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In order to ensure that the system is working, an organization must perform internal audits (first party audits) for compliance with a standard. It may also invite an independent certification body to verify that it conforms to the standard (third party audits), or invite its clients and suppliers to audit the system for themselves (second party audits).


ISO itself, although the one which develops the ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001 standards, is not involved in certifying that organizations meet them. Neither is there a master organization involved in certifying other organizations to the SS506 : Part 1, OHSAS 18001 standard. Instead, certification is performed by external certification bodies (third party audits).

 

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ICR Singapore is one provider of such services.

Certification Process
An application will have to be submitted to ICR Singapore for assessment of the scope and manpower strength to identify the number of audit days required. Subsequently, the audits will be scheduled and an audit team will be assigned for the client. An audit plan will be sent to the client for the schedule of audit as well as deployment of the audit team members.


Stage 1 Audit
The organization’s preparedness for Stage 2 audit is being assessed through review of required documentations according to the organization’s scope of business and the standard used as criteria for the management system being audited.
Stage 1 audit gives the client an overview of the conduct of the Stage 2 audit including arrangement for the actual operation site audit.


Stage 2 Audit
The main audit. This is the stage where the implementation of the management system is evaluated against the standard used for the management system. A visit to the site is carried out to verify on the actual work activities in conjunction with the scope applied for certification.
Findings will be reported to the client where client will be required to take corrective and preventive action and provide evidence of action taken in order to close the findings and proceed to the next step.


Review and Approval
The corrective/preventive actions submitted by the client will form part of the audit report to be reviewed and approved by the approving committee. Once the report has been approved, the management system certificate will be issued to the client.


Management System Certificate
The certificate to be issued will contain company’s information (name, address/location), unique certificate number, issuance date, expiry date, management system and scope where the audited organization is certified for. The certificate is valid for 3 years with surveillance audits to be conducted in between.
 

Surveillance Audit 1 & 2
Conducted 12 months from the certification date or previous surveillance audit dates. This is to assure the auditing organization that the management system is continuously implemented or maintained. Findings will also be reported to the client for closure. Similarly, the audit report will be include client’s corrective/preventive action report which will be reviewed for approval. Once the report is approved, the certification is maintained.


Re-certification
After the 2 cycles of surveillance audits, since the certification validity is only 3 years, a recertification audit will be conducted prior to issuance of a new certificate on the 3rd year after the initial certification.

 

Expanding or reducing the scope of certifiation

Client may requests for change in certificate or reduction / expansion in scope to ICR Singapore. ICR Singapore shall review the request and decide for a special audit if the next audit is not due in near future or if the next audit cannot be proposed. ICR Singapore also determines if the changed scope is within our accreditation scope. Where expansion of scope is requested, the compliance to QMS for the respective activities and impact on other processes is verified.

 

ICR Singapore shall wherever applicable reduce the scope of certification if during the time of routine surveillance audits / re-approval or renewal audits it finds that the certified client has continually / seriously failed to meet the certification requirements for those parts of the scope of certification.


Suspension and Withdrawal or cancellation of certificates

The suspension and withdrawal or cancellation can be initiated if the client does not allow the routine surveillance to be conducted at the required frequency. the rountie surveillance is carried out not more than 12 months from the last audit. In case the audit is not done within 12 months (13months in case of yearly surveillance), the certificate is suspended and a letter is sent to the client requesting him to agree for the audit. In case of a delay up to 3 months (15 months from the last audit), the audit time shall be extended by 50% of the rountine surveillance time (at least 1 day). Successful completion of the audit within 15 months shall not impact the certification. In case the audit is not done within 15 months, the certificate is cancelled and the client shall be considered as a fresh case for certification.

 

Withdrawal of certification will be invoked where, following suspension of certification, the client fails to respond to ICR Singapore communications within 14-days grace period or fails to implement corrective action within the appointed time period.

 

In extreme circumstances ICR Singapore may invoke the withdrawal of certification with immediate effect without recourse to initial certification suspension.

