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Complaint and Appeal Procedure

1.Purpose

The purpose of this procedure is to outline the process that should eventuate in the event that a complaint or appeal is received from customers, certified organizations, and other parties in regards to the rules, policies, procedures, certification decisions, or overall PECB MS operations.

2. Scope

The procedure covers the complaints and appeals addressed to PECB MS in response to the assessment actions, recommendations that follow, and the role of the Appeal Board in reaching a conclusive settlement on account of the appeal.

3. References

  • ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015, clauses 9.7 and 9.8 on Appeals and Complaints
  • ISO/IEC 17065:2012, clause 7.13 Complaints and appeals

4. Terms and definitions

Complaint:

  • (ISO/IEC 17000:2020, 8.7): expression of dissatisfaction, other than appeal (8.6), by any person or organization to a conformity assessment body (4.6), or an accreditation body (4.7), relating to the activities of that body, where a response is expected.

Appeal:

  • (ISO/IEC 17000:2020, 8.6): request by the person or organization that provides, or that is, the object of conformity assessment (4.2) to a conformity assessment body (4.6) or an accreditation body (4.7) for reconsideration by that body of a decision (7.2) it has made relating to that object.

PECB MS Services:

  • Certification of management systems.

5. Procedure overview

All complaints are reviewed by the Operations Director and/or a designated employee assigned by him or her. The designated employee shall not be part of the staff involved in the assessment against which a complaint or appeal is being issued.

In the event that the person filing the complaint is not satisfied with the review and the decision made upon the complaint, he or she may consider filing an appeal.

Subsequently, PECB MS appoints an Appeal Board which is in charge of the appeal process, and is accountable for safeguarding the impartiality with respect to the appeal and the operations of the organization. This structure enables the participation of all parties significantly concerned in the development of policies and principles regarding the content and functioning of the PECB MS services, without any particular interest is predominating.

The Appeal Board is composed of at least three members with a majority of members being independent of PECB MS personnel. Upon request of the Appeal Board, the management will provide to the board all the necessary information, including the reasons for all significant decisions, actions, and the selection of persons responsible for particular activities, to enable PECB MS to ensure proper and impartial decision.

The Appeal Board is independent of management in their recommendations except as required by international or national law. If the recommendation of the board is not respected by the management, the board shall take appropriate measures, which may include informing the accreditation body.

5.1 Criteria for selecting the Appeal Board Members

The members of the Appeal Board are independent and impartial members assigned by PECB MS. In the event that a member or members of the Appeal Board have a conflict of interest, based upon the facts or circumstances of a specific appeal, including employment or other affiliations of the appellant, PECB MS management in conjunction with the acting Chair of the Appeal Board shall select a substitute member or members to hear and decide upon that claim.

5.2 Terms and operating procedures

5.2.1 Complaint process

When the person or organization disagrees with the evaluation/assessment given, they must declare in writing the reasons for disapproval to PECB MS at the earliest convenience.

The complaint shall be submitted immediately after receiving the re-evaluated decision and no later than 30 working days after receiving the decision. The complaint shall be submitted in writing through e-mail or using the PECB MS website.

The complaint, besides the personal information (full name, address and other contact details) of the complainant, shall include the complainant’s personal opinion about the assessment, the reasons for disapproval with the decision reached during the first decision and second evaluation, as well as the settlement being sought.

Submission, investigation and decision on complaints shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the complainant.

Complaints will be reviewed by the Operations Director and/or by a designated employee assigned by him or her. The designated employee shall not be part of the staff involved in the initial assessment. Complaint reviewer should consider the complainant’s explanation and provide a written response, which includes:

  • A clear explanation, or a repeated explanation of the assessment decision following a re-evaluation of the evidence.

The reviewer of the complaint should reply within 30 working days after receiving a complaint. The complainant will receive an answer on the decision reached in writing (via email).

If the Complainant agrees with the outcome at this stage, then the complaint does not proceed to further stages.

If the Complainant is not satisfied with the outcome, then they may file an Appeal (see 5.2.2 Appeal process). If necessary, PECB MS will take appropriate correction and corrective actions.

All complaints, including actions taken, will be tracked and recorded by PECB MS.

5.2.1.1 Instructions to file a complaint:

Go to: www.pecb-ms.com

  • Click "Contact" from top menu and use the online form;
  • Beside personal information (full name and email address), please write in the subject box: “Make a Complaint’ and in the message box your opinion about the assessment and why you are not satisfied with the first decision and second evaluation;
  • After providing all the requested information click on send message.

5.2.2 Appeal process

Where the Complainant disagrees with the decisions of stage one (re-evaluation) and stage two (complaint), then they may proceed to stage three and file an appeal explaining the reasons for disapproval.

Steps to be followed by the appellant are:

  • The Appeal shall be submitted soon after receiving the complaint decision and no later than 90 days (three months) after receiving the decision;
  • The Appeal shall be submitted in writing by e-mail or using the PECB MS website;
  • The Appeal shall include the Appeal Fees (if applicable);
  • The Appeal, besides the personal information (full name, address and other contact details) of the Appellant, shall include the opinion about the assessment and why the Appellant is not satisfied with first, second evaluation and a review done after the complaint.

Steps to be followed by PECB MS are:

  • PECB MS appoints an Appeal Board which is in charge of the appeal process, and is accountable for safeguarding the impartiality with respect to the appeal and the operations of the organization. This structure enables the participation of all parties significantly concerned in the development of policies and principles regarding the content and functioning of the PECB MS services, without any particular interest is predominating;
  • Appeal Board will respond to an appellant in writing (via email) within 60 days after receiving the appeal. It should be noted that this decision is absolute and final;
  • Submission, investigation and decision on Appeals shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the Appellant;
  • An Appellant will be charged a fee of $200 per appeal. In case the appeal decision is in favor of the Appellant, this fee will be reimbursed to them;
  • If necessary, PECB MS will take appropriate correction and corrective actions;
  • All Appeals, including actions taken, will be tracked and recorded by PECB MS.

5.2.2.1 Instructions to file an appeal:

Go to: www.pecb-ms.com

  • Click "Contact" from top menu and use the online form;
  • Beside personal information (full name and email address), please write in the subject box: “File an Appeal” and in the message box your opinion about the assessment and why you are not satisfied with the first, second evaluation and a review done after the complaint;
  • After providing all the requested information click on send message.