* Our Process *

Three steps to certification

  • Application You will need to fill in an application form in order for AQS GLOBAL to understand your company and requirements. You can do this by completing either the online quote or formal quote request form. We will use this information to accurately define the scope of certification and provide you with a proposal for certification.
  • Assessment – Once you’ve agreed your proposal, your assessments will be booked with an AQS GLOBAL Auditor. This assessment consists of two mandatory visits that form the Initial Certification Audit. Please note that you must be able to demonstrate your management system has been fully operational for a minimum of three months and has been subject to a management review and full cycle of internal audits.
  • Certification – Following a successful two stage audit, a certification decision is made if positive, then certificate is issued by AQS GLOBAL. You will receive a hard copy of the certificate. Certificate is valid for three years and is maintained through a program of annual surveillance audits and a three yearly recertification audit.

 Initial certification audit

Stage 1

The purpose of this assessment is to confirm that your organization is ready for full assessment. This assessment will take place at your management system (normally head office) and will be a documentation review assessment.

During the stage 1 assessment, auditor  will:

  • Confirm the accuracy of the information that you submitted during the application process
  • Confirm that the management system conforms to the requirements of the standard
  • Confirm the implementation status of your management system(s)
  • Confirm the scope of certification
  • Check legislative compliance

The output of the stage 1 assessment will be:

  • A report that identifies any non-compliance or opportunities for improvement. This will include an agreed corrective action plan if required
  • The scheduling of the stage 2 assessment visit
  • An assessment plan for the stage 2 assessment

Stage 2

The purpose of this assessment is to confirm that the management system fully conforms to the requirements of the chosen standard in practice. If you undertake site work, or have more than one location that you want within the scope of your certification then auditor will also need to audit these activities / locations.

During the stage 2 assessment, Auditor will:

  • How the system complies with the standard by using objective evidence
  • Undertake sample audits of the processes and activities defined in the scope of certification
  • Visit any remote locations, additional sites or remote activities to evaluate the effectiveness of the management system off site
  • Report any non-conformities or opportunities for improvement
  • Produce a surveillance plan and agree a date for the first annual surveillance visit

If the auditor identifies any major non-conformances, certification cannot be issued until corrective action is taken and verified. Accreditation requirements stipulate that if this is not completed within 6 months, then certification cannot be recommended without a further stage 2 assessment.

Surveillance audit

Once certification is obtained a certificate will be issued that will be valid for 3 years. This is maintained through annual surveillance audits and a 3 yearly recertification audit.

Surveillance audits are undertaken annually to ensure that compliance to the chosen Standard(s) is maintained throughout the three year certification cycle.

The frequency and duration of surveillance is dependent on factors including:

  • Size and structure of organization
  • Complexity and risk of activities
  • Number of management systems standards included in the scope of certification
  • Number of sites listed within the scope of certification

During the surveillance audit you must demonstrate continual improvement. This is a fundamental requirement of all ISO standards.

What happens if your business changes during this time?

Don’t worry – we are used to organizations of all shapes and sizes changing on a regular basis including additional locations and activities, increase or decrease in head count. We can provide you with all of the options to change and adapt your scope / standards / management system to suit your business requirements – we just need you to be honest with us and let us know if anything changes as soon as possible.

Do you have any questions?

If you have any questions about the certification process, we’ll be happy to support you with anytime.

*** AQS GLOBAL ***