The actual process of certification is a relatively straightforward matter.
Indeed, most of the certification schemes follow the same basic procedures as outlined below.
STEP: 1 Application
Applicant will be asked to provide the following information for the purpose of application review and generating a quotation for certification services:
a) the desired scope of the certification;
b) relevant details of the applicant organization as required by the specific certification scheme, including its name and the address(es) of its site(s), its processes and operations, human and technical resources, functions, relationships and any relevant legal obligations;
c) identification of outsourced processes used by the organization that will affect conformity to requirements;
d) the standards or other requirements for which the applicant organization is seeking certification;
e) whether consultancy relating to the management system to be certified has been provided and, if so, by whom.
STEP: 2 Application Review
On receipt of above information, a review shall be conducted based on the application and supplementary information for certification submitted by client. Following the review of the application, PQS shall either accept or decline an application for certification.
As a result of successful review of the application and where client application is accepted, an audit program for the full certification cycle shall be developed and certification quotation is submitted to client.
Refusing: – PQS may refuse the application of Client in the following cases:
- Due to Unavailability of Competent Auditor
- If related scope not comes under the accreditation scope of certification
- Some ambiguity in legal or clients will to get & maintain certification.
- Responsibility of Refusing of Application is Technical Manager/Technical Director
Based upon the information provided, the technical manager or subject expert reviews the scopes available with PQS and prepares the quotation, which will be sent along with the application for registration.
STEP: 3 Certification Audit Contract
Once the Application for registration received & reviewed, which confirms the exact way client company name and site address will appear along with the description of scope (products or services) for which registration is sought. The certification audit contract will be made and sent to the client.
Step: 4.1 AUDIT PLANNING
Once the certification audit contract received, the technical manager plans the audit on the basis on audit time allocation and audit assignment, which is defined as below and raise the audit plan in duplicate, which should narrate the requirements of the relevant management system standard; size and complexity, name, address and scope of the client, date of audit and the constitution of the audit team and send it to the auditors before fifteen working days. After getting the consent from auditor, audit assignment register will be filled and the statement of confidentiality and no conflict of interest will be obtained. The Audit plan shall be sent to the client there after. The operational manager will confirm the date then about the auditor & technical expert detail with the client.
STEP: 4.2 AUDIT INTIMATION
Audit plan shall reach the client before ten working days of audit. The operational executive shall confirm the dates of audit and the constitution of the auditors and mark the same on the office copy of audit plan
STEP: 4.3 Stage-1 Audits
The stage one audit is performed by lead auditor at client’s premises, to audit the client’s management system documentation. To evaluate the client’s location and site-specific conditions and to undertake discussions with the client’s personnel to determine the preparedness for the stage 2 audit. To evaluate if the internal audits and management review are being planned and performed, and that the level of implementation of the quality management system substantiates that the client is ready for the stage 2 audit.
STEP: 4.4 Stage-1 Audit Report
After the stage one audit the auditor shall submit his finding & advice by written report.
STEP: 4.5 Stage-2 Audits
Stage two audits is an assessment audit, which is carried out after phase one audit’s inadequacies have been removed and the organization is all set to demonstrate the compliance to the selected international standard. Auditors will plan and conduct the assessment audit.
Step-5 Granting Certificate
The technical committee is appointed from the auditors and experts working with PQS to consider specific recommendations made in relation to granting, refusing, maintaining of certification, expanding or reducing the scope of certification, renewing, suspending or restoring following suspension, or withdrawing of certification. Members of the technical committee will be independent from the auditing activity. The technical committee will be made up of three members, whose technical expertise will cover the certification scope being considered. The technical committee will be appointed by the manager technical. The technical committee is impartial & free from commercial or financial pressure.
STEP: 6 Surveillance audits
Surveillance audits are carried out bi-annually/annually to ensure that the certified management system is in compliance and demonstrates continual improvement in terms of Systems, products and resource management.
Suspension of Certification (After Granting Certification)
In the event that Client is not complying with following, PQS may suspend Client’s registration.
- Client did not accept on-going surveillance visit within the time agreed.
- PQS determines that Clients does not have resources or organization to satisfy with requirements of standard applied, or the certified system does not exist.
- Client lost its confidence as a result of claims raised by interested party and social conflict.
- Client has not taken the required actions against the changes or registration system or requirements during the specified period.
- Client failed to correct the nonconformities found at on-site audit within the time agreed.
