The Certification process consists of the following key stages, enquiries and quotations, application, Stage-I, Stage-II and surveillance visits. Re-Audits are also features of the certification process. The certification process can be summarized as follow:
On acceptance of the Quotation, this certification agreement is signed between TCI and the client for providing certification of the client’s management system by TCI to the applicable international standard.
Stage –1 Audit
TCI shall conduct a stage –1 audit at client site to verify the adequacy of documentation with respect to the requirements of the applicable standard and also to understand and gather further information on the client activities and processes including applicable statues, to plan for the stage –2 audit .The client shall satisfactorily resolve all the observations raised in document review along with other concerns / issues highlighted during the audit and the same confirmed to TCI before planning the stage –2 audit .TCI shall submit a formal report to the client
The objectives of stage – 1 audit are to:
— the client’s site(s);
— processes and equipment used;
— levels of controls established (particularly in case of multisite clients);
— applicable statutory and regulatory requirements;
In determining the interval between stage 1 and stage 2, consideration shall be given to the needs of the client to resolve areas of concern identified during stage 1. TCI may also need to revise its arrangements for stage 2. If any significant changes which would impact the management system occur, TCI shall consider the need to repeat all or part of stage 1. The client shall be informed that the results of stage 1 may lead to postponement or cancellation of stage 2.
Stage –2 Audit
TCI’s audit team shall visit the client’s premises, as per an agreed plan, to verify effectiveness of the client’s management system in meeting the requirements of the applicable ISO standard. TCI shall submit a formal report to the client.
The purpose of stage 2 is to evaluate the implementation, including effectiveness, of the client’s management system. The stage 2 shall take place at the site(s) of the client. It shall include the auditing of at least the following:
Audit Report and Non-Conformity Report
TCI shall provide a written report for each audit to the client.
TCI shall require the client to analyze the cause and describe the specific correction and corrective actions taken, or planned to be taken, to eliminate detected nonconformities, within a defined time.
If a nonconformance is detected during audit, a Nonconformity Report shall be issued to the client. For the non-conformities raised during the audit, client shall submit the correction and the corrective action (based on root cause) to TCI office within 20 working days from the last day of the audit.. TCI shall verify the submitted correction and the corrective action and confirm the acceptance of the same to the client. Client shall take the correction and corrective action within the stipulated date and submit the documentary evidence to TCI to verify the effectiveness of action taken and accordingly to close the non-conformances.
TCI shall review the corrections, identified causes and corrective actions submitted by the client to determine if these are acceptable. TCI shall verify the effectiveness of any correction and corrective actions taken. The evidence obtained to support the resolution of nonconformities shall be recorded. The client shall be informed of the result of the review and verification. The client shall be informed if an additional full audit, an additional limited audit, or documented evidence (to be confirmed during future audits) will be needed to verify effective correction and corrective actions.
In case of a major non-conformance, the effectiveness of action taken shall be verified at client site by a follow up visit or as communicated by the team leader on the closing day of the audit. This shall be completed within 90 days from the last day of the audit.
In case of certification audit (fresh client) the TCI shall cancel the audit under the following conditions:
Recommendation for Certification
TCI shall recommend certification of the client’s management system, based on the following :
If the client is not recommended for certification, TCI shall accordingly inform the client
Issue of certificate
TCI shall issue the certificate against the applicable standard to the client only after the closure of all the non-conformances.
The Certificate is the property of TCI and shall be produced to TCI as and when requested.
The certification will be valid for a period of three years from the date of approval of certification, subject to the satisfactory maintenance of the Management System as confirmed through agreed surveillance audits
Surveillance audits are on-site audits, but are not necessarily full system audits, and shall be planned together with the other surveillance activities so that the TCI can maintain confidence that the client’s certified management system continues to fulfil requirements between recertification audits. Each surveillance for the relevant management system standard shall include:
a) Internal audits and management review;
b) A review of actions taken on nonconformities identified during the previous audit;
c) Complaints handling.d) The effectiveness of the management system with regard to achieving the certified client’s objectives and the intended results of the respective management system .
e) Progress of planned activities aimed at continual improvement;
f) Continuing operational control;
g) Review of any changes;
h) Use of marks and/or any other reference to certification.
Surveillance audits shall be conducted regularly at the client site at least once in a year to confirm that the Client’s Management System continues to conform to the requirements of the standard to which it is certified.
The first surveillance audit shall take place within twelve months from the last day of the stage –2 audit and failure to comply with this requirement will lead to suspension and subsequently withdrawal of certification.
For the non-conformity raised during the surveillance audit the conditions stipulated in section 3.5 of this agreement shall be applicable
In the case that a surveillance audit cannot be carried out because the client’s operations are affected owing to factors outside its control, e.g.: employee union strike, natural calamity, etc. the case shall be presented to TCI for a decision.
