Rules of Registration between Alcumus Holdings Limited (Alcumus ISOQAR) and the Client (organisations audited and certified by Alcumus ISOQAR).
These Rules of Registration are legally binding on both parties and commence on the date that the Client’s application for Registration is accepted by Alcumus ISOQAR. A separate document covering the use of certification and or accreditation marks and Alcumus ISOQAR’s logos forms part of this agreement which can be viewed here and the Client in applying for Registration also agrees to follow these Rules of Registration.
These Rules of Registration have been drawn up in accordance with the requirements placed upon Alcumus ISOQAR by Accreditation Bodies such as UKAS. Alcumus ISOQAR must and shall abide by these requirements which are detailed in ISO 17021 or 17065 and other related documents and standards.
The scope of accreditation issued by relevant accreditation bodies i.e. UKAS is an acknowledgement that Alcumus ISOQAR has the necessary expertise and ability to manage audits in those particular sectors. Details of all accredited scopes held by Alcumus ISOQAR are available on request or by visiting www.ukas.com. If a particular sector is outside the present accredited scope of Alcumus ISOQAR then an unaccredited certificate may be offered at the discretion of Alcumus ISOQAR. Accredited certificates therefore refer to certificates issued by Alcumus ISOQAR where Alcumus ISOQAR has been accredited by a national Accreditation Body such as UKAS to issue certificates against the requirements of management standards i.e. ISO 9001.
Accredited/Unaccredited Scope – Accredited means the scope of activities for which Alcumus ISOQAR has received authorisation from UKAS (or other national Accreditation Body) to issue certificates which bear the UKAS certification mark. Unaccredited scopes are therefore scopes which are not accredited by UKAS. Unaccredited certificates will only bear Alcumus ISOQAR’s logo.
Auditing – means the examination of evidence (by an authorised representative of Alcumus ISOQAR) provided by the Client in support of compliance by the Client to the requirements of the standard(s) i.e. ISO 9001 covered by the relevant application. An audit can be conducted at the Client’s premises, and/or Client customer’s premises, temporary sites where the Client is working or conducted remotely. Auditing will also involve interviews with individuals who are involved in the processes being audited.
Audit Services – means the activities carried out at the Client’s premises in order to verify the effective implementation by the Client of the standard or standards subject to audit. Audit services also include all the necessary ancillary work conducted by staff other that the auditors which is required to be undertaken in order for the Client to achieve or maintain Registration.
Auditor – means an individual who is either an employee of Alcumus ISOQAR or who acts as a subcontractor to Alcumus ISOQAR and has been deemed competent to undertake an audit against the standard or standards being audited.
Audit Team – means a number of individual auditors who will between them conduct the audit in accordance with the planned activities. Additional members of the audit team may also include individuals who are not appointed auditors but who are present at the audit to provide technical advice or a translation service.
Certification ‐ means the issuing of a certificate by Alcumus ISOQAR resulting from an audit of the Client’s management system against the requirements contained within the individual standard or scheme where any such audit has concluded that the Client’s quality management system has met the requirements of that standard(s). Certification of a management system is not a statement by Alcumus ISOQAR that implies the product or service meets specified requirements unless issued under the ISO 17065 accreditation requirements.
Major non‐conformances ‐ arise when there is a lack of evidence to demonstrate that a requirement of a clause of a particular standard has been addressed i.e. no evidence, records or documents are available or where non‐conformances raised at previous audits have not been effectively closed out.
Minor non‐conformances ‐ arise when there is a lack of evidence to demonstrate that a requirement of a clause of a particular standard has not been fully addressed i.e. some evidence, records or documents are available.
Registration – is the ongoing process through which Clients gain and maintain certification against a particular standard or standards. Registration therefore encompasses all certification activities, including all activities outside of the certification process required to maintain Registration i.e. payment terms and conditions. Registration also refers to Alcumus ISOQAR only and does not include Registrations with any other organisation.
Rules of Registration – means the rules governing the Registration of this Service
Scope of Registration ‐ means those activities undertaken by the Client which are audited by Alcumus ISOQAR representatives and specified (or will be specified) on the certificate. The scope of Registration also includes all premises and standards included on a certificate issued by Alcumus ISOQAR.
Alcumus ISOQAR does not and will not offer consultancy or conduct internal audits.
Alcumus ISOQAR does not and will not certify another certification body for its management systems certification activities.
2. Scope of the rules of registration
Alcumus ISOQAR undertakes the audit, review and certification of product and management systems operated by companies to a wide range of national and international standards and specifications. The Client agrees to supply all necessary information to Alcumus ISOQAR as required by the individual standard and or schemes and that any products covered under product certifications continue to fulfil the product requirements. The Client also agrees to allow Alcumus ISOQAR representatives access to the staff of the Client where those members of staff are involved in the processes covered by the scope of Registration and the effective implementation of the standard(s) certificated by Alcumus ISOQAR.