- Client failed to timely correct nonconformities, caused by misuse of certification mark, within one (1) month.
- Client didn’t pay PQS for registration activities set in PQS published Auditor days and Fees structure.
- PQS determines that Clients didn’t comply with organization’s obligation based on Certification Audit Contract.
- Clients used and applied the certificate (certification) to out of its coverage.
- It is proved that the information and/or material provided by Client during assessment are falsity.
- Client didn’t comply with article 8 “Notification of Client’s Changes and Assessment for Confirming Changes” of this contract.
- PQS determines that Client does not comply with the agreement(s) and/or contract(s) concluded with PQS.
Amendment to Scope of Certificate of Registration
- Extending of scope: – Upon client’s request for extending scope PQS shall review the availability of scope and competence level and advice for audit considering the auditor time. The audit time may be extended after seeing the actual process of the extended part of scope. The certificate will be re-issued incorporating the new scope. This type of scope extension may be clubbed with surveillance audit or it can be carried out separately through Special Audit.
- Restoring:- PQS shall restore the certification as per the following
- If the Client submits the Corrective action report within the 30 days of time period in case of minor non-conformity and 90 Days of time period in case of major non-conformity and also in case of major non-conformity there should be a provision of re-visit of auditor at client’s location for the verification of effectiveness of Closure of Non-Conformity.
- After Suspension there is 15 Days of time period for the renewing of certification after Verification of Effectiveness of System by the Auditor at the time of Re-Visit, Without Re-Visit no any certification will be restored except in case of suspension Due to non-payment.
- Responsibility for Renewing of Client is Technical Manager/Director technical
- Reduction of scope: – The PQS shall reduce the client’s scope of certification to exclude the parts not meeting the requirements. When the client has persistently or seriously failed to meet the certification requirement of those parts of the scope of certification. Any such reduction shall be in line with the requirements of the standard used for certification. PQS decision on reducing the scope of certification shall be communicated to the client, in writing, through letter. The certificate will be re-issued after reduction of scope.
Withdrawal of Certification (After Granting Certification)
In the event that Client is not complying with following, PQS may withdraw Client’s registration.
- Failures to timely correct a suspension within three months.
- Client’s Request.
- Client discontinues the activities (manufacturing, installation, etc.) related to the scope of registration.
- The certified Client is no longer identified because of its dismantlement or communication disconnecting, etc.
- The suspension of Client’s registration is more then 3 times during the term of validity of its registration.
- After receipt of PQS request to return the Certificate(s), Client didn’t return its certificate(s) to PQS within one (1) month.
- The client name will be listed in cancel list of PQS website, www.pqscert-eg.com
Use of Logos and Certificate Procedure
To document, establish, implement and maintain the system for the correct use of logos and certification mark as per requirements of ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015
This procedure gives requirements for the certification mark including their issue and use and shall be applicable to the mark of conformity issue against the management system standard certified
4.1 Issue of certificate
(PQS) shall issue the certificate as described in the procedure PQS-MSP-11
The certificates issued by (PQS) remain the property of (PQS) and must be returned when requested.
4.3 General conditions for use of logo
4.3.1. The client is authorized to use the certification mark or its logo in advertising matter and while using this mark or logo the client shall ensure that it,
- Conforms to requirements of (PQS) when making reference to its certification status in communication media such as Internet, brochures or advertising or other documents.
- Does not make or permit any misleading statement regarding its certification,
- Does not use or permit the use of the certification document or any part thereof in a misleading manner,
- Upon suspension or withdrawal of its certification, discontinues its use of all advertising matter that contains a reference to certification, as directed by (PQS)
- Amends all advertising matter when the scope of certification has been reduced,
- Shall not use the certification information in a manner to imply that the product or service is certified. The certification mark or logo shall not be used on a product or product packaging as this could be interpreted as denoting product conformity.
- The logos shall also not be applied to laboratory test, calibration or inspection reports or any form of certificates issued by educational institutions as such reports/ certificates are deemed to be products in this context.
- Does not imply that certification applies to activities that are outside the scope of its certification,
- Shall not use the certification in such a manner that would bring (PQS) and /or the certification system into disrepute and lose public trust.
(j) Logos shall also not to be applied on visiting cards
4.3.2. Whenever the Accreditation Mark is to be used by (PQS) certified clients, it is to be accompanied by the (PQS) logo, & both marks are to be proportioned so that neither has obvious precedence or more prominence over the other and its use is limited to stationery, literature and other written promotional materials
4.3.3. The Certification Body / Accreditation Body Logo may be uniformly reduced or enlarged but shall not be less than 15 mm in height and not less than 12mm in width (minimum size15x12mm.), but both the symbols should be legible.
