INDOCERT has an appeals-handling process to enable its clients to appeal against the decision which does not result into acceptable resolution or where the proposed procedure is unacceptable to the appellant or other parties involved.
This appeals-handling process shall provide for an independent and impartial appeal process. Any client can submit an appeal against the decisions taken by INDOCERT.
The appeal is only received through written or printed format.
INDOCERT provide an option for the appellant to access its appeal-handling process through website or printed media.
It is also make sure that the personnel involved in the appeals-handling process are different from those who carried out the audits and made the certification decisions thereby maintaining its policy of impartiality.
INDOCERT will not take any discriminatory actions against the appellant for submitting the appeal.
The decision regarding the appeals is reviewed, approved and communicated by Quality Manager to the appellant and also the he/she is not previously involved in the subject of the appeal.
A) Receipt of appeal
Appeals shall be made formally, in writing, not later than 30 days from the date of intimation of the decision of INDOCERT FSMS Certification Scheme.
INDOCERT constituted administrative personal to receive the appeals related document and will be entered into the Appeals Receipt Register provided with reference no.
On receipt of appeal letter, the administrative personal will attach the appeals related document to the Appeals form and forwarded to the Quality Manager who acknowledge the receipt of appeals letter.
B) Appeal Evaluation and Investigation
The Quality Manager is responsible for conducting investigation, evaluation and submit the report indicating the necessary action/or actions to be taken in response to it.
He/She will act as assessor and conduct a review of all documents related with certification activities:
A) Application form
B) Audit report
C) Corrective action request form
D) Certificate documents
E) Appeal documents
F) Additional facts presented if any,
After assessing all the related documents and also personally gathering necessary information’s regarding the authenticity of the appeal/appeals, he/she will prepare a detailed report to be forwarded to the appeals committee.
While making the report, he /she shall take into account the results of previous similar appeals to get better insight and guidance on the resolution of the appeal process.
The progress report regarding investigation will be intimated to the appellant by Quality Manager.
The Quality Manager record and keep a track of all appeals, including the action taken to resolve them, by filing them in the respective client’s file.
FUNCTIONING OF APPEALS COMMITTEE
As per the report submitted by the Quality Manager, the Appeals Committee will review the case. Appeal Committee consists of at least two members selected from the panel of experts other than those who have taken the respective certification decision and is proposed by the Quality Manager and appointed by the President. The President of INDOCERT will convene the proceedings of the Appeals Committee. The Quality Manager is responsible for conducting investigation, ensuring impartial appeal methods are practiced, and involvement of personnel without conflict of interest.
The Appeals Committee is responsible for hearing the appeal and giving an impartial judgment. The appeal committee will go through the report and discuss the matter in question in detail. The appeals committee will meet when appeal cases come up, within a period of maximum one month after an appeal has been filed. The necessary quorum for conducting an appeal committee meeting is three members. In case the quorum cannot be formed, the meeting will be postponed. The appeal committee will take decisions on the cases in which client has submitted an appeal against a certification decision of INDOCERT.
The appeals committee has the following powers:
• To deny or grant certification
• To impose, modify and withdraw sanctions and conditions
• To order for re-audit
The appellant would be provided an opportunity to formally present its case if required before the INDOCERT Appeals Committee. Appeal findings including the reasons for the decision taken will be informed to the appellant in writing. The Quality Manager will inform the client the following conditions or non-conformities to be met for the resolution of particular criteria.
The final decision on appeals will be taken by the President of INDOCERT. Appeal letter and decision taken details are filed in the client file for future references.
The Quality Manager will provide the appellant with a formal notice regarding the end of the appeals-handling process.