Complaints & Feedback

ISO certification

6.1 PURPOSE

This procedure defines the appeals & complaints handling procedure of QFS Certifications Pvt. Ltd., as per the requirement of a Certification Body. It describes the systematic and consistent recording, handling and evaluation of appeals and complaints pertaining to QFS’ s certification activities including certificates, reports and other decisions taken by the Certification Body. The appeals & complaints handling process is made publicly available on the website of QFS.

6.2 SCOPE

This procedure is applicable to the entire certification activities of QFS.

6.3 RESPONSIBILITY

The responsibility for the contents of this documented procedure and for receiving, recording, processing and evaluation and decision of appeals shall rest with the CMD and that of complaints shall rest with the Technical Director.

DEFINITION OF APPEAL AND COMPLAINT

APPEAL : A request by a client, his authorized representative or a responsible party, to the Certification Body for re-consideration of a decision it has made related to the verification, validation or certification of that client is termed an Appeal.
COMPLAINT : A Complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction or concern about the service, lack of service, other than appeal, by any person or organization, to the Certification Body related to its certification activities.

6.4 PROCEDURE

6.4.1 APPEALS

6.4.1.1 The appeals handling process covering receiving, evaluating and making decisions on appeals is carried out as described in the following clauses.

  • Any client or interested party is entitled to appeal in writing, but the appeal must be justified. QFS provides the client with guidance on how to appeal and direct to the standard business terms described in QFSD08, Certification Agreement. QFSF09- Appeal form has to be filled by the appellant and forwarded to QFS.
  • The Top Management, in the interest of both the parties, shall contact the client to clarify the matter and settle the appeal amicably. If he succeeds in his attempt to settle the matter he will inform the client of the result.
  • The CMD of QFS, shall take care of the appeal received from any client/appellant. A written or electronic acknowledgement is given to the appellant.
  • For any decision in between the final outcome of the result the client will be intimated from time to time.
  • All the progress and results of various stages will be communicated to the client in writing or through electronic media.
  • QFS gives formal notice to the appellant of the end of the appeals-handling process.

6.4.1.2 The description of the appeals-handling process is publicly accessible on QFS’s website.

6.4.1.3 6.4.1.2 QFS is responsible for all decisions at all levels of the appeals-handling process. It ensures that The persons engaged in the appeals-handling process are different from those who carried out the audits and made the certification decisions.

6.4.1.4 QFS ensures submission, investigation and decision on appeals do not result in any discriminatory actions against the appellant. All information related to the appeal is kept confidential by involving only personnel concerned with appeals handling process. No details of the client or the outcome of the interactions during the process is let known to any outsider.

Above all, QFS will determine, together with client and appellant, whether and, if so to what extent, the subject of the appeal and its resolution shall be made public.

6.4.1.5 QFS’s appeals-handling process include the following elements and methods:

  • an outline of the process for receiving, reviewing, investigating the complaint, and for deciding what actions are to be taken in response to it;
  • tracking and recording appeals, including actions undertaken in response to them; and
  • ensuring that any appropriate correction and corrective action are taken, taking into account the results of previous similar appeals.

6.4.1.5.1 The normal process is as described below:

  •   Receiving:  QFS sends QFSF09 Appeal form to the client to fill and receive it. A written or electronic acknowledgement is given to the appellant..
    The appeal received is then recorded in the Appeals Register and QFSF09 is passed on to the CMD for review and evaluation.
  •   Evaluation:  The CMD reviews the appeal to ascertain its validity. If the appeal received is related to QFS’s certification activities, the appellant will be informed that the appeal is under review. If not, the appellant will be communicated to that effect.
  •   Investigating:  The CMD with help of Technical Committee will investigate the appeal using QFSF09 and it may include the following:

The outcome of the investigation will be submitted to CMD to determine whether action is required or not.

Action required: If QFS; take required corrective action (QFSF09). If client; get audit report prepared and corrective action listed. (Verify effectiveness of actions taken and respond to client/interested party).