 

Restoring of certification

Where suspension has been invoked due to failure to conduct surveillance audit, the client shall give justification for failure and offer suitable date. An additional day shall be added to routine surveillance days. The date shall not be later than 15 months from last audit. Failure to offer for audit within 15 months shall result in withdrawal of certification.

 

When corrective action to resolve the probem(s) taken by the client has been verified, certification will be resumed. The period of certification will not be revised to cover the period of suspension.

 

Refusing Certification

The following are grounds for ICR Singapore to refuse granting certification to a client:

  • For new application : Requested scope is not within the accredited scope of ICR Singapore
  • For transfer cases :
    • Failure to show evidence of actions taken for previous Certification Body's nonconformities.
    • Failure to furnish the previous certification documents such as certificate, audit report and nonconformity reports.
  • For ICR Singapore - Audited organization
    • Failure to conduct stage 2 audit
    • Failure to take actions for nonconformities raised during the audit within the stipulated time frame
    • Failure to settle outstanding payment
    • Requested certfication scope is not in line with registered business address

 

Appeals and Complaints Procedure

 

Appeal

ICR Singapore recognizes that the client may have some reservations or may not agree with the conduct of auditor, audit findings, certification committee decision and/or overall interaction with ICR Singapore staff. Client is free to communicate the same to ICR Singapore and this is treated as an appeal from the client.

  • The client may communicate through the website email contact and ICR Singapore shall contact (telephone, email, letter) the client to acknowledge the receipt of information within 5 working days of receipt.
  • ICR Singapore shall investigate the appeal madee and inform the client about its plan pf action for investigation and action there upon.
  • A copy of the investigation report and result shall be sent to the client.
  • ICR Singapore shall ensure that no discriminatory action is taken against the appeallant.

Complaints

Complaints may be received from client, authority or other interested parties (complainant/s). Complaints can be against ICR Singapore or its certified client. Similarly, the complainant/s are free to communicate their complaints to ICR Singapore.

  • The client may communicate through the website email contact and IC Singapore shall contact (telephone, email, letter) the client to acknowledge the receipt of information within 5 working days of receipt.
  • ICR Singapore will analyze the issue to determine the nature of the problem (i/e/ system or human related error). A root cause analysis will be carries out to determine and take the necessary correction, corrective and preventive action.
  • In case of a complaint/observation against a certified client, ICR Singapore will study the complaint and will conduct internal discussion with involved ICR Singapore personnel.
  • If the complaint is found genuine and vaild i.e. indicates a system failure, the complaint is sent to the client for a response. No confidential reports or information will be seent to complainants without permission from the client. Adequate time is given to the client for response.
  • Depending on the response, ICR Singapore may decide to :
    a) Write to the complainant about the response and asks for his response.
    b) Ask further clarification from the client
    c) Depute an auditor to personally visit the client and investigate for system failure. Such visit
        shall be considered as special visit and charged to client.
    d) Request a joint meeting with client, complainant and ICR Singapore.
  • ICR Singapore will communicate with the complainant at the end of the process detailing the findings and to formally close the complaint.
  • ICR Singapore shall ensure that no discriminatory action is taken against the complainant.

Impartiality Policy

At ICR Singapore Certification Pte Ltd, the director ensures that all staff and contract auditors understand the importance of impartiality in conduct of its management system certification activities.

 

ICR Singapore Certification Pte Ltd ensures that all potential threats to impartiality are identified and eliminated.

 

ICR Singapore Certification Pte Ltd will therefore ensure that in its dealings with clients or potential clients, all employees or other personnel involved in certification activities are, and will remain, impartial.

 

To ensure that impartiality is both maintained and can be demonstrated, ICR Singapore Certification Pte Ltd has identified and assessed the risks of all relationships which may result in a conflict of interest or pose a threat to impartiality.

 

For any other infomation regarding certification, please drop us an email icrsgcert@icrsgcert.com / may.poh@icrsgcert.com or send us an enquiry under the "Contact Us" tab.