Appeal & Complaint Handling
An applicant, a certified company or any interested party may appeal against a decision of AQC. The matter is referred to the Appeals Panel (Which is constituted from any two member of the Impartial Committee) whose decision is final and for the decision of the Appeal Panel the AQC is responsible. This Procedure is also publicly available on AQC website.
AQC is responsible for gathering and verifying all necessary information to validate the appeal. AQC also ensure that submission, Investigation and decision on appeal shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the appellant.
Appeal Process to receive , evaluate and make decision on appeal
1. Any aggrieved party can file the appeal with in 30 days against the decision of AQC by giving a notice or by mail to AQC.
2. CM will acknowledge the receipt of the appeal and the same shall be entered in the appeal register (refer F58). CM will gather and verify all necessary information to validate appeal.
3. The appeal shall be forwarded to the appeal panel for investigation. Appeal Panel also consider that what decision has been taken already in the similar previous appeals.
4. The appeal panel can ask the information from the aggrieved party and from AQC and both of the parties are bound to furnish the information within time limit as provided by the Appeal panel.
5. AQC will provide the information to the appellant about the progress, Action undertaken to resolve appeal, ensurity of appropriate correction and coreective action has taken and same to be entered in the appeal register.
6. AQC also provide the formal notice to the appellant that appeal panel decision and appeal handling process is completed.
7 .The whole process of appeal shall be finished with 60 days of the filing the appeal. In case delay then AQC shall justify the delay.
AQC is responsible for all decisions at all levels of the complaints handling process. Any complaint received by AQC in writing or by e-mail or telephone in respect of its functions as a certification body or a company certified by it, shall be fully reviewed by the AM and shall be recorded in the complaint register with its nature. Submission, investigation and decision on complaints shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the complainant. The tracking and recording complaints, including actions undertaken in response to them is maintained by CM (Refer F59)If the valid complaint relates to the certified client:
a) CM must ensure that the effectiveness of the certified management system is checked by competent auditor(s), who were not involved with the client previously.
b) The letter in question is sent to certified client within 30 days of receiving of complaint and recorded in the complaint register. The tracking and recording complaints, including actions undertaken in response to them is maintained by CM (Refer F59)
If the complaint is about certified client management system:
a) The CM ensures that the effectiveness of the certified management system is checked by competent auditor(s)/person(s) who were not involved with the client previously.
b) The concerned auditors may be summoned to confirm the facts if it relates to certification activity.
c) After root cause analysis, method to eliminate cause of complaint would be arrived at and suitable corrective and preventive measures instituted.
d) If the complaint is against an officer of AQC including CM then it will be investigated by the chairman of the Impartial Committee.
e) The complaint shall be closed within 60 days of the receiving of the complaint.
a) Verify the promptness and effectiveness of the actions. Taken in respect of the complaint received ensure its prompt disposal.
b) Ensure that the complainant is advised of the result of the investigation within 60 days of the receipt of the complaint.
c) All complaints, after redressed & disposal, shall be closed through a closing note / closing call by the CM. Where applicable, certification will be restored as quickly as possible.
d) Ensures that any appropriate correction and corrective action are taken and also suitable preventive action is taken to avoid recurrence of such cases.
e) Ensure that Effectiveness of the measures adopted are covered during the Management Review Meeting
f) The entire process to be followed meets the requirement of confidentiality as it relates to the complaint and to the subject of the complaint. The complaints are recorded in the complaint register.
g) Gather and verify all necessary information to validate the complaint.
h) Ensures that the acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint is sent to the complainant and is informed about the progress and outcome of the result in writing every month till its closure.
i) Ensures that the decision communicated to the complainant is made reviewed and approved by the individual(s) not previously involved in the subject of the complaint.
j) Give formal notice of the end of the complaints-handling process to the complainant.
k) Ensures with the client and the complainant to the extent to which complaint may be made publicly available.
Ensure that the complaint has been closed within the 60 days of the receiving of the complaints. In case Complainant is not satisfied the decision of the AQC then complainant can make an appeal or can escalate of the complaint to IAS.