3. Personnel, impartiality and confidentiality
Alcumus ISOQAR undertakes to provide suitable and technically competent personnel for all audits using its own staff or competent subcontractors. All members of Alcumus ISOQAR (employees and subcontractors) are required to sign confidentiality and impartiality agreements and declare any conflict prior to the audit or as soon as they become aware that a threat to the impartiality of the audit has been identified.
The Client will be notified, in advance of an audit, the name of the auditor or auditors who will be attending. The Client has the right to object to the appointment of a particular auditor. Any objection should be in writing giving the reasons for the objections and raised immediately upon notification.
The Clients staff and the Client’s representative (consultant or advisor to the Client) are also required to declare if any link or relationship (commercial or personal) exists between themselves or their staff and Alcumus ISOQAR personnel involved in the audit or certification activities which may bring into question the impartiality or independence of the audit or certification process.
Reports produced as part of the audit process together with all information and documents will remain confidential, only available to Alcumus ISOQAR, the Client and the relevant accreditation body unless required as part of an investigation conducted by a body that has a legitimate and legal right to view any such report. However Alcumus ISOQAR does retain the right to inform the relevant authorities if breaches of legislation are discovered as part of the audit process.
Alcumus ISOQAR will not disclose any confidential information to a third party without the written consent of the Client or individual concerned. Where Alcumus ISOQAR is required by law to release confidential information to a third party, the Client or individual concerned shall, unless regulated by law, be notified in advance of the information provided. Alcumus ISOQAR will c o m ply with all requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 (as amended) and Freedom of Information Act 2000 (as amended).
Alcumus ISOQAR will make publicly available through its website a facility to check that a certificate issued by Alcumus ISOQAR is current and valid. The website will show the name, relative normative d ocument (UKAS accredited standard together with any other specific requirements), scope and geographic location (e.g. city and county) for each certified Client (or the geographic location of the headquarters and any sites within the scope of a multi‐site certification). Access to this information will o n l y become publicly accessible when a certificate has been issued and will require the Registration number (also referred as the certificate number) to be entered as the search criteria.
4. Application for initial registration
On receiving a completed questionnaire or from details obtained from the Client, Alcumus ISOQAR will prepare a quotation detailing the costs of the Audit Services. On acceptance of this quotation the Client will complete the application form and forward it with payment, if appropriate, to Alcumus ISOQAR. Prior to acceptance Alcumus ISOQAR will review the application and determine whether the payment is appropriate. If the payment is not appropriate due to a substantive change (increase/decrease in staff or added/reduced locations would constitute the main changes) in circumstances between issuing the quotation and receipt of the application then a new quotation will be issued which in turn will require a fresh application.
Completion and the signing of the application form signifies acceptance by the Client of both the quotation and these Rules of Registration. The Client is also responsible for ensuring that a they provide an implemented management system, records, equipment, locations, areas, personnel and access to their subcontractors to ensure that they meet the requirement of the standard(s and that these are available to be audited at the Stage 1 audit. Failure to produce a documented management system (this includes any mandatory procedures) that meets the requirements of the standard may result in additional costs and the stage 1 having to be repeated The project will be allocated to a suitable audit team to carry out the audit in line with Alcumus ISOQAR’s procedures and terms of accreditation. No further application form is required or requested unless the Client wishes to add additional standards or extend its scope of activities.
Alcumus ISOQAR reserves the right to refuse to provide certification services if there is a risk to impartiality, risk to our audit staff either through threat or country specific risk, or if Alcumus ISOQAR do not hold the relevant scope of accreditation.
5. Audit method
The initial audit is carried out in several stages:
The Stage 1 audit is designed to demonstrate that the Client has a management system that meets the requirements of the appropriate standard. It will normally involve an on‐site review of the documentation, a limited audit of some of the management processes (if available) and development of a plan for the stage 2 audit. A full report will be given to the organisation and a date agreed for the stage 2 audit. In exceptional circumstances this process may be conducted at Alcumus ISOQAR’s offices. In certain circumstances the conclusions reached at the Stage 1 audit may be that the Stage 1 audit may need to be repeated in order to ensure that the management system meets the requirements of the appropriate standard(s). The Client agrees that it is responsible for ensuring that all health and safety considerations and requirements are made known to Alcumus ISOQAR prior to commencement of the audit.
The Stage 2 audit is carried out on‐site at the Client’s premises and will determine whether the Client has fully implemented the management system and that it meets the requirements of the appropriate standards or specifications (including relevant legislation). The Client will need to make all relevant documentation available, allow audit staff access to Client’s staff as required and allow audit staff to visit Client sites where this is necessary. Visits to Client’s sites will need to be arranged by the Client. The Client is responsible for ensuring that all health and safety considerations (relevant to the audit visit) and requirements are made known to Alcumus ISOQAR prior to commencement of a visit to a Client’s site.
