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  1. Scope

This procedure applies to complaints, appeals and disputes filed by clients on certification services offered by TQA

  1. Objective

This procedure specifies the handling of complaints, appeals & disputes filed by clients on certification work , services and other decisions

  1. References

3.1 EP-13 Corrective and Preventive Action Procedure

3.2 ISO/IEC GUIDE 62/66

3.3 ISO 22003

3.4 ISO 27006

  1. Operation Criteria

4.1 All complaints, appeal & disputes from clients should be dealt with in an equal & prompt and correct manner.

4.2 CA/PA for all complaints, appeal & disputes from clients should be constantly taken until clients are satisfied.

4.3 All appeal, complaints & disputes from clients should be analyzed then reflected to the system.

4.4 In the case appeals and complaints handling process are requested, they should be provided.

4.5 TQA shall be responsible for appeals & complaints handling process.

4.6All decision of appeals and complaints handling process shall be taken by the persons who were not engaged in the audits and the certification decisions.

4.7 Submission, investigation and decision on appeals and complaints shall not result in any discriminatory actions the appellant.

4.8 About appeals and complaints, any appropriate correction and corrective action shall be taken.

4.9 Upon receipt of a complaint, TQA shall confirm whether the complaint relates to certification activities that it is responsible for and, if so, shall deal with it. If the complaint relates to a certified client, then examination of the complaint shall consider the effectiveness of the certified management system.

      5.Operation procedures

  1. Detailed procedures

6.1 Definition on terminology

6.1.1 Dispute

Cases for removing problems and opinion gap raised by interested party about certification criteria, interpretation of the standard, certification procedure & operation decided by TQA

6.1.2 Complaint

Cases where official complaints is submitted in writing by interested party regarding certification criteria, certification procedure & operation decided by TQA

6.1.3 Appeal

Cases where official complaints is submitted in writing by the interested party that has been influenced directly by TQA’s decision on certification or handling results of above appeals and disputes

6.1.4 Client

It refers to an organization and individual that influence directly and indirectly on certification body. For instance, certified organization, accreditation board, worker for next process as an internal client.

6.2 To raise dispute & complaints

6.2.1 When any of the following is caused, client may submit petition in writing to TQA within 5 days upon occurrence of such ;

  • When application for certification is rejected without proper reason
  • When the results & process of audit can not be agreed
  • When visible or invisible damage is made or expected because TQA’s organization and its member or audit & auditors violated regulations or criteria related to certification
  • When other transaction by TQA wasn’t satisfied
  • When clients of a certified client lodge a complaint against the certified client.

6.2.2 In principle, dispute & complaint raised by a client is registered in the planning of Admin dept. In case it was registered in other dept., relevant documents should be handed over to planning & Admin dept

6.3 Registration of Appeals, complaints & disputes

6.3.1 Where appeals, complaint and disputes are received, TQA shall acknowledge receipt of the appeal and shall provide the appellant with progress reports and the outcome.

6.3.2 Manager of planning & Admin dept should investigate, through clients, the root cause of registered disputes and complaint, review & establish countermeasure.

6.3.3 Planning & Admin manager register appeals, complaints & disputes on clients’ complaints list when they come in writing or verbally. And he/she produces CAR/PAR or NC report immediately then, report to scheme manager, who brings up to certification committee if necessary so that countermeasures can be taken.

6.4 Review

6.4.1 Scheme manager reviews CAR, require relevant dept to complete CA & PA in case raised issues were generated from internal problems of TQA

6.4.2 Tabled agenda should be dealt by members who have no direct/indirect interests in registered complaints, appeals & disputes. Members of committee review them against clause 6.4.3 then suggest countermeasure. Petitioner can object against composition of committee members then TQA can change a member

6.4.3 Review Contents

Certification committee should review reported appeals, complaints & analyze root cause at the presence of the following persons

1) TQA staff, auditor & self-Employed auditors related to complaints & appeals

2) Petitioner who raised complaints & appeals

3) About Complaints by clients of a certified client, TQA shall examine by objective evidence and determine whether special surveillance is needed or not.

If special surveillance is determined, according to procedures of special surveillance, it shall be conducted.

6.4.4 Review procedure

1) Certification committee requires CA & PA to take in writing immediately when the results turned out to be TQA’s faults

2) In case of client’s faults, TQA negotiated with related clients and dispose of appropriately

6.5 Action

6.5.1 CA & PA

1) Notice

(1) Scheme manager & certification committee issue CAR &PAR on final results

(2) Scheme manager gives notice to relevant dept of TQA so that CA & PA can be taken

(3) Relevant dept should take the following actions

–  Root cause and reason of appeals, complaints & disputes are clearly analyzed

–  Whether appeals, complaints & disputes are against related laws and regulations, system of TQA, ISO 19011, ISO 17021, ISO 22003, ISO/IEC 27006 and other criteria decided by Accreditation Body

2) Notice of review results

Planning & admin dept should verify final result of CA & PA and give notice to the client.

3) Verification on CA & PA

Manager of planning & Admin dept takes the following actions to verify effectiveness of PA & CA

(1) whether petitioner is satisfied with actions or not

(2) If applicable, whether system has been improved reasonably or not

(3) Investigation on regenerated items afterwards

  • Manager of planning & Admin dept should report to scheme manager the results of CA & PA, scheme manager verifies CA& PA then closes them out. Manager of Planning & Admin dept. signs off on customer complaints master list.

6.5.2 Action on raised appeals

1) Manager of Planning & Admin dept. should be connected tightly with clients not to be appealed & he or she must do his or her best to dispose of it in advance

2) When appeals generated from TQA’s faults, scheme manager should immediately have CA taken by relevant manager. When it’s from client’s faults, it will be worked out by mutual consensus

3) However incase solution suggested by TQA certification committee doesn’t satisfy client then TQA can bring this matter to the 3rd meditation party through mutual consensus & follow its decision

(1) Certification work and service related to the audit -> accreditation body

(2) Delinquent feeàcourt

(3) Abuse by mass media, press, àpress arbitration commission, fair trade committee

6.5.3 Receipt and handling of potential dispute & complaints of certified company

Client’s latent dispute, complaints will be analyzed, verified in the dept of verification on suitability & impartiality of assessment to take follow-up action.

6.6 Compensation

Regarding client’s loss by certification work of TQA, client is compensated properly when clients present their loss officially and clearly

6.6.1 TQA is responsible for expenses of re-audit incase audit results turned out to be mistake

6.6.2 When administrative arrangement resulted in faults on maintaining of certification, Scheme manager decides compensation through negotiation with clients

6.6.3 Manager of planning & admin dept should bring relevant material to operation committee when client requests compensation for other issues other than above including TQA’s fault.

6.6.4 In case client doesn’t accept the decision made by operation committee, TQA follows the clause 6.5.2

6.7 Client’s Complaints, Dispute and Appeals-Handling Process

6.7.1 The final result for the appellant shall be decided, reviewed and approved by the person(s) who are totally irrelevant with the appellant.

6.7.2 The manager of Planning & Admin dept. shall give formal notice to the appellant of the end of the complaints, appeals and disputes-handling processes.

  1. Record control

All records related to appeals, complaints & disputes are referred to [records control procedure EP-16].

  1. Related Document (Cross Reference)
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