1. Initial contact
2. Planning activity
4. Before certification
5. Certification audits
Certification audits is normally done in two stages. This will normally result in more effective implemention procedures after having received the certificate. Some time is needed between the audit steps, 4-6 weeks is normally recommended. The proposed audit hours for Stage 2 audit may need to be increased if the calendar time exceeds 6 months between Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits. Another reason to extend the audit time may be if the Management System is immature or if the implementation is found to be weak at the Stage 2 audit.
During the certification audits, the Management System is assessed whether it is sufficently comprehensive and the sufficently implemented. When the audit leader has concluded that the system is comprehensive and used at all levels, the audit leader will conclude the audit report and notify A3CERT office that the company fulfils the certification requirements.
6. Certification decision
7. Follow-up audits/reviews
Recertification of management systems normally follow a 36 month cycle from the initial certiifaction audit. For some process certifications the recertification is done after 60 months. The scheduling of the recertification is made so that there will be sufficent time to correct any nonconfomities in due time before the expiry date of the certificate.
The recertification is done in two steps
– An analyze of how the certified system has operated – the lead auditor reviews the reports from the follow-up audits.
– An extended follow-up (compared with the follow-up audits) – to assess that the different elements in the management system is operating as expected.
When the lead auditor has concluded that the companty fulfils the requirements then the A3CERT office is notified. The decision to extend a certificate is made by appointed person at A3CERT, who did not participate in the audit.
Suspension or withdrawal of certificate
Conditions that may lead to suspension or certificate withdrawal:
- bankruptcy or business closure,
- the customer fails to make necessary corrective actions in due time,
- repeated lack of conformance with the standards,
- mis use of A3CERT logo or certification mark,
- the customer fails to fulfil the economical obligations under the contract with A3CERT,
- The customer damages or exposes the A3CERT to disgrace,
- if the customer is subject to material misstatement or government intervention.
If the reason for the suspension is corrected so that the suspension can be lifted within 6 months, the certification can be reinstated. If the suspension cannot be revoked within 6 months, the certificate is withdrawn.
Upon withdrawal of a certificate, a new certification audit is required to resume the certification.
When certificates are suspended or withdrawn, the customer can no longer market the previous certification.
A3CERT can also limit the scope of the certification to exclude certain parts, if these over time or in a serious way have broken in relation to the certification requirements.