4.3.4. The symbols may be reproduced electronically, provided that the requirements of the respective accreditations bodies, as described in this procedure, are met and distortion and /or degradation do not occur.
4.3.5. Whenever a subsidiary belonging to a group has been certified there shall not be any confusion as to which part of the group holds the certification and it shall not imply that the other subsidiaries have been certified
4.3.6Where the organization (the client) wishes to make reference to its certification instead of using the symbols of the certification & accreditation bodies, the organization shall use without variation the phrase “An ISO XXXXX: XXXX Certified Company “(identify the applicable ISO standard namely ISO 9001: 2015 etc.).
4.5. Accreditation body logo
4.5.1. Accreditation Logo: The accreditation mark shall be reproduced as shown in annexure-1, MSP/20-1. The logo shall only be printed in the color combination or in the gray black combination as shown in the annexure.
The misuse of marks or certificate shall result in the following actions
4.6.1. Innocent Misuse
- Immediate withdrawal of the offending literature by the client, or
- Suspension of approval (certification) until misuse is rectified.
If action is not taken to rectify the misuse within a reasonable time, the approval will be withdrawn
4.6.2 Negligent / Fraudulent misuse
- Withdrawal of approval together with publication of the reason for withdrawal.
Misuse is deemed negligent / fraudulent where the mark is knowingly or carelessly misused. Repeated “innocent” misuse would be deemed negligent.
4.6.2 Legal Action
- The (PQS) certification mark for accredited certificates may only be reproduced as shown shall exercise proper control of ownership and shall take action to deal with incorrect reference to certification status or misleading use of certification document, mark or audit report.
- If necessary, Legal Action shall be taken against the client by way of Lodging First Information Report with the competent authority.
4.7 Withdrawal of certification
In the event that approval is withdrawn, the client shall immediately cease use and distribution of any literature, stationary etc bearing the mark. The artwork supplied and all the original approval certificates are to be returned to The (PQS) certification mark for accredited certificates may only be reproduced as shown.
4.8. Contractual obligation
4.8.1 Correct use of The (PQS) certification mark for accredited certificates may only be reproduced as shown certification and the accreditation body mark is a contractual obligation that the client undertakes to comply with as per agreement signed with The (PQS) certification mark for accredited certificates may only be reproduced as shown.
4.8.2 Where the (PQS) certification mark for accredited certificates may only be reproduced as shown certification and accreditation body mark s have been used by the client, their use is to be reviewed at all surveillance and re-certification audits to ensure that their use is correct and in accordance with the document, PD-02, issued by (PQS).
4.8.3 Any misuse of logo shall be brought to the attention of the client and included in the surveillance or the re-certification audit reports.
4.8.4 It is likely that in some cases the client may have to update the logos and they still may have stationery and brochures showing the previously issued The (PQS) certification mark for accredited certificates may only be reproduced as shown certification and the accreditation body logos. Under such circumstance, it is permissible for the client to continue use of the previously issued logo on the understanding that the new logos must be used in the next printing.
Impartiality Independence And Confidentiality Statement
PQS Top management is committed to Impartiality, Independence, and
PQS top management acknowledges the importance of the integrity and impartiality in carrying out
inspection and certification services and carries out its operations fairly, reliably and free from any bias.
PQS is committed to safeguarding impartiality through identifying and assessing risks in all related
certification activities to ensure that impartiality is never compromised.
PQS and its employees undertake to manage Impartiality and independence in such a way to safeguard and
promote objectivity, freedom from conflict of interests, freedom from bias, lack of prejudice, neutrality,
fairness, open-mindedness, even-handedness, detachment and a balance in its management system
certification and inspection activities and throughout the organization.
PQS is an independent certification body that provides third party certification where:
PQS is independent from all parties involved.
PQS and its personnel are not engaged in any activities (including design, manufacture, supply, installation,
purchase, ownership, use or maintenance of the client products/system) that may conflict with their
independence of judgment and integrity in relation to their inspection or certification activities.
PQS is not part of a legal entity that is engaged in design, manufacture, supply, installation, purchase,
ownership, use or maintenance of the client products/system/process..
