The Certification Process – Key Steps

A more detailed version of the Certification Process is available by downloading the following:

Certification Process

There are a number of steps to the certification process.

Application       Stage 1 AuditStage 2 (Certification) Audit
Surveillance Year 1Surveillance Year 2Recertification

The specific requirements of each stage are detailed below.

1.    Application
You complete our application form which provides us with all the information necessary to prepare a quote and also allows us to confirm that we have the capability to deliver what you need. If we don’t for any reason we will let you know.

2.    Stage 1 Audit

We review your management system documentation information

We review your understanding regarding the requirements of the standard, in particular with respect to the identification of key performance or significant aspects, processes, objectives and operation of the management system

  • We obtain necessary information regarding the scope of the management system including:
    • Your sites
    • Processes and equipment used
    • Levels of controls established (particularly if you have multiple sites)
    • Applicable statutory & regulatory requirements

We evaluate if internal audits and management reviews are being planned and performed and that the level of implementation of your management system substantiates that you are ready for the Stage 2 audit

We agree an audit plan for the Stage 2

We will provide you with a report that identifies any issues that could lead to nonconformities at the Stage 2 audit so that you can address them before the audit.


3.    Stage 2 Audit
The purpose of the stage 2 audit is to evaluate the implementation, including effectiveness, of your management system. This will take place on site and will include the following:

  • Information & evidence about conformity to all requirements of the applicable management standard or other normative documents
  • Performance monitoring, measuring, reporting & reviewing against key performance objectives and targets (consistent with the expectations in the applicable management system standard or other normative documents)
  • The ability and performance of your management system regarding meeting all applicable statutory, regulatory and contractual requirements.
  • Operational control of your processes
  • Internal auditing and management review
  • Management responsibility for your policies

We will identify any nonconformities, during the course of the audit and we will confirm these at the closing meeting to ensure you understand them. We will require you to analyse the cause and describe the specific correction and corrective actions taken, or planned to be taken, to eliminate the nonconformities within a defined time.
Your auditor will provide a detailed report which will include a recommendation on your certification. This will be reviewed by our certification panel who will make the final decision.
You have the right to appeal any decision not to certify your management system

4.    Surveillance
The surveillance audit is designed to ensure that your management system continues to satisfy the requirements of the standard between recertification audits. It is not necessarily a full system audit but must include:

  • Internal audits and management review
  • A review of actions taken on nonconformities identified during previous audit
  • Complaints handling
  • Effectiveness of the management system with regard to achieving stated objectives and the intended results of the management system
  • Progress of planned activities aimed at continual improvement
  • Continued operational control
  • Review of any changes
  • The use of marks/logos and/or any other reference to certification

5.    Recertification
The recertification audit includes an on-site audit which must address the following

  • 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 the certification
  • Demonstrated commitment to maintain the effectiveness and improvement of the management system in order to enhance overall performance.
  • The effectiveness of the management system with regard to achieving stated objectives and the intended results of the management system