General about certification process
Strictly speaking, this stage is not a stage of certification. Moreover, international standards (ISO/IEC17021, etc.) expressly prohibit certification bodies to conduct consulting and implementation of management systems for their customers. This is called «compliance with the principle of impartiality». Therefore, implementation and preparation of a management system are held by an Organization on its own or with assistance of external consultors.
At this stage, an Organization carries out selection of a certification body. Here complex systems of certification body rating can be applied, and Organizations can also focus on requirements of their customers, partners or professional associations.
At this stage, we ask you to complete the Declaration-application form (application forms can be found in “Application for certification” section of this site) with attached organizational structure, in which you will have to specify certain data about your Organization and describe its existing management system. This is what we need to assess complexity of audit and necessary resources and competence from our side.
Signing the Declaration-application confirms your acceptance of the Conditions for certification of management systems. On the basis of information from the Declaration-application the Directorate for management system certification of Russian Register analyses the possibility for Russian Register to carry out the audit and calculates complexity of the audit in audit-days, and the marketing Department prepares a business proposal for you.
In case of a tender among certification bodies we recommend you to use our patterns from the document «Russian Register – OPPORTUNITIES AND SERVICES». These recommendations are aimed at maximum objective assessment of certification bodies, and selecting out the companies, selling certificates, simulating certification, and simply «weak» certification bodies.
The preparation stage is completed by signing the certification agreement.
1. Stage of certification
Preliminary assessment of management system and document review.
Preliminary management system audit is performed by auditors of Russian Register to determine readiness of an Organization for certification and commitment of its management to the quality management principles. Complex of the key requirements for the organizational structure, procedures, processes and resources of the management system are audited.
The organization should submit a set of controlled copies of valid documents, describing the management system to the audit team leader. Document review is carried out to determine adequacy (i.e., completeness, degree of conformity, relationships, absence of internal contradictions) of the management system documents for the requirements of the applied standard.
According to the results of the preliminary assessment, the team leader prepares a Report with recommendations on management system certification and indication of all problem areas and observations, as well as the draft of the certification audit plan. Works on certification stage 1 are performed mainly in your head office and some of the production sites of the Organization.
2. Sertification stage
Certification audit should be held no later than six months after the certification stage 1 (pre-certification).
The purpose of the audit is to identify conformity of Organization’s management system, its processes and workplaces to all applicable requirements of the applied standard(s) and Organizations own internal documents, evaluation of management system effectiveness and its ability to achieve the established objectives within the framework of policy implementation, assessment of Organization’s fulfillment of legal and other regulatory requirements related to products.
Works on the second stage are held both in administrative premises, and on production sites of Organizations.
Certification audints consists of the following stages:
A) Opening meeting
Introduction of the audit team members and experts, presentation of the audit Program and Plan, brief presentation of methods and procedures to be used during the audit and registration of nonconformities, answering questions.
B) Audit of conformity at particular workplaces
Audit process itself consists in work of audit team and experts on collection of objective proof through observation of working conditions, conduction of arrangements for process management and ensuring working conditions in the audited Organization’s departments, interview, examination of documents and records for their further review and assessment.
C) Audit team meeting, preparation of assessment results
Before closing meeting, audit team and experts gather for execution of audit results.
D) Closing Meeting
The purpose of the closing meeting is presentation of the audit team and experts conclusions upon results of the Organization’s management System audit with recommendations for RR management on recognition of its compliance with the requirements of the applied standard.
Decision on issuance of a Certificate of Conformity
Registration and execution of certificate(s) of conformity are performed after elimination of non-conformities, identified during the certification audit. This should be conducted within three months.
Certificate of conformity is valid for three years provided its confirmation during surveillance audits.
Claims and appeals
In case of Organizations disagreement with conclusions and decision of audit team, or if there are complaints or comments to auditors, Organization has the right of appeal or claim. This activity is regulated by «The procedure of handling appeals and claims».
Certified management system surveillance
The purpose of surveillance audits is to identify the fact that Organization maintains management system, fulfills the provision on continuous improvement, assessment of management system effectiveness and determination of activities conformity to the applied standard and requirements for management system.
Surveillance audits are carried out minimum once a year (in specific cases, an unscheduled surveillance audit is conducted). The first surveillance audit should be conducted not later than 12 months after the last day of the certification audit stage 2. Further surveillance audits should be conducted within the period after +/- 2 months since the date specified in the audit report, in case if scheduled surveillance is not conducted within this term, validity of the certificate shall be suspended.
If the certified Organization needs to extend the validity of its certificate, it shall inform Russian Register of its need to be recertified. This should be done not less than three months prior to the expiry date of the Certificate of conformity, and not less than 15 days prior to the established date of the previous Conformity certificate confirmation. According to the results of recertification audit, a new certificate of conformity is issued.