Complaint and Appeal Procedure

1. Purpose

The purpose of this procedure is to outline the process that should eventuate in the event that a complaint or appeal is received from customers, certified organizations, candidates, certified persons, university students and other parties in regards to the rules, policies, procedures , certification decisions, or overall UCS operations.

2. Scope

The procedure covers the complaints and appeals addressed to UCS in response to the assessment actions, recommendations that follow, and the role of the Appeal Board in reaching a conclusive settlement on account of the appeal.

Table of Contents

3. References

ISO/IEC 17024:2012, clauses 9.8 and 9.9 on Appeals and Complaints

ISO/IEC 17021:2015, clauses 9.7 and 9.8 on Appeals and Complaints

ISO/IEC 17065:2012, clause 7.13 Complaints and appeals

4. Terms and definitions

Complaint:

  • (ISO/IEC 17000:2004, 6.5): expression of dissatisfaction, other than appeal, by any person  or organization to a conformity assessment body, relating to the activities of that body,  where a response is expected;

Appeal:

  • (ISO/IEC 17000:2004, 6.4): request by the provider of the object of conformity assessment to the conformity assessment body for reconsideration by that body of a decision it has made relating to that object.

UCS Services:

  • Certification of management systems, internal auditing, training, documentation toolkit.

5. Procedure overview

The purpose of this procedure is to outline the process that should eventuate in the event that a complaint or appeal is received from customers, certified organizations, candidates, certified persons, university students and other parties in regards to the rules, policies, procedures , certification decisions, or overall UCS operations.

All complaints are reviewed by the Deputy CEO and/or a designated employee assigned by him or her.  The designated employee shall not be part of the staff involved in the assessment against which a complaint or appeal is being issued.

In the event that the person filing the complaint is not satisfied with the review and the decision made upon the complaint, he or she may consider filing an appeal.

Subsequently, UCS appoints an Appeal Board which is in charge of the appeal process, and is accountable for safeguarding the impartiality with respect to the appeal and the operations of the organization.  This structure enables the participation of all parties significantly concerned in the development of policies and principles regarding the content and functioning of the UCS services, without any particular interest is predominating.

The Appeal Board is composed of at least three members with a majority of members being independent of UCS personnel. Upon request of the Appeal Board, the management will provide to the board all the necessary information, including the reasons for all significant decisions, actions, and the selection of persons responsible for particular activities, to enable UCS to ensure proper and impartial decision.

The Appeal Board is independent of management in their recommendations except as required by international or national law. If the recommendation of the board is not respected by the management, the board shall take appropriate measures, which may include informing the accreditation body.

5.1 Criteria for selecting the Appeal Board Members

The members of the Appeal Board are independent and impartial members assigned by UCS. In the event that a member or members of the Appeal Board have a conflict of interest, based upon the facts or circumstances of a specific appeal, including employment or other affiliations of the appellant, UCS management in conjunction with the acting Chair of the Appeal Board shall select a substitute member or members to hear and decide upon that claim.

5.2 Terms and operating procedures

5.2.1 Complaint process

When the candidate disagrees with the evaluation/assessment given he or she must declare in writing the reasons for disapproval to UCS at the earliest convenience.

The complaint shall be submitted immediately after receiving the re-evaluated decision and no later than 30 working days after receiving the decision.

The complaint shall be submitted in writing through e-mail info@ucsiso.com

The complaint, besides the personal information (full name, address and other contact details) of the complainant, shall include the complainant’s personal opinion about the assessment, the reasons for disapproval with the decision reached during the first decision and second evaluation, as well as the settlement being sought.

Submission, investigation and decision on complaints shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the complainant.

Complaints will be reviewed by the Deputy CEO and/or a designated employee assigned by him or her. The designated employee shall not be part of the staff involved in the initial assessment. Complaint reviewer should consider the complainant’s explanation and provide a written response, which includes:

  • a clear explanation, or a repeated explanation of the assessment decision following a re-evaluation of the evidence.

The reviewer of the complaint should reply within 30 working days after receiving a complaint. The complainant will receive an answer on the decision reached in writing (via email).

If the Complainant agrees with the outcome at this stage then the complaint does not proceed to further stages.

If the Complainant is not satisfied with the outcome, then he or she may file an Appeal (see 5.2.2 Appeals process).

If necessary, UCS will take appropriate correction and corrective actions.

All Complaints, including actions taken, will be tracked and recorded by UCS.

5.2.1.1 Instructions to file a complaint:

  1. Go to: www.ucsiso.com
  2. Click “Contact”
  3. Write the subject as complaint
  4. Write your complaint in the description of your message.

Information to include in your complaint:

Beside personal information (full name, email address, telephone), please write the full description of the complaint.

5.2.2 Appeal process

  1. Where the Complainant disagrees with the decisions of stage one (re-evaluation) and stage two (complaint), then he or she may proceed to stage three and file an appeal explaining the reasons for disapproval.

    Steps to be followed by the appellant:

    1. The Appeal shall be submitted soon after receiving the complaint decision and no later than 90 days (three months) after receiving the decision.
    2. The Appeal shall be submitted in writing by e-mail.
    3. The Appeal shall include the Appeal Fees (if applicable).
    4. The Appeal, besides the personal information (full name, address and other contact details) of the Appellant, shall include the opinion about the assessment and why the Appellant is not satisfied with first, second evaluation and a review done after the complaint.

    Steps to be followed by UCS:

    1. UCS appoints an Appeal Board which is in charge of the appeal process, and is accountable for safeguarding the impartiality with respect to the appeal and the operations of the organization.  This structure enables the participation of all parties significantly concerned in the development of policies and principles regarding the content and functioning of the UCS services, without any particular interest is predominating.
    2. Appeal Board will respond to an appellant in writing (via email) within 60 days after receiving the appeal. It should be noted that this decision is absolute and final.
    3. Submission, investigation and decision on Appeals shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the Appellant.
    4. An Appellant will be charged a fee of $200 per appeal. In case the appeal decision is in favor of the Appellant, this fee will be reimbursed to him/her.
    5. If necessary, UCS will take appropriate correction and corrective actions.
    6. All Appeals, including actions taken, will be tracked and recorded by UCS.

5.2.2.1 Instructions to file an appeal:

    1. Go to: www.ucsiso.com
    2. Click “Contact”
    3. Write the subject as appeal
    4. Write your appeal in the description of your message.

    Information to include in your appeal:

    Beside personal information (full name, email address, telephone), please write in a message box your opinion about the assessment and why you are not satisfied with the first, second evaluation and a review done after the complaint.

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