Sira Certification Service Policies

Sira Certification Service operates internationally and provides certification of management systems, personnel and products. Sira is accredited for these activities by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and is appointed as a ‘notified body’ by the UK Government under European Directives.

Quality policy

The policy of Sira Certification Service is to provide, in the most cost effective manner, independent and impartial certification and inspection services which combine technical competence with objectivity and integrity. The Service is nondiscriminatory in operation, with no undue financial or other conditions, and is available to all. It is the policy of the Service to achieve and maintain recognised accreditation for its activities in order to demonstrate its commitment to providing an efficient, commercially aware, competent service.

Audit and certification process

A description of our audit and certification process for granting, maintaining, extending, renewing, reducing, or withdrawing certification is detailed in “Regulations Applicable to Holders of Sira Certificates” and supplementary regulations.

For Management System services you can view our initial audit process here.

Confidentiality

Activities carried out for clients shall be treated as confidential to that client unless otherwise agreed.

Information supplied by clients, the results and documents generated by the certification service and its subcontractors, the contract records that are retained, and the existence of the contract itself (other than any certificates issued) are all treated as “commercial in confidence” and will not be communicated to any third party without written agreement, unless the information is already in the public domain.

Where the law requires information to be disclosed to a third party, the client will be informed of the information disclosed.

Impartiality

Sira has appointed independent impartiality committees whose primary role is to safeguard impartiality of the certification activities of SCS.

The members of the Impartiality Committees are drawn from external organisations having a bona fide and continuing interest in the scope of the certification services provided by SCS, on the basis of maintaining a balanced representation of interests in which no single interest predominates.

Certification status

Sira makes publicly accessible information about the certification status of each of its clients through the Certificate Database. This shows whether a certificate is current, suspended or has been withdrawn.

Certificate withdrawal and suspension policy

Full or partial, temporary suspension or permanent withdrawal of certificates is undertaken in exceptional circumstances and on a case by case basis.

Examples of circumstances that may lead to suspension are not limited to the following,

  • The client’s certified management system or product has persistently or seriously failed to meet certification requirements
  • The certificate holder does not allow surveillance or rectification audits to be conducted at the required facilities or
  • The certificate holder has voluntarily requested a suspension

Failure to resolve issues that have resulted in the suspension in a time established by Sira may result in withdrawal or reduction in the scope of certification.

Appeals process

Sira has a procedure for the considering appeals against its decisions relative to certification.

A customer wishing to appeal should submit the substance of their appeal in writing to the Managing Director who will ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to resolve the issue and will ensure that there are no relationships that may compromise the impartiality of the appeal. If, after implementation of what is considered to be all reasonable steps, the problem is not resolved, the Managing Director will forward the documentation to the Chairman of the Impartiality Committee for independent adjudication.

Complaints

Sira takes complaints against itself and its clients seriously.

Complaints about Sira are normally submitted in writing. All complaints will be logged and given a unique reference number. The complainant shall always receive a written reply to any written complaint.

Complaints about a registered client should also be submitted in writing. For this reasons shown below, these complaints may take longer to fully resolve. We will have to confirmed that the client is registered by Sira, and ensure that they are taking appropriate action, and if required confirm compliance during a subsequent audit of the client

For serious unresolved complaints, the complainant or Sira can request an independent review of the complaint. This request must be made in writing, and will be considered by, the Sira Certification Managing Director, who will forward the documentation to the Chairman of the Impartiality Committee for independent adjudication.