Platinum has precise protocols for granting, refusing, maintaining, renewing, suspending, restoring and withdrawing certification. To help you understand the protocols, they are summarized below.
Recommendations for Granting Certification
Once you have successfully completed an initial assessment (a full system review of your management system including both Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits) and the system has demonstrated conformance to the requirements of the Standard and to the organization’s planned arrangements, the Lead Auditor will make a recommendation to grant certification.
Granting Initial Certification
Upon receipt of the assessment records and the Lead Auditor’s recommendation, an independent reviewer will essentially audit the audit. This independent reviewer will audit the Lead Auditor’s assessment records to ensure that the audit was performed and recorded correctly to give confidence in the process and in the assessed management system’s demonstrated conformance. This can be an iterative process whereby the reviewer works with the Lead Auditor and/or Platinum Management to make any required corrections. Once confident, the reviewer may grant certification and your three year certificate may be issued.
In order to keep certification, your management system must be assessed at least annually. These assessments are called Surveillance Audits. They are not full system audits, but rather involve about 1/3 of the management system. The idea is to be able to dig a little deeper into your business processes during these assessments to give your interested parties a better view of conformance. We try to keep these surveillance audits scheduled two months back from the certification expiration date to mitigate any risk of running over the expiration date of the certification when we get to recertification. Certification dates cannot be extended, so this causes a lapse in certification and the certification history will be lost. This also ensures that we perform the 1st Surveillance Assessment within 365 days of the date the registration decision(another accreditation requirement – but one that has changed a little with the release of ISO 17021-1).
Three years after certification is issued, your entire management system will be re-assessed for conformance and trends will be analyzed to ensure that the system has been maintained. After an independent review, certification may be renewed and another 3-year certificate can be issued.
You may have your certification suspended if:
- Contractual obligations are not met (e.g., Platinum invoices are not paid).
- The management system seriously or persistently fails to meet certification requirements (e.g., serious/major nonconformances are identified; corrective actions are not taken within the agreed time frame).
- Surveillance or Re-certification audits are not performed at the required frequencies.
- You request a voluntary suspension.
During suspension, your certification is temporarily invalid and you cannot market your organization as being certified. Suspension may require a successful on-site assessment to resume registration.
A suspended certification may be restored once the issue that caused the suspension is resolved. Where performance of an audit is required, once the audit is complete and the system is found to be conforming (i.e., all nonconformances have been adequately addressed with corrective action) then an independent reviewer will grant restoration of certification. Where payment has been made, Management will grant restoration of certification. Where performance has caused suspension and another onsite audit has been performed to confirm conformance of the management system, then, after the audit file is reviewed and found acceptable, an independent reviewer will grant restoration of the certification.
You may have your certification withdrawn if:
- Issues that resulted in suspension are not resolved in the time frame established by Platinum Registration in writing, or
- You have requested a voluntary withdrawal.
Once a certification is withdrawn, it cannot be reinstated without a successful Initial Assessment.
Expanding or Reducing Certification Scopes
If you would like to adjust your certification scope (i.e., the description of what your company does that appears on your actual certificate that is reflected in your Quality manual), please contact our office so that we can make arrangements to verify the scope change. The Lead Auditor will review the new scope and will make a recommendation for adjustment. Once reviewed and accepted by an independent reviewer, the request for the expansion or reduction will be granted, a new certificate may be issued.