TCI shall submit a formal report to the client
The purpose of the recertification audit is to confirm the continued conformity and effectiveness of the management system as a whole, and its continued relevance and applicability for the scope of certification. A recertification audit shall be planned and conducted to evaluate the continued fulfilment of all of the requirements of the relevant management system standard or other normative document. This shall be planned and conducted in due time to enable for timely renewal before the certificate expiry date.
The recertification activity shall include the review of previous surveillance audit reports and consider the performance of the management system over the most recent certification cycle.
Recertification audit activities may need to have a stage 1 in situations where there have been significant changes to the management system, the organization, or the context in which the management system is operating (e.g. changes to legislation).
The recertification audit shall include an on-site audit that addresses the following:
a) The effectiveness of the management system in its entirety in the light of internal and external changes and its continued relevance and applicability to the scope of certification;
b) Demonstrated commitment to maintain the effectiveness and improvement of the management system in order to enhance overall performance;c) The effectiveness of the management system with regard to achieving the certified client’s objectives and the intended results of the respective management system .
For any major nonconformity, TCI shall define time limits for correction and corrective actions. These actions shall be implemented and verified prior to the expiration of certification.
TCI shall conduct the recertification audit at least 60 days in advance to the expiration of certification so that the client has time to implement corrective actions before the expiry of the certification
For non-conformities raised during the audit, the conditions specified in section 3.5 of this agreement become applicable. TCI shall submit a formal report to the client.
When recertification activities are successfully completed prior to the expiry date of the existing certification, the expiry date of the new certification can be based on the expiry date of the existing certification. The issue date on a new certificate shall be on or after the recertification decision.
If TCI has not completed the recertification audit or the TCI is unable to verify the implementation of corrections and corrective actions for any major nonconformity prior to the expiry date of the certification, then recertification shall not be recommended, and the validity of the certification shall not be extended. The client shall be informed, and the consequences shall be explained.
Following expiration of certification, TCI can restore certification within 6 months provided that the outstanding recertification activities are completed, otherwise at least a stage 2 shall be conducted. The effective date on the certificate shall be on or after the recertification decision and the expiry date shall be based on prior certification cycle.
TCI shall conduct special audits under the following conditions:
– To investigate complaints received by TCI about the client
– In response to changes,
– Follow up on suspended clients. .
For non-conformities raised during the audit, the conditions identified in section 3.5 of this agreement shall become applicable.
TCI shall submit a formal report to the client.Notice of Changes by TCI
TCI shall inform the client in advance any changes to its requirements for certification and shall subsequently verify that each client complies with this new requirement. It shall necessitate a special audit in certain cases.
Notice of Changes by the client
The client shall inform TCI, without delay, of matters that may affect the capability of management system to continue to fulfill the requirements of the standard used for certification. These may include changes related to,
TCI shall review the changes and accordingly discuss with client for an early verification to ensure that the capability of the management system continues to fulfill the requirements of the applicable standard.
The Certification is maintained for a period of 3 years under the following conditions.
Suspending, Withdrawing, or reducing the scope of certification
TCI shall suspend certification in cases wherein
Under suspension, the client’s management system certification is temporarily invalid.
The suspension shall be for a period of maximum six months and the suspended status of the client shall be publicly made available in the register of certified clients being maintained by TCI at its registered office. During this period the client shall discontinue the use of logo or any reference of certification in advertising matter, as directed by TCI, at the time of giving notice of suspension.
TCI shall withdraw the certificate under the following circumstances:
Upon withdrawal of certification, the client ceases to enjoy the certification status and shall accordingly return the certificate as directed by TCI at the time of withdrawal notice.
(c) Reduction in scope of certification
TCI shall decide to reduce the client’s scope of certification by excluding the parts not meeting the requirements when the client has persistently and seriously failed to meet the certification requirements for those parts of the scope of certification. Such exclusions shall be consistent with the certification standard.
Upon request from any party, TCI shall provide information related to the validity of a given certificate.
Certification and Use of Logo
The certificates issued by TCI remain the property of TCI and must be returned when requested. The client is authorized to use the certificate mark or its logo in advertising matter as per instruction given by TCI at the time of issuing the certificate.
The client, while using the its certification, shall ensure that it,
publicly Accessible Information
TCI shall make the following information publicly accessible through its web site and through documents
All other information shall be treated as confidential.
Obligations of the applicant / certified organization
The applicant / certified organization shall commit to fulfill continually the requirements of certification set by TCI for the scope for which certification has been granted including adapting changes in requirements for certification as and when communicated.
Obligations of TCI
TCI shall give due notice of any changes to its requirements for certification. It shall take into account the views expressed by interested parties before deciding on the precise form and the effective date of the changes. Following a decision on, and publication of, the changed requirements it shall verify that each certified client carries out necessary adjustments.