The steps in the certification process

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BPIC Sp.zo.o. Certification programme. (version 7.2 from 2019.10.25)

STEP 1: Enquiry

The certification process begins with the client providing the data necessary to prepare the offer in the form of a request for quotation, telephone contact or by e-mail.

STEP 2: Capability Analysis and Offer preparation

On the basis of information about your company, and after ascertaining our capability of carrying out the certification process, we prepare an offer, which we provide together with the application form, and the general conditions of the contract.

STEP 3: Notification / signing of the contract

The offer includes information on the price, number of audit days, basic data on which the calculation is based, conditions for the entire audit cycle, as well as the application form. Returning the signed application form represents the acceptance of the offer and constitutes the contract.

STEP 4: Planning the certification

After receiving the signed application form / agreement, the BPIC representative will contact you to arrange the date of the certification audit and the method of receiving your system documentation. The system documentation will allow the auditor to become familiar with your system and prepare an audit plan. Then we appoint a lead auditor who will be the main contact person both during the certification process and at a later date. The designated lead auditor is competent in your area of activity. The composition of the audit team is provided to the organization 7 days in advance of the audit date.

The organization has the right to change individual members of the audit team, e.g. in the event of a conflict of interest, unethical behaviour, etc. The submission of such an application should take place no later than 5 days after receiving information from BPIC on the composition of the team. In justified cases, BPIC will change the proposed composition of the audit team.
Evaluators / auditors under training or observers from the Polish Centre for Accreditation may participate in the audit. [Participation of the above persons does not burden the organisation financially]. In addition, their participation in the certification process is organised in such a way as not to obstruct the audit activities carried out by the members of the audit team..

STEP 5: Initial Certification- Stage 1 Documented system evaluation

The first stage of the audit is carried out at your premises. This stage involves the Lead auditor:

  •  getting to know the Top Management, their management representative ( during the opening meeting), the organisational structure,
    ? confirming the scope of certification,
    ? familiarising himself with the plant (location),
    ? assessing the management system documentation to verify compliance with the standard and the company?s objectives,
    ? evaluation of the internal audit and management review.

The information obtained during this stage of the certification process will allow the state of readiness for carrying out the second stage of certification to be evaluated and planned. The Lead Auditor prepares a report containing audit findings indicating areas or standard elements that may be classified as nonconformities during the second stage. The first stage is concluded with a closing meeting with the Top Management during which a draft report is presented. During the meeting the second stage audit plan is presented and agreed which is also included in the final report. If there were any nonconformities during this stage, then it is necessary to introduce corrective actions (or plan them if they are long term actions) before the second stage. The interval between the first and second stage audits cannot be longer than 6 months and shorter than 7 days. In justified cases, the Managing Director may shorten this time.

STEP 5: Initial Certification- Stage 2 Evaluation of the Implemented management system effectiveness

The purpose of this certification stage is to check the compliance and effectiveness of the implemented management system with the requirements of the adopted standard and the established documentation. The audit begins with an opening meeting attended by top management and its representative. The auditors carry out the audit in designated company?s organisational units according to the plan. The purpose of the second stage is to gather objective evidence confirming that your company's management system meets the requirements of a given standard(s) and is effective. The audit is carried out at the personnel?s work stations by observing processes, talking to employees and analysing records in the organisation. The Lead Auditor prepares an audit report, which is presented to the top management at the closing meeting. The report containing the recommendation relating to the granting / not granting certification will be forwarded BPIC?s office for its verification (the report cannot be forwarded to the client during the audit).

In the event of nonconformance, the Organisation should provide BPIC with a corrective action plan (within 14 days from the date of receipt of the audit report) containing an analysis of the root cause(s) of the nonconformance(s), planned correction actions (for removing the nonconformance(s)) and corrective actions (removing the cause of the nonconformance), as well as deadlines for their implementation and assigned responsible personnel. The Lead auditor reviews the activities proposed by the organisation based on his notes / audit report, documents provided and, in some cases, information from an additional audit. The final decision regarding the recommendation is made by the BPIC Evaluator.

Step 6 Certificate Issue

The lead auditor provides BPIC with a complete audit report and notes. The evaluator decides whether to grant / refuse to grant a certificate based on:

  • the audit report with comments on nonconformance (if any) and where possible, corrections and corrective actions taken by the client;
    ? the review of documentation of the certification process;
    ? the Lead Auditor's recommendation for certification with all conditions and observations; any other applicable information (e.g. publicly available information).

The organisation is informed in writing about the decision taken, and in the case of a positive decision, the certificate is sent electronically in a printable version. At the client's request, BPIC can also prepare a printed or decorative version of the certificate.

In the case of initial certification, the certificate is issued for 3 years from the date of the decision to grant certification. If the certificate is modified during the certification cycle, the original certificate validity date is maintained, consistent with the certification cycle.

Step 7: Surveillance audit and recertification audit

The first- and second-year surveillance and re-certification audits are carried out according to steps 2-6.
The first surveillance audit should take place no later than 12 months from the date of the decision to grant certification.

In the case of re-certification, all activities should be completed before the renewed certificate expires.
In the case of the re-certification audit, three potential possibilities are distinguished, but in each case a new certificate is issued for 3 years:

  1. - Re-certification without substantial content modification of the certificate (address, scope, standard)- when the certificate has less than 3 months validity- the new certificate commences the day after the renewal (maintaining certificate continuity);
    - Re-certification without substantial content modification of the certificate (address, scope, standard)- when the certificate has more than 3 months validity ? the start of the validity of the new certificate = decision date.
    - Re-certification with modification of the substantive content - in each case the start date of validity = decision date.
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