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The certification process

At QMS, we are experts in the certification process – with well over 25 years of experience helping businesses improve and grow.

We take time to understand the needs and unique circumstances of our clients and their businesses to act with judgement, sensitivity and care.

We explore every problem with care and precision to ensure we have the data in place to draw the right conclusions.

Our management systems certification follows a simple step-by-step process as detailed below.

  1. Application process

Our team assist you to complete the application process, by determining the factors important to your certification. These can include your certified scope of activities, worker numbers, certified locations and applicability of requirements of your chosen standards. We then perform a formal review of the application and calculate your assessment duration and frequency. 

  1. Fee Proposal

We provide a complete and fixed price proposal right from the very start. Unlike some of our competitors, we do not have hidden fees – just a simple and transparent proposal. When comparing certification providers, you should look out for open-ended items such as  ‘admin fees’, ‘certificate fees’, and ‘change fees’. With QMS, you get what you see – full transparency at all times. 

  1. Optional Gap Analysis

If you are unsure if you are ready for certification, we can complete a gap analysis against the basic requirements of the standard(s). This can give you comfort that your organisation is ready for certification – or identify the gaps that still remain. This process is optional for any organisation at any time.

  1. Initial Stage 1 Assessment

A Stage 1 Assessment is mandatory to review your organisation’s preparedness for certification. Our assessor will conduct a high-level review of your management system and related documents, evaluate site-specific requirements for future assessment, and consider your organisation’s readiness for a Stage 2 Compliance assessment.

With our deep understanding of the requirements of the standard(s), we will ensure internal assessments and management review processes are substantial enough for compliance, and generally review allocation of resources for the Stage 2 assessment. A report is prepared, identifying areas of conformance or non-conformance – and any gaps in conformance will have to be addressed prior to commencement of a Stage 2 assessment. 

  1. Initial Stage 2 Assessment

The Stage 2 Assessment is conducted to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of your organisation’s management system. This assessment will cover all requirements of the standard(s). A comprehensive report is provided, detailing all areas of conformance or non-conformance. If no major non-conformances are issued, our assessor will recommend your organisation for certification.

We must then perform a formal technical review of the Stage 1 and Stage 2 assessment documents and make a formal decision to grant certification. If, for some reason, certification is refused, this decision will be in writing and made available to you. That said, it is extremely rare for a certification to be refused. 

  1. Surveillance Assessments

For the following two years, surveillance assessments are required to verify the ongoing implementation and maintenance of your management system and to ensure ongoing compliance with the standard(s). The frequency of surveillance assessments depends on many factors (such as the size and scope of the organisation and the number of certified locations) but typically it will be performed annually.

Surveillance assessments are generally a smaller assessment, focusing on key areas of the standard. A report is provided, detailing all areas of conformance or non-conformance. If no major non-conformances are issued, your certification status will be maintained. 

  1. Recertification

Three years after your initial successful Stage 2 Assessment, we are required to perform a recertification assessment. This is similar to the initial Stage 2 Assessment and reviews your ongoing compliance against all requirements of the standard(s).

A comprehensive report is provided, detailing all areas of conformance or non-conformance. If no major non-conformances are issued, our assessor will recommend continuation of certification.

  1. Expanding or Reducing the Certification Scope

At any time, as a certified client you may request a change to your scope of certification. This can occur for many reasons including a change in the activities of your organisation, an acquisition of another business, or the addition of new business locations.

QMS must formally review the changes applied for; and then determine if those changes will have an impact on the planned assessment frequency, assessment durations, or if any new assessment activities are required.

At QMS we are leading the charge in assessment and certification

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