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General - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Last updated on August 31, 2021

Note: These are the most frequently asked questions about PECB MS, and this document will be updated constantly.

Q: What is ISO Certification?
A: ISO Certification is a seal of approval from a third-party body that an organization is in conformance with the requirements of one of the international standards developed and published by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO).

Q: Is ISO certification mandatory?
A: ISO Certification is not mandatory; however, it helps organization to improve the business credibility and authority as well as the overall efficiency of the business. Also, ISO Certification may be a client-imposed mandatory requirement.

Q: How to apply for certification?
A: If you are interested in getting your organization certified with PECB MS you can initiate the process by contacting us at ms@pecb-ms.com or by filling out our Free Quotation Form. To have a better understanding of how our audit and certification process work, please click here.

Q: What are the benefits of certification?
A: Having your management system audited by an accredited certification body, such as PECB MS, can be a useful tool in identifying any shortcomings of your existing systems with the purpose of having these shortcomings adequately addressed. Once it is determined that the organization’s management system does comply with the targeted standards, validation and certification will take place.

Receiving an internationally recognized certificate establishes your organization as an adaptive and flexible organization that is in pace with global best practices, which furthers customer trust in the products and/or services that you provide. These benefits can have a multifaceted impact on your business, ultimately cascading to an increase in market share.

Q: What are the costs of Management System Certification?
A: Management Systems Certification cost depends on a range of factors such as: number of employees, number of locations, standard(s) being audited, economic activity. Based on this information, we determine the audit duration which is a pre-requisite for determining the cost.

Q: When do we need to complete payment for certification?
A: Payment is due after the completion of audit with a payment term of 30 days.

Q: What is an Integrated Management System?
A: An Integrated Management System (IMS) is the general term for a documented management system that addresses more than one standard. ISO Standards often have similar clauses and requirements, which allows an organization to create efficiencies in the common areas of the standards.

Q: Can my ISO Consultant be assigned as the Auditor?
A: No, persons involved in consultancy services cannot be assigned as auditors for the same client.

Q: What is the difference between the terms “accreditation” and “certification”?
A: Accreditation is the formal recognition by an ‘accreditation authority’ to the technical and organizational competence of a conformity assessment body, to carry out a ‘specific service’ in accordance with the standards and technical regulations, as described in their ‘scope of accreditation’. It provides a means to identify a proven, competent evaluator so that the selection of a laboratory, inspection or certification body is an informed choice.

Certification is the procedure by which a third party gives written assurance that a product, process, system, or person conforms to specified requirements.

Q: What is the duration of an audit?
A: There is no fixed duration for all audits; it depends on several factors like the standard against which the audit is going to be conducted; size of the company - sites and number of employees within scope; complexity of the management system; industry in which the organization operates; has the organization previously been certified or not; etc.

Q: How long does it take to get the actual certificate?
A: It depend on the outcome of the audit and the ability of the organization to respond to possible nonconformities raised during the audit. Under normal circumstances, the certificate may be issued within 2 weeks.

Q: Is PECB MS accredited?
A: Yes, PECB MS is an accredited Management System Certification Body by the International Accreditation Service (IAS) under ISO/IEC 17021 - Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems (click to see the certificate) and also an accredited Product Certification Agency under ISO/IEC 17065 - Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services (click to see the certificate).

Q: Are PECB MS Certificates recognized worldwide?
A: Yes. Being accredited by IAS, which is part of the IAF MLA, gives our certificates global recognition.

Q: Against which standards can PECB MS certify?
A: PECB MS is specialized in the certification of management systems on a wide range of international standards, including but not limited to Information Security, Privacy, Quality, Business Continuity, Anti-bribery, Sustainability, HSE, etc.

Q: What is the validity of the PECB MS Certificate?
A: A PECB MS Certificate is valid for three years, and it is subject to annual audits.

Q: Is there any Management Systems Certification Logo that can be used?
A: Organizations that obtain certification by PECB MS can use the management systems logo to show their achievement (e.g., ISO 9001 Certified). You will be provided with a certification logo for the relevant Management Systems your organization is certified against. Please see the Certification Marks Guidelines that show how to use the logo when you place it on relevant materials.

Q: Can we transfer our certificate from another certification body to PECB MS?
A: Yes, to transfer your certification to PECB MS you would need to send us the filled application form, your valid certificate, and the latest audit report. Please see the steps that you should follow by clicking here.

Q: What are surveillance audits and when do they take place?
A: To maintain the certificate, your organization will be subject to two surveillance audits. The first surveillance audit will take place no longer than 12 months from the initial audit. Meanwhile, the second surveillance audit will take place no longer than 12 months from the first surveillance audit.

Q: Do we need to reach out to you before our first and second surveillance audit?
A: You can always reach out to us when the time comes, however, PECB MS will notify you well in advance before the next audit approaches.

Q: What happens if we don’t complete surveillance audits on time?
A: If the surveillance audit is not completed on time, your certification will be suspended with a timeframe to correct reasons for suspension. If this does not happen, the certificate will be withdrawn.

Q: Can we restore certification after suspension?
A: Yes, the certificate can be restored after suspension if the audit is completed within the given timeframe after suspension.

Q: How can audits be conducted during COVID-19?
A: To adjust to the COVID-19 situation, PECB MS is doing remote audits to ensure the safety of its auditors and staff involved in the audit, but at the same time ensuring that clients are maintaining their management system. To know more about remote audits, click here.

Q: Does the audit duration change for remote audits?
A: No, the audit duration is intended to meet certification scheme requirements, therefore, the duration will be the same. This is applicable only for surveillance and recertification audits, meanwhile for initial audits a verification visit is requested. For more information, please contact us at: ms@pecb-ms.com.

Q: Can we change the scope of certification?
A: Yes, to change the scope of certification the client should send the request for scope extension/reduction to PECB MS, by filling/updating the application form. PECB MS will evaluate the request and provide an amended estimation of the audit duration.

Q: What happens if we are issued non-conformities during the audit?
A: If non-conformities are found during the audit, you are requested to provide root cause analysis, correction, and corrective actions to resolve the non-conformities. These must be reviewed, verified and accepted by the auditor.

Q: What is IAF CertSearch?
A: The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has established the IAF CertSearch Database so that accredited management systems certifications from around the world can be validated digitally. Please click here to find out more.

 

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Please contact us at: ms@pecb-ms.com