PQS maintains confidentiality at all levels of its organization concerning information obtained in the course of
No information will be disclosed to any third party unless in response to legal process or required by an
accreditation body as part of the accreditation process.
Rules and Regulations for Certification- Multi-sit Organization
Criteria for Granting Certification of a Multi-site organization:
2.1. General rules and regulation- (Document PID-01)
2.1.1. The rules & regulations specified in the document, PID-01 shall be applicable to all
organizations applying for certification to PQS.
2.2. Rules and regulation- Multi site
2.2.1. For multi-site organizations the rules & regulations specified in this document, PID-03 shall be
additionally applicable. All organizations seeking multi-site certification shall essentially comply with
2.3.1. Multi-site organization is defined as an organization having an identified central function
(central office) at which certain activities are planned, controlled or managed and a network of local
offices and branches (sites) at which such activities are fully or partially carried out.
2.3.2. A multi site organization need not be a unique legal entity, but all sites shall have a legal or
contractual link with the central office and be subject to a common management system. The
management system is laid down, established and subject to continuous surveillance and internal audits
by the central office. This means that the central office has rights to ensure that the sites implement
corrective actions when needed at any site.
2.3.3. The processes at all the sites have to be substantially of the same kind and have to be operated to
similar methods and procedures. Where some of the sites under consideration conduct similar, but
fewer processes than others, they may be eligible for inclusion provided that the site or sites, which
conduct most processes or critical processes, are subject to full audit . All the sites should be in the
2.3.4. Organizations, which conduct their business through linked processes in different locations, are
also eligible for certification under multi-site. Where processes in each location are not similar but are
clearly linked, the sampling plan shall include at least one example of each processes conducted by the
organization (e.g. fabrication of electronic component in one location, assembly of the same
components – by the same company in several other locations)
2.3.5. The organization’s management system shall be under a centrally controlled and administered
plan and be subject to central management review. All the relevant sites including the central office
shall be subject to the organization’s internal audit program and all sites have been audited prior to
2.3.6. The central office has established the management system in accordance with the relevant ISO
or other standard and the whole organization meets the requirements of the standard including relevant
2.3.7. The organization should demonstrate its ability to collect and analyze data (system
documentation and changes, management review, complaints, corrective actions, internal audit, legal
requirements etc) from all sites including the central office and its authority and also demonstrate its
authority and ability to initiate organization changes if required.
2.3.8. If all the sites of an organization where the activity subject to certification is performed are not
ready to be submitted for certification at the same time, the organization shall be required to inform
PQS in advance of the sites that it wants to be included in the certification and those which are to be
2.4.1. Whenever any non-conformity is found at an individual site, either through the organization’s
internal auditing or auditing by PQS , the organization shall investigate whether it leads to a system
deficiency affecting all other sites or limited to the particular site only. If it is found a system
deficiency correction and corrective action should be performed both at central office and at the
individual sites. If the corrective action is limited to only the site where the nonconformity has been
reported, the organization should be able to demonstrate to PQS, the justification for limiting its follow
up corrective action.
2.4.2. At the time of the decision making process, if any site has nonconformity pending the
certification shall be denied to the whole network pending satisfactory corrective action.
2.4.3. It shall not be admissible that, in order to overcome the obstacle raised by the existence of nonconformity
at a single site, the organization seeks to exclude from the scope the “problematic site “site
during the certification process. Such exclusion can only be agreed in advance as stated in section
2.5. Certification Document
2.5.1. PQS shall issue the certificate after completing the procedural requirements (PID-01) and the
sites included in the certificate are either individually audited or audited as per a sampling scheme as
defined in PQS procedure.
2.5.2. PQS shall withdraw the entire certificate if the central office or any of the sites does not fulfill
the necessary provisions for the maintenance of the certification.
2.5.3. As the list of sites needs to be updated by PQS, the organization shall inform PQS about the
closure of any of the sites covered by the certification. Failure to provide such information will be
considered by PQS as a misuse of the certification and PQS shall initiate appropriate action for
suspension as specified in PID-02.
2.5.4. PQS shall grant additional sites to the existing certification either through the routine
surveillance, special audit or re-certification audit.
2.6.1. The number of sites selected for certification shall be based on the norms framed by PQS to
meet the requirements of the applicable standard.
2.6.2. It is not necessary to select the sites before starting of the audit process, but can also be done
after the audit of the central office.
Note: This document should be read in conjunction with general Rules & Regulations for Certification
specified in PID-01.