certification. Each Certificate will define the Scope of Registration. The Certificate is personal to the Certified Client, who must not permit it to be used by a third party.
Registration is on an annual basis, subject to continued compliance with the Standard following a successful annual surveillance visit. Certificates remain the property of ABAC Center of Excellence Limited. Certificates shall not be issued unless ABAC Certification has received payment in full.
7 NOTIFICATION OF CHANGES BY A CLIENT (EXPANDING OR REDUCING THE SCOPE OF CERTIFICATION)
Certified clients must inform ABAC Certification without delay of matters that may affect the capability of the management system, i.e. legal or commercial organization status or ownership, contact address and sites, and scope, including expanding or reducing the scope of certification.
Notifying changes requiring a reissue of registration certificates other than for initial or reassessments will attract a nominal administration charge. Refer to Service Level Agreement for Fees.
7.1 NOTIFICATION OF THE OCCURRENCE OF A SERIOUS INCIDENT OR BREACH OF REGULATION
All ABAC Certification Certified Clients must inform ABAC Certification, without delay, of a serious incident or breach of regulation necessitating the involvement of the competent regulatory authority. 8 SURVEILLANCE After the certificate issue, a pre-arranged surveillance visit will be carried out at the Client’s premises. If areas of concern are identified that may require a revisit as recommended by the Lead Auditor, the management will review the report/recommendation, and if in Agreement with it, the Client agrees to meet the extra cost relating to any additional assessments required.
9 RE-CERTIFICATION (RENEWAL)
A re-certification audit is conducted to evaluate the continued fulfilment of all the requirements of the relevant management system standard every three years to confirm the continued conformity and effectiveness of the management system and its continued relevance and applicability for the scope of certification. A review of the Company’s performance during the preceding three-year period is also undertaken.
Once a Certificate has been issued, the Certified Client has the right to publish the fact and apply the relevant certification marks to their stationery and promotional material relating only to their assessed scope of registration.
Commented [HK1]: CB must inform client of any changes in standard or requirement timeline will 30 days and it will be More information can be found on the Use of ABAC Certification Logo and Management System Certification Mark Policy (CRI-POL-014), available here.
11 CERTIFICATE MISUSE
Certified Clients of ABAC Certification will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that there is no misuse of their Certificate in client advertising. The Client undertakes only to use certification marks and/or accreditation marks as appropriate to their assessed scope of registration, e.g. only the assessed location/s and/or applicable management system standard can be promoted/advertised as being approved/certificated.
12 CERTIFICATE SUSPENSION, REFUSAL, WITHDRAWAL OR RESTORE
Following an unsuccessful assessment of a company’s management system to the relevant standard, the Certificate of registration may be refused, suspended or withdrawn as follows:
(i) As a result of continued misuse of the Use of ABAC Certification Logo and Management System Certification Mark Policy (CRI-POL-014)
(ii) Failure to apply corrective action due to non-conformances found at an assessment within the relevant timescale.
(iii) Any other breach of ABAC Certification’s Terms and Conditions as mentioned in the Service Level Agreement (CRI-MSF-040). ABAC Certification’s policy is to notify the local Trading Standards Office of any client withdrawn from registration. Client certification can be restored if all issues, including nonconformities, have been cleared satisfactorily, and the certification decision-making team recommends restoring certification.
13 CANCELLATION OF REGISTRATION
Clients wishing to cancel/withdraw from registration must notify ABAC Certification of their intention to do so within 2 months of the annual surveillance visit. Upon the cancellation of the Certificate (however determined), the Company shall discontinue the use of the Management System Certification marks and all advertising literature containing the ABAC Certification logo or any reference thereto. In addition, any other material or documents in possession of the Company, which bear reference to the Certificate, shall be eradicated.
14 SPECIAL / REVISIT AUDITS
Special / revisit audits for ISO 37001:2016 assessments may be required to close out major nonconformities/improvement needs. In addition, if a complaint is made about a certified client, or we have received notification of any changes (See Section 7), we reserve the right to undertake a special / revisit audit to investigate whether the Company is still meeting the requirements of the appropriate standard for which approval is provided. Such visits are chargeable – (See Section 19).
Independently from the involvement of the competent regulatory authority, a special / revisit audit may be necessary if ABAC Certification becomes aware that there has been a serious incident related to occupational health and safety, for example, a serious accident, or a serious breach of regulation, to investigate if the management system has not been compromised and did function effectively.
ABAC Certification shall document the outcome of its investigation. Information on incidents such as a serious accident, or a serious breach of regulation necessitating the involvement of the competent regulatory authority, provided by the certified Client or directly gathered by the audit team during the special / revisit audit, shall provide grounds for ABAC Certification to decide on the actions to be taken, including a suspension or withdrawal of the certification, in cases where it can be demonstrated that the system seriously failed to meet the ABMS certification requirements.
