The Certification Process
Detailed below is an outline of the certification process covering all ISO management system standards delivered under the Lucideon CICS, UKAS Accreditation. Specific detail to meet your requirements and those of accreditation are supplied to clients as appropriate in the form of documents, audit plans and reports.
Sales Order Process: Once we know what it is you want we will provide you with a formal proposal. This will outline the audit duration and costs together with any specific activity required.
Following acceptance of the quotation you will be allocated an Account Manager/Lead Auditor to see you through the certification process. Your Account Manager/Lead Auditor is responsible for the coordination of your certification and will work with you to draw up an assessment plan.
Certification – Types of assessment: There are a number of types of assessment each with a defined purpose and scope to progress you through initial certification and then maintenance of your certification.
Precertification audit: A Precertification audit is a limited and optional "dry-run" audit, to a limited scope, aimed at determining readiness for the Initial certification audit. The scope of the audit is at the client's discretion and should focus on any areas that may be of concern to them.
Initial Audit: The initial assessment is carried out in 2 stages.
The Stage 1 audit is used by the auditor to review & evaluate your management system documentation and the site conditions to determine your readiness for the stage 2 audit. The auditor will also gather information regarding your scope, site activities and processes used in meeting the needs of your customers. The status of Internal Audits and Management Review will be established along with an evaluation of your understanding of applicable compliance obligations.
A detailed audit plan is provided in advance of the visit and a full report produced on-site, together with an audit plan for the Stage 2 audit. Any non-conformity highlighted at this stage will require a corrective action plan.
The Stage 2 audit is used to evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented Management System against the audit standard. The audit is conducted when you are ready, following the resolution of any significant non-conformities raised at the Stage 1 audit. A full report is prepared at the end of the audit and reviewed with you at a closing meeting, where a recommendation will be made. Where necessary you will be requested to provide a corrective action plan. This will be reviewed by your Lead Auditor.
Certificate Issue: Any recommendation for certification is subjected to an independent technical review by a decision maker covering the whole assessment process / report package. Following a satisfactory review Lucideon CICS will award certification. Certificates are valid for three years, subject to satisfactory surveillance visits. A surveillance plan is developed by your Lead Auditor and reviewed with you at each audit.
Maintaining your Certificate: In order to maintain your certification you need to allow us to carry out a number of audits as per your 3 year audit programme. This includes Surveillance and Recertification Audits.
Surveillance audits are carried out on a six to twelve month basis. The first surveillance audit is normally within 6 months of the last day of the Stage 2 audit. The purpose of a Surveillance audit is to sample your management system activities to evaluate its continued effectiveness and maintenance. Audit plans will be developed to ensure sites are visited and that suitable audit samples are taken to allow us to have confidence that your certified management system continues to fulfil standard requirements. A detailed audit programme/ audit plan will be provided.
Before the end of your 3 year certification cycle, we will need to carry out a recertification audit. The purpose of a recertification audit is to review the management system and its performance in its entirety with reference to internal and external changes applicable to the scope of certification. The commitment to maintain the effective improvement of the management system and the achievement of your objectives and intended outcomes will be evaluated.
Other audit areas will include; a review of previous audit reports to identify any trends in performance indicators or customer feedback and system documentation.
Certificate Reissue: Following the recommendation made during the recertification audit, together with any adjustment required to the ongoing surveillance plan. The recertification package is subjected to an independent technical review by a decision maker and if satisfactory certification is renewed for another three year period.
Special audits: During any 3 year certification cycle it may become necessary to carry out other types of audit, these include, Expanding scope audit, Short notice audit.
Changing your certificate scope: A formal request should be made to request changes to your certificate scope. Your request will be subjected to a contract review and any necessary changes to your current visit cycle or duration will be made known to you. Changes to scope will conducted during surveillance visits.
Short Notice audits: Short notice audits are carried out as directed by the Operations Manager and may be unannounced. They cover the need to visit a client’s premises in response to complaints, certificate suspension and/or in response to changes. The intention will always be to assign the regular auditor or other known auditor. The client is kept fully informed of the need for these short notice audits, client communication and openness is considered paramount.
Suspending, withdrawing or reducing the scope of certification: In line with the Lucideon Conditions of Contract, Lucideon may at any time refuse certification or revoke, suspend, reduce or terminate certification where, in Lucideon's reasonable opinion, compliance with the specified standard or this agreement has not been met.
Situations warranting suspension include:
- Client voluntarily requests any of the above.
- Client’s management system has persistently or seriously failed to meet certification needs, including effectiveness of the management system.
- Client does not allow surveillance or recertification audits to be carried out at the required frequency.
Upon suspension, the client management system certification is temporarily invalid. The suspended certification shall be restored if the issue that has resulted in the suspension has been resolved. Failure to resolve the issues that have resulted in the suspension in a defined timeline shall result in withdrawal or reduction of the scope of certification.
Lucideon shall make publicly available the status of the suspension to anyone enquiring.
Lucideon has a separate Appeals and Complaints procedure – “PR - Appeals & Complaints”.
We may at any time refuse certification or revoke, suspend or terminate certification where, in our reasonable opinion, compliance with the specified standard or this agreement has not been met.
Withdrawing certification: We may revoke or withdraw certification in situations where, in our reasonable opinion, compliance with the specified standard or our Conditions of Contract have not been met.
Please refer to the link "Conditions of Contract Certification", which is shown at the bottom of each page of the website, for the most current version of these Conditions.