Sustainable Certification is committed to be unbiased/impartial, fair, informed and objective in all actions and decisions taken at all levels with a view to maintain highest level of professionalism, integrity and credibility of our audit and certification activities. Impartiality is also a requirement of 17021 for certification bodies.
Sustainable certification will not accept applications for certification of organizations who report directly to a person or group who also have operational responsibility for Sustainable Certification™. Sustainable Certification™ will not certify any other accredited Certification Bodies Quality Management System.
In addition, no Sustainable Certification™ office, joint venture or wholly owned, shall enter into any partnerships that provide any consultancy. Sustainable Certification™ may provide training.
The following controls shall be implemented, maintained and complied with by all audit and certification staff to ensure this impartiality policy is maintained throughout the audit process.
Audit staff are prohibited from participating in the Audit of any organisation to which they have given assistance, by consultancy or training (other than professionally registered auditor training),or assisted in internal audits, or where they have any financial or commercial interest for a minimum period of 2 years prior to the date of application of the organisation for registration.
When allocated to a particular contract, Audit staff shall not disclose or discuss any detail; before or after the Audit; to any member of staff other than their direct Management or other members of the team, as required by the Secrecy & Non-Disclosure agreement signed on commencement of employment.
All subcontracted Audit staff or sector specialists used to support permanent staff of Sustainable Certification™ shall sign a Subcontractor Agreement and a Secrecy & Non Disclosure Agreement and shall be included on the Office Potential Conflict Listing.
Sustainable Certification™ direct employees are prohibited from engaging in consultancy activities, which involve the active design, generation or implementation of a management system for which Sustainable Certification™ is accredited.
All directly employed Management and Staff are required to declare all financial interests or business activities on commencement and during the period of employment.
Sustainable Certification™ staff or subcontractors shall not suggest or imply that certification would be simpler, easier or less expensive if consultancy or training services were used. In addition subcontract staff cannot offer consultancy or training services to Sustainable Certification™ clients that they have been assigned to audit, during or after the assigned task has been completed.
To obtain and maintain confidence, it is essential that Sustainable Certification™ certification decisions are based on objective evidence of conformity or nonconformity, and that any decisions made are not influenced by other interests or by other parties. Certification decisions are made and signed for by a competent Certification Manager who was not responsible for the audit and was not a member of the audit team.