Procedure For Certifications

Procedure for granting, refusing, maintaining of certification, expanding or reducing the scope of certification, renewing, suspending or restoring following suspension, or withdrawing of certification.

  1.0 Purpose

To document, establish, implement and maintain the system for granting, refusing, maintaining, extending, reducing, renewing, suspending or restoring suspension and withdrawal of certification against management system standards referenced in section MSM-04 of the Management System Manual as per requirements of ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015, and other applicable international standards for certification bodies providing management system certification.
   2.0 Scope:
This procedure is applicable to all audits carried out on the client during a certification cycle. 
   3.0 Responsibility:

Scheme Manager

   4.0 Procedure:
4.0 General
LMS ensures that the person or the group of persons involved in the decision making for granting, refusing, maintaining, extending, reducing, renewing, suspending or restoring suspension and withdrawal of certification against management system standards have not participated in the audit.
LMS ensures that the personnel involved in decision-making as stated above have the competence to evaluate the audit processes and the related recommendations of the audit team. The competence requirements are identified in the document WI-03.
The composition of certification panel who takes decision for granting, refusing, maintaining, extending, reducing, renewing, suspending or restoring suspension and withdrawal of certification against management system standards is identified in document WI-03, certification panel
Before taking a decision, the certification panel shall review the audit reports to confirm that
The information provided by the audit team is sufficient with respect to the certification requirements and the scope of the certification
In case of a major non-conformance (refer PM-06), the corrections and corrective actions submitted by the client are reviewed accepted and verified for effectiveness of the actions taken i.e. the non-conformances are closed.
In case of minor non conformances (refer procedure, PM-06) the planned corrections and the corrective actions are reviewed and accepted by the team leader or by the team member.
4.2. Granting the Certification
The final audit reports after initial assessment by Scheme Manager (Procedure: PM-10) are submitted to the certification panel for the technical review and approval
In addition to the points stated in section 4.1.4 the review shall also confirm,
There is evidence that the client’s management system complies with the certification requirements
Both negative and positive observations are made with respect to the client’s management system
The client is capable of meeting the agreed requirements for the product as per the scope for certification
The non conformances raised are meaningful and correctly graded.
The corrections and the corrective action identified by the client appropriate and in conformity with the risk involved.
Internal audit and management review are effective
The recommendation of the audit team is favorable and is justified and accepted
Depending on the risk factor attached to each technical area, the composition of the certification panel is addressed in WI-03. The certification panel shall review the audit reports and take appropriate decision. The review comments and the decision are recorded in LMS-FM-028
After the decision to grant certification, arrangement is made for the issue of certificate. Initially a draft certificate is prepared and it’s correctness of entries verified by the Scheme Manager.
The certificate is signed by Managing Director or by Authorized Person and is issued to the client along with other documents identified in WI-05.
If the recommendation made by the assessment team is not accepted by the panel, the client and the audit team are accordingly informed with an explanation. LMS shall further interact with the client to initiate appropriate action to resolve the issue.
4.2.7. Certification Document
The final certificate shall be sent to the client along with conditions for the use of logo and the certification mark, PID-03 and the logos in soft copy.
The Certification document shall include:
Name and geographical location of the client
Dates of granting, extending and renewing certification
Expiry date or the re-certification due date
For Certificate Number we are giving for Country Code + S No
The management system standard, including the issue number and /or the revision number, used for the audit of the certified client
The scope of certification including any exclusion (exclusion applicable to only QMS)
The name, address and the certification mark of LMS and the accreditation symbol as per guidelines of the accreditation body
A means to identify the revised documents from any prior obsolete documents, in the vent of issue of revised certificate,
Any other information required by the standard used for certification
Revision number & date along with original certification number to distinguish the revised documents from any prior obsolete documents
Validity period of certification document: The certificate issued against any specific management system standard is valid for three years from date of decision on certification
4.2. (A) Refusing the Certification.
If any of the clause or Sub Clause  of Section “4.4 Granting of Certification “will be breached or violated or not complying then certification can be refused.
Certification Review Board (CRB) have the discretion to refuse any of the certificate approval.
If any threat to impartiality or Certification Decision occurs then Management /IB can Refuse the certification.
4.3 Maintaining the Certification
The Certification is maintained for a period of 3 years under the following conditions.
The Surveillance Audits are conducted as planned and the client has demonstrated that it continues to satisfy the requirements of the management system standard as confirmed by LMS
All the non-conformance raised during previous surveillance are closed within the time frame agreed and correction and corrective actions for the non conformities raised during the current audit are identified and accepted by LMS as described in procedure PM-06
The Internal Audit and the management reviews are conducted as scheduled and there are no issues pending.
The client shall maintain suitable records of customer complaints and keep the records of investigation and remedial actions taken with respect to such complaints for verification by the LMS auditors
All outstanding dues to LMS are paid
The certification panel approves the audit
4.4. Expanding the Certification Scope
Any request by the client for any expansion of scope is dealt as per procedure, PM-07.
The decision for granting extension is taken as described in sections 4.1 and 4.2 of this procedure.
LMS shall issue a new certificate with amended scope without any change in the certification period as identified in the previous certification document. The new certificate shall contain revision number and date.
4.5. Reducing the Certification