15 CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS AGAINST ABAC CERTIFICATION SERVICES/ CERTIFIED CLIENTS
If an organization or individual wishes to complain about the services provided by ABAC Certification, in the first instance, the complainant should submit the nature of the complaint in writing to the Scheme Manager of ABAC Center of Excellence Limited- email firstname.lastname@example.org Complaints made about certified clients of ABAC Certification will be dealt with in the same manner under our Complaints Handling Procedure and must be made in writing to the Scheme Manager of ABAC Center of Excellence Limited- email email@example.com The Complaints and Disputes policy is available here, whereas a copy of the full Complaints and Appeals procedure (CRI-GMP-010) can be made available upon request.
16 ACCESS TO RECORDS OF COMPLAINTS
ABAC Certification certificated companies are required to record all complaints received from clients, registered clients and interested parties.
When the complaint applies to an ABAC Certification certified customer, evidence of prompt, effective corrective action being carried out by the certificate holder shall be required within set timescales. Evidence of action taken will be examined at the next scheduled ABAC Certification surveillance audit unless it is determined that a follow-up visit is deemed necessary to close out the complaint effectively.
In the event of an alleged breach of relevant legislative or regulatory requirements, the ABAC Certification client/registered Company must inform ABAC Certification as soon as possible.
17 APPEALS PROCEDURE
If a client wishes to appeal against any decision for whatever reason, including suspension or withdrawal of a certificate, the Client is at liberty to appeal with the Scheme Manager of ABAC Center of Excellence Limited within 14 days of being served with the decision. The Appeals Committee will review the Appeal and meet within 30 days of receipt of the appeal notice.
The original decision shall remain in force pending the decision of the Panel. The Panel’s decision is final and binding on both the Client and ABAC Certification. No counterclaims will be allowed by either party. No costs, for whatever reason, will be allowed for either party as a result of an appeal. Information about our Appeal Policy is available here.
ABAC Certification undertakes to provide suitably qualified personnel for all assessment and surveillance work using their staff or suitable, qualified sub-contractors. All members of ABAC Certification (employees or sub-contractors) must sign Nondisclosure and Conflict of Interest agreements concerned with all confidential information they may be exposed to at client premises.
A formal quotation detailing Stage 1, Stage 2 and surveillance fees are supplied to each Client in the Client Proposal. The applicant acknowledges the quotation’s acceptance by signing the Client Proposal’s acceptance part. These fees are payable per the Schedule of Payment specified in the Client Proposal.
19.1 Cancellation of an assessment made by a client of ABAC Certification at Short Notice
If an arranged/confirmed assessment date is cancelled at short notice by a client of ABAC Certification within 30 days or less of the agreed assessment date, the Client shall agree to incur/pay a £250.00 cancellation fee to ABAC CERTIFICATION as a result of the late cancellation notice. If a client makes a cancellation less than 30 days after the agreed planned assessment date, the full assessment cost shall apply.
19.2 Extra Visits
Extra visits due to major non-compliances being raised, receipt of a complaint or notification of any changes will be chargeable at ABAC Certification’s standard fee and are payable by the Client within 30 days of the date of invoice.
A Certified Client shall pay a final Surveillance fee upon termination of the Certificate if such a Surveillance visit is required by ABAC Certification.
All fees for assessment and surveillance are agreed upon by the ABAC Certification Managing Director and are available on request. Registration certificates shall not be issued unless ABAC Certification receives full payment.
19.3 Reissue of Certificates because of a Clients Request/Circumstances
Certificates reissued due to changes to a client’s circumstances, e.g., change of address, Company, at the Client’s request, shall attract a nominal administration charge of £25.00. All quoted fees are exclusive of VAT. All fees paid to ABAC Certification are strictly non-refundable.
If in providing information or service, neither ABAC Certification nor any of its servants or agents warrants the accuracy of any audit, review or information supplied.
Except as stated in this document ABAC Certification nor any of its servants or agents shall not be liable for any loss, expense or damage howsoever sustained by any company, Client or person due to any action whatsoever taken by ABAC Certification or its servants or agents save to the extent that any attempted exclusion of liability would be contrary to Law.
The Client will indemnify ABAC Certification against any claims or losses suffered by ABAC Certification due to misuse by the Client of any approval or registration given to the Client by ABAC Certification under their rules of assessment.
22 CHANGES TO TERMS AND CONDITIONS
ABAC Certification reserves the right to change these rules for registration without prior notification as required by the Managing Directors of ABAC Center of Excellence Limited. No such changes shall affect the right of any Registered Company to use the certification marks until it has been served with a notice in writing of such changes by ABAC Certification.
ABAC Certification will notify the Certified Client of the date by which it must comply with the altered Terms and Conditions via the ABAC group website.
Email shall be an accepted means of communication.
Compliance with this policy will be monitored during surveillance and certificate renewal assessments by the ABAC Certification audit team.
If you have any questions regarding this policy, please email ABAC Certification Scheme Manager Huma Khalid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Managing Director ABAC Center of Excellence Limited
Doc# CRI-POL-004, Rev. 5.0, Date 12-09-2021