As a JAS-ANZ accredited certification body, we believe that impartiality lies is at the core of all aspects of the certification and training QMS delivers.
Through formal and informal meetings and discussions, QMS maintains a culture and professional environment that champions:
As a preventive measure, the importance of impartiality is emphasised as part of the on-site evaluation of assessors during their first assessment on behalf of QMS.
QMS has identified, analysed, documented and incorporated controls on the following possibilities for conflict of interests arising from the provision of certification services.
The process of assessor selection, assessment and certification decision is carried out by QMS in a way that ensures that the issue of ‘Certificate of Approval’ is based upon objective evidence of conformity with the relevant criteria. The entire certification process (including internal assessments and management reviews) is carried out under the close supervision of management and is being reviewed at least once each year by the independent QMS Advisory Board.
QMS management and its employees will not exert undue financial conditions, practice any form of discrimination or other conditions upon the applicant or certified organisation that may be detrimental to our reputation.
Through the in-depth review of the CVs of assessors and their current affiliations, QMS ensures that assessors have no financial interest (shares etc.) in the clients being assessed by them. Also, through signed Conflict of Interest Agreements, it is made mandatory for assessors to reveal all situations of potential conflict. In such situations, it is ensured that the concerned assessor is not included in the assessment team or certification decision process.
Should one of our assessors be found to be exerting undue financial or other conditions upon the auditee organisation, then appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against that assessor.
Our documented system ensures that the decision for certification, complaint, appeal etc. will be taken by an individual that is not associated with the related certification, complaint, appeal etc.
QMS direct employees are prohibited from engaging in management system assessment activities, which includes participation in an active manner in the development of a management system to be assessed by, for example; preparing or producing manuals, handbook or procedures, participating in the decision making process regarding management system matters, and giving specific advice towards the development and implementation of management systems for eventual certification/registration.
All assessment staff are prohibited from participating in the assessment of any organisation to which they have given assistance in document preparation, in-house training, internal assessment, or where they have any financial or commercial interest for a minimum period of two years prior to the date of application of the organisation for certification.
All assessors associated with QMS are prohibited from conducting internal assessments to its certified clients. Also, we will not undertake third-party certification of the management system of an organisation, where it has provided internal assessment services in the past two years.
Subcontracted assessors will not be involved in any certification activities (including assessments) with any clients of the subcontracted assessor or his employer.
Certification activities for a client shall not be undertaken by QMS within two years of presenting an in-house course. Even after two years, it will be ensured that the trainer(s) involved in imparting training is not selected as an assessor(s) for that particular organisation.
As a fully independent certification body, QMS is not linked to any management system certification organisation and will take immediate action to correct inappropriate claims by any management system certification organisation stating or implying that certification would be simpler, easier, faster or less expensive if QMS were used. Similarly, we will not promote any management system certification organisation by stating or implying that certification would be simpler, easier, faster or less expensive if a specified certification organisation were used.
If QMS determines that one of our assessors has an unacceptable familiarity with a client then we will change assessors (for at least one assessment) after completion of one certification cycle to eliminate or reduce familiarity threat that may arise due to a long-standing professional relationship (by virtue of conducting assessments) with an auditee.
As addressed above, a threat due to familiarity because of a long-standing personal relationship will be eliminated by not including that assessor(s) in an assessment team or certification decision process for that particular organisation where such a relationship is established.
In relation to any disagreement(s) on findings being identified during the assessment, QMS assessors are encouraged to raise that particular issue in the assessment report, asking the auditee to complain or appeal to us against the finding(s) if they wish.
Similarly, QMS will not be coerced by any auditee or other interested parties with a fear of being replaced while carrying out certification activities. We are committed and determined to carry out certification activities without any fear of litigations, replacement etc. However, auditees are made aware of the appeal process, in case they are not satisfied with any of the decisions being taken by QMS.
QMS ensures that subcontracted technical assessors are selected after a careful scrutiny of any potential conflicts of interest, to eliminate or minimise any competitive threat between auditee and assessor.
QMS has identified the potential areas of conflict of interest due to any relationship based on ownership, governance, management, personnel, shared resources, finances, contracts, marketing and payment of a sales commission or other inducement for the referral of new clients that could threaten the impartiality of its certification activities.
If any relationship poses an unacceptable threat to impartiality, we will not undertake a related certification assignment.
QMS will not certify any other certification body for its management system certification activities; and we will take action to respond to any threats to our impartiality arising from the actions of other persons, bodies or organisations.
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