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Why URS?Assessment ProcessSystem CertificationsTraining Service
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Process Description

The actual process of certification is a relatively straightforward matter.
Indeed, most of the certification schemes follow the same basic procedures as outlined in the 6 steps.

STEP 1 Application

The URS office will acknowledge the client's application and request the client to submit the appropriate documentation which addresses the standard, or standards, that certification is being applied for - the documentation required relates typically to policy statements, copies of client procedures and/or sample work instructions.

STEP 2 Document Audit

Upon receipt of the documentation supplied by the client (see previous step), the designated Lead Auditor will be requested to formally review the documentation and provide a written report to the client.

If the report is satisfactory, albeit with minor points raised, the Lead Auditor will agree a date(s) for the formal on-site audit to take place.

Where the report is not satisfactory, following the document review, the client will be asked to correct the points raised, prior to the formal on-site audit being arranged.

STEP 3 On-site Audit

After an initial meeting to explain the audit process and to introduce the audit team, the audit will be conducted. The purpose of the audit is to determine whether the systems, described in the documentation, are being followed by the client and that the necessary records are being aintained to demonstrate compliance to the standard(s).

A written report will be produced at the close of the audit and a copy given to the client. Where there are minor non-compliance points raised, the client will need to close out the item(s), prior to registration being recommended; this may mean a limited re-audit of the client's business where major non-compliance points are identified.

Where there are no non-compliance points, automatic registration will be recommended by the Lead Auditor.

STEP 4 Surveillance Audit

Once registration has been recommended and a certificate issued, the client will be placed on an agreed surveillance regime. For the smaller company, this may mean a single one-day visit per annum. However, for the larger client and dependening upon the standard registered, the surveillance man-day requirements can be more onerous - see notes after step six.

At each surveillance visit, a random sample of the client's system will be audited, but the approach will be similar to that of the formal on-site audit - see the previous step. As such, a written report will be issued at the close of each surveillance visit and providing no major non-compliance points are raised, continued registration will be maintained.

STEP 5 Issue Certificate

The initial certificate of registration is valid for a three-year period, providing the client complies with the "rules and regulations" of URS, and the surveillance visits scheduled during the three-year period are satisfactory.

After the three-year period has elapsed, a triennial review is conducted to ensure that all is in order for a new certificate, valid for a further three-year period, to be issued. The process then repeats as from step five.

NOTES

  As stated previously, the process described in steps 1-6 is in essence the same for all certifiable schemes offered by URS. However, some schemes have slight variations. For example, ISO 14001 requires an intermediate visit to the client, after the document review, but before the formal on-site audit.
     
  The above referenced visit is required to ensure the significant aspects have been addressed in the determination of the overall management programme.
     
  QS-9000, TS 16949, AS 9100 and HACCP requirements have additional requirements for auditing and as such, the audit man-day times are greater than those published for ISO 9001.
     
  All man-day requirements are published by the IAF and as such, the client can verify whether any quoted times are reasonable and fair.
 
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