Relevant parties or individuals may be interviewed, but will be
excluded from the decision making process, including those who are
perceived to have a vested interest in the outcome of the appeal,
dispute or complaint. Persons (maximum of 3) reviewing the appeal shall
be appointed by ACSC and shall be independent of the issue being
reviewed. Members of the appeals panel will be made up of individuals
employed by ACSC or Advisory Board members, not previously involved in
the subject of the appeal or complaint. The appellant shall be informed
of the members of the appeal panel and have an opportunity to object to
any of the selections. ACSC shall make every effort to have appeals
heard within 60 days.
Appeals are not legal proceedings and therefore, the
appealing organization shall notify ACSC at least 14 days in advance if
an appellant intends to have legal counsel present for the appeal. The
decision made may reflect one or more of the following results:
- A decision to uphold the nonconformance, recommendation or decision
- A decision to withdraw or reclassify a nonconformance, recommendation or decision
- A requirement for the client organization to undergo a special audit as part of the investigation
- A nonconformance being issued to the client organization
- Enforcement action
File An Appeal Or Complaint
Suspending, Withdrawing or Reducing the Scope of Certification
ACSC may place a client organization on Suspension for failure to conform to any of the requirements for certification. This may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Failure to conduct 3rd party audits within the required intervals;
- Failure to submit acceptable CAR responses within the required timeframe;
- Repeat of a Major CAR; or
- Failure to pay an ACSC invoice.
ACSC will notify a client organization in writing of a Suspension decision and all related details. While under suspension the client organization’s Certificate of Registration will be treated as invalid and the client organization must refrain from further promotion of its registration status until the suspension is lifted or expires. If the client organization is placed on suspension and is part of a corporate registration scheme, any affected sites may be placed on suspension until the issue(s) that resulted in the suspension is cleared by ACSC.
ACSC may conduct an on-site audit of appropriate length to verify effective implementation of all corrective actions, before lifting the suspension. If the issue(s) are not resolved prior to the suspension expiration date, ACSC may withdraw registration of the client organization’s Certificate of Registration. The client organization will then have thirty (30) days to appeal the withdrawal decision.
Voluntary Suspension of Certification
The client organization may elect to voluntarily withdraw their Certificate of Registration if the client organization is unable to schedule the Recertification Audit prior to the current certificate expiry date. Certain circumstances may permit an audit to be scheduled within 6 months of the date of voluntary withdrawal of the certificate provided the client organization can demonstrate it has maintained conformance to the management system(s) it was certified to prior to voluntary withdrawal. Each circumstance will be reviewed by ACSC and audit duration needed to re-instate the certificate will be determined on a case by case basis.
ACSC may withdraw their Certification of Registration from any client organization at any time, for failure to conform to any of the certification requirements. Certification withdrawal is generally preceded by a suspension. ACSC will notify the client organization in writing, of certification withdrawal. Upon notice by ACSC to the client organization of withdrawal, the client organization shall immediately stop the use of the ACSC and accreditation body marks.
Expanding or Reducing the Scope of Certification
ACSC may expand the scope of certification when the certified organization request an expansion, or when it is determined by ACSC that the current scope is not accurate. Expansion of scope may occur during a regularly planned audit event or a Scope Expansion Audit may be needed, depending on the situation and needs of the certified organization.
ACSC shall reduce the scope of certification to exclude the parts not meeting the requirements, when the certified organization has persistently or seriously failed to meet the certification requirements for those parts of the scope of certification. Any such reduction will be in line with the requirements of the standard used for certification.
Following withdrawal or suspension of the Certificate of Registration, the client organization may be reinstated once ACSC has reevaluated the site(s) affected and has verified that any items of nonconformance have been satisfactorily resolved. At this point, ACSC will notify the client organization in writing that it is authorized to use the ACSC and accreditation body marks in connection with the site(s). Fees associated with these activities will be billed according to current ACSC billing and expense rates.