• iso 9001:2015 certification
  • iso 14001:2004 certification
  • iso 2000-1:2011 certification
  • iso 22000:2005 food certification
  • iso 27001:2005 certification
  • ohsas 18001:2007 certification
  • iso 13458:2003 certification medical device QMS

Appeal & Complaint Handling

An applicant, a certified company or any interested party may appeal against a decision of AQC. The matter is referred to the Appeals Panel whose decision is final. This Procedure is also publicly available on AQC website.

AQC is responsible for gathering and verifying all necessary information to validate the appeal.

Appeal Administration

  • 1. In the event of an applicant, Certified Company or any interested party, wishing to contest any decision of AQC, he shall, within 14 days after having been officially informed of such a decision, give notice in writing to AQC of his desire to appeal against the decision. The receipt of the appeal is acknowledged by AM and the applicant is informed of the progress made and the outcome. AQC is responsible for all decisions at all levels of the appeals-handling process.
  • 2. Tracking and recording appeals, including actions undertaken to resolve them ensuring that any appropriate correction and corrective action are taken are done by AM in format no AQC-CA-F-13 and presented in front of Impartial Committee.
  • 3. On receipt of such an appeal, the AM, shall advise the Board of Directors and the Impartial Committee of the details of the appeal received. The Impartial committee will proceed to constitute an independent Appeals Panel. The Appeals Panel will comprise of a Chairman who will be assisted by atleast one member of the Impartial Committee representing the area of technical expertise related to the nature of the appellant's activities under certification. The appellant will have the right to object against the inclusion of any person in the Appeals Panel. All members chosen to form the Appeals Panel shall not have been previously involved in the decision appealed against. AQC also ensures that the persons engaged in the appeals-handling process are different from those who carried out the audits and made the certification decisions.
  • 4. The meeting of the Appeal Panel shall be held within 30 days of the receipt of notification from the appellant and the appellant will be provided with at least 7 clear days of written notice of the time and place of the Appeals Panel Meeting. Prior to the meeting of the Appeals Panel the existing decision of AQC is to remain in force.
  • 5. At the Appeals Panel meeting of both the appellant and the appropriate representative from AQC shall be entitled to be heard in confidence and majority decision of the Appeals Panel shall be final. While taking decision the results of previous similar appeals are taken into account.
  • 6. AM shall ensure that the appellant is advised in writing of the decision of the Appeals Panel within 7 days of the decision. The AM shall record details of the appeal in the Register of Appeals and implement the decision of the appeals panel, as required. On conclusion of the appeal, the AM will also review the grounds of appeal and evaluate if any possible improvements to AQC’s control systems are required. A description of the appeals handling process is available on AQC website to make it Publically accessible.
  • 7. AQC ensures through Appeal Panel that the decision to be communicated to the appellant made by, or reviewed and approved by, individual(s) not previously involved in the subject of the appeal.
  • 8. The AM shall ensure that the submission, investigation and decision on Appeals shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the appellant that any appropriate correction and corrective action are taken. The certification body shall give formal notice to the appellant at the end of the appeals handling process.

Complaint Administration

Any complaint received by AQC in writing or by e-mail or telephone in respect of its functions as a certification body or a company certified by it, shall be fully reviewed by the CEO and shall be recorded in the complaint register with its nature. The tracking and recording complaints, including actions undertaken in response to them is maintained by CEO in AQC –CA-F-11

  • If the complaint relates to the certified client:
    • CEO must ensure that the effectiveness of the certified management system is checked by competent auditor(s), who were not involved with the client previously.
    • The letter in question is sent to certified client within 14 days of receiving of complaint and recorded in the complaint register. The tracking and recording complaints, including actions undertaken in response to them is maintained by CEO in AQC –CA-F-11.
  • If the complaint is about certified client management system:
    • The CEO ensures that the effectiveness of the certified management system is checked by competent auditor(s)/person(s) who were not involved with the client previously.
    • After root cause analysis, method to eliminate cause of complaint would be arrived at and suitable corrective and preventive measures instituted. The concerned auditors may be summoned to confirm the facts if it relates to certification activity.
    • If the complaint is against an officer of AQC including CEO then it will be investigated by the chairman of the Impartial Committee.
    • The complaint shall be closed within 45 days of the receiving of the complaint.
  • Verify the promptness and effectiveness of the actions. Taken in respect of the complaint received ensure its prompt disposal.
  • Ensure that the complainant is advised of the result of the investigation within six weeks of the receipt of the complaint.
  • All complaints, after redressed & disposal, shall be closed through a closing note / closing call by the CEO. Where applicable, certification will be restored as quickly as possible.
  • Ensures that any appropriate correction and corrective action are taken and also suitable preventive action is taken to avoid recurrence of such cases.
  • Ensure that Effectiveness of the measures adopted are covered during the Management Review Meeting
  • The entire process to be followed meets the requirement of confidentiality as it relates to the complaint and to the subject of the complaint. The complaints are recorded in the complaint register.
  • Gather and verify all necessary information to validate the complaint.
  • If the complaint is about certified client management system:
  • The CEO ensures that the effectiveness of the certified management system is checked by competent auditor(s)/person(s) who were not involved with the client previously.
  • After root cause analysis, method to eliminate cause of complaint would be arrived at and suitable corrective and preventive measures instituted. The concerned auditors may be summoned to confirm the facts if it relates to certification activity.
  • If the complaint is against an officer of AQC including CEO then it will be investigated by the chairman of the Impartial Committee.
  • The complaint shall be closed within 45 days of the receiving of the complaint.