Action not required: Respond to client/interested party (when the nature of appeal is without merit).

Note: A copy of the report along with supporting documents will be submitted to the Impartiality Committee for review and records.

6.4.1.5.2 If the result of normal process is proved inadequate, or the appellant fails to agree to The solution, QFS’ s CMD may call the spokesperson of its Impartiality Committee to act as arbitrator. The spokesperson may, if required, delegate arbitration to one or more of the members of the Impartiality Committee. In this case, the decision made by the spokesperson or the member nominated by him shall be binding on QFS.

6.4.1.6 QFS shall ensure that the appellant be provided with progress reports and the outcome.

6.4.1.7 QFS shall also ensure that the decision to be communicated to the appellant is made by, or reviewed and approved by, individual(s) not previously involved in the subject of the appeal.

Note: The appeal processing shall be documented and filed in the respective certification folder. The documentation shall include the following as a minimum requirement:

6.4.1.8 QFS has established a time frame for taking decision on appeals as 60 to 90 days from the actual receipt of the appeal.

6.4.2 COMPLAINTS

6.4.2.1 The process of complaint handling is done as described below and this information is publicly accessible in the website of QFS.
Any client or interested party is entitled to lodge a complaint in writing, but the complaint must be justified. QFSF08- Complaint form has to be filled by the complainant and forwarded to QFS.

6.4.2.2 Upon receipt of a complaint, QFS confirms whether the complaint relates to certification activities that it is responsible for and deals with it only if it is so. Examination of such a complaint shall also consider the effectiveness of the certified management system of the client.

6.4.2.3 QFS shall refer, at an appropriate time, a complaint to the certified client in question.

6.4.2.4 This documented process to receive, evaluate and make decisions on complaints is subject to requirements for confidentiality, as it relates to the complainant and to the subject of the complaint.

6.4.2.5 The normal process is as described below:

  •   an outline of the process for receiving, validating, investigating the complaint, and for deciding what actions are to be taken in response to it;
  •   tracking and recording complaints, including actions undertaken in response to them; and
  •   ensuring that any appropriate correction and corrective action are taken.

a. Receiving:QFS uses QFSF08 Complaint form to receive the complaint in writing from the complainant. The complaint received is then recorded in the Complaints Register and QFSF08 is passed on to the Technical Manager for validation.

b. Validating:The Technical Manager reviews the complaint to ascertain its validity. If the complaint received is related to QFS’s certification activities, the complainant will be informed that the complaint is under review. If not, the complainant will be communicated to that effect.

c. Investigating:The Technical Director investigates the complaint using QFSF08, and may include the following:

  • Internal audit
  • Unscheduled audit of client
  • Interview with client or interested party

Determines Action required: YES/NO

Yes:If QFS; take required corrective action (QFSF08).
If client; prepare audit report, list corrective actionVerify effectiveness of actions taken and respond to client/interested party and inform them of right to appeal.

No:Respond to client/interested party and inform them of right to appeal (when nature of of complaint is without merit.

6.4.2.6 QFS is responsible for gathering and verifying all necessary information to validate the complaint.

6.4.2.7 QFS shall provide the complainant with progress reports and the outcome.

6.4.2.8 QFS ensures that the decision to be communicated to the complainant is made by, or reviewed and approved by only individual(s) not previously involved in the subject of the complaint.

6.4.2.9 QFS will give formal notice of the end of the complaints-handling process to the complainant, whenever possible.

6.4.2.10 QFS will determine, together with client and complainant, whether and, if so to what extent, the subject of the complaint and its resolution shall be made public.

6.4.2.11 QFS will resolve the complaints within 90 days from the date of receipt of the complaint.

6.4.2.12 QFS will provide the client with liberty to approach the Accreditation Board in case client is not satisfied or the complaint has not been resolved within 90 days from the date of its receipt.

Records:
QFSF08 Complaints & action form
QFSF09 Appeals form