LMS shall decide to reduce the client’s scope of certification by excluding the parts not meeting the requirements, when the client has persistently and seriously failed to meet the certification requirements for those parts of the scope of certification. Such exclusions shall be consistent with the certification standard.

If the reduction in scope is requested by the client it shall be dealt as per procedure –PM-07
The decision for reducing the scope is taken as described in sections 4.1 and 4.2 of the procedure.
LMS shall issue a new certificate with amended scope without any change in the certification period as identified in the previous certification document. The new certificate shall contain revision number and date.
4.6 Renewing the certification or re-certification
LMS shall renew the certification as per procedure for re-certification PM-09
LMS shall make decisions on renewing certification based on the following,
The results of the re-certification audit
The results of the review of the system over the period of certification
Complaints received from customers of certified clients
The decision for re-certification is taken as described in sections 4.1 and 4.2 of this procedure.
LMS shall issue a new certificate as described in sections 4.2.8 and 4.2.9 of this procedure
4.7 Suspending, Restoring or Withdrawing Certification
4.7.1 Suspending certification LMS shall suspend certification in cases wherein
The client’s certified management system has persistently or seriously failed to meet certification requirements, including requirements for the effectiveness of the management system.
The client does not allow surveillance and re-certification audits to be conducted at the agreed frequencies.
Wishful misuse of logo & reference to certification.
Non-compliance to submission of Corrective action as stated procedure PM-06.
Voluntary suspension requested by the client
Non-payment of dues to LMS
For re-certification and surveillance audits if the client does not submit the corrective action within 20 workings days from the date of audit, it shall lead to suspension of certification.
For certification audit the failure on the part of the client to submit the corrective action within the stipulated time may lead to show cause notice by LMS. If the client does not respond favorably within 03 months the audit shall be treated as cancelled.
The suspension shall be for a period of maximum 06 months and the suspended status of the client shall be publicly made available in the register of certified clients being maintained by LMS at its registered office. During this period the client shall discontinue the use of logo or any reference of certification in advertising matter, as directed by LMS, at the time of giving notice of suspension and the same also addressed in PID-02 (Rules and Regulations for Certification) and LMS-FM-060 (Certification Agreement) addressed in.
The decision for suspending certification is taken by the certification panel of LMS. Restoring certification
In most cases, the suspension would not exceed six months, after complying with Suspension conditions and Closure Recommendation of CAR’s as per CRB Decision or recomendation/Management Decision Certification Can be Restored.
4.7.2 Withdrawing certification
LMS shall withdraw the certificate under the following circumstances.
Failure of the client to resolve the issues of suspension within six months shall result in withdrawal of certification
Other reasons like major legal complaint; company involved in malpractices, LMS loses accreditation etc.
Client voluntarily requested for a withdrawal.
Upon withdrawal of certification the client ceases to enjoy the certification status and shall accordingly return the certificate as directed by LMS at the time of withdrawal notice.
The decision for withdrawing certification is taken by the certification panel of LMS.
upon request from any party LMS shall correctly state the status of certification of a client’s management system as being suspended, withdrawn or reduced.
  5.0 Records
LMS shall recommend certification of the client’s management system, based on the following.
LMS-FM-028 – Certification Panel Decision   
LMS-FM-015 / 009 Audit summary report , as applicable
LMS-FM-060- Certification Agreement
  6.0 Reference
PM-06-Procedure for initial audit
PM-07- Procedure for special audit
PM-08- Procedure for surveillance audit
PM-09-Procedure for re-certification audit
PM-10- Procedure for assessment of audit report
PID-03- Conditions for use of logo & certification mark
WI-05- Documents sent to client
WI-03. Certification panel
PID-02, Rules and Regulations for Certification
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