Following certification, Alcumus ISOQAR must be informed, by the Client , if any circumstances occur which significantly affect the Registration (i.e. additional processes, additional locations, removal of locations, change of company name, change of company address, change of nominated representative). Alcumus ISOQAR reserves the right to re‐audit if necessary.
The audit methods used will be interviews, observation of activities, review of hard copy documentation, review of documentation retained electronically and a review of records. The conclusion is based upon the evidence obtained during the audit. The auditor(s) will use standard sampling techniques to obtain this evidence and no guarantee can be given that a different conclusion may have been reached had different samples been taken.
Neither Alcumus ISOQAR nor any of its servants or agents warrant the accuracy of any audit, review, information, certification, service or advice supplied.
On completion of the stage 2 audit, the audit team submits a full report to Alcumus ISOQAR. On receiving a report stating that the Client's management system is recommended as meeting the requirements of the relevant standards or specifications, the report will be reviewed together with supporting documentation by a suitably qualified, independent and authorised member of Alcumus ISOQAR’s staff who will, if agreeing with the recommendation, authorise the issue of a certificate with the Registration number and scope of Registration. Should the audit raise non‐conformances against any clause of the standard(s) audited at the stage 2 these must be corrected (also referred to as corrective action) by the Client within the timescale agreed with the auditor and subsequently closed out by Alcumus ISOQAR either from documentation sent to Alcumus ISOQAR or as a result of a further audit (to check the corrective action taken) before a certificate can be authorised to be issued.
The Client agrees to meet the extra costs relating to such increased visits or to review documentation sent into Alcumus ISOQAR.
The certificate and reports remain the property of Alcumus ISOQAR. The certificate is valid for up to three years (depending upon the relevant standards or specifications). Should the Client cease to be registered, Alcumus ISOQAR will require any certificates issued to the Client to be returned. Paragraph 12 refers.
7. Annual registration, surveillance, recertification visits and short notice visits
Following initial Registration and after the issue of a certificate, to maintain annual Registration, surveillance audits will be carried out at the Client's premises at a frequency determined by Alcumus ISOQAR and detailed on the planning documents contained within or separate to the audit reports. It is however a condition of Registration that an audit is conducted at least once per year and a further condition that the Client maintains the management system which is subject to audit in accordance with the requirements of an International Standard (i.e. ISO 9001), British Standard (i.e. BS 7499) or other standard (i.e. British Retail Consortium Global Standard) or scheme (also commonly referred to as a sector scheme, i.e. a National Highways Sector Scheme).
Should the audit raise any major non‐conformances against any clause of the standard(s) audited at the surveillance visit these must be corrected (also referred to as corrective action) by the Client within the timescale agreed with the auditor and subsequently closed out by Alcumus ISOQAR either from documentation sent to Alcumus ISOQAR or as a result of a further audit. The Client agrees to meet the extra costs relating to such increased visits or to review documentation sent into Alcumus ISOQAR.
Minor non‐conformances raised during a surveillance audit against any clause of the standard must also be corrected by the Client within the agreed timescale. The corrective action taken by the Client will be checked at the next scheduled audit. Alternatively the Client may be required to send evidence to Alcumus ISOQAR to confirm that effective corrective action has been taken. Failure to correctly address minor non‐conformances may result in a major non‐conformance being raised and in such circumstances the Client agrees to meet the extra costs relating to such increased visits or to review documentation sent into Alcumus ISOQAR.
To extend the certification beyond the 3 year period (or any other period covered by a particular standard or scheme) a recertification audit is required. This takes place prior to the expiry date of the certificate. Should the audit raise any non‐ conformances against any clause of the standard(s) audited at the recertification audit, these must be corrected (also referred to as corrective action) by the Client within the timescale agreed with the auditor, and subsequently closed out by Alcumus ISOQAR either from documentation sent to Alcumus ISOQAR or as a result of a further audit.
Recertification will involve additional fees to cover the costs of administration and may also require additional audit days over and above the number of days conducted during surveillance visits. The Client also agrees to meet any extra costs incurred where a further audit is required in order to verify that effective corrective action has been taken in order to close out identified non‐conformances.
It may be necessary for Alcumus ISOQAR to conduct an audit at short notice to investigate complaints or in response to change or to follow up on suspended Clients. In such cases Alcumus ISOQAR will make known to the Client the circumstances and conditions under which the requirement to conduct a short notice audit have been determined. The Client agrees to meet the extra costs relating to such audits.
8. Expanding or changing the scope or details of the registration
Expansions to the scope of Registration may be applied for in the same way as the initial audit. An audit will be required to verify the changes or additions. If successful, a new certificate indicating the new scope will be issued by Alcumus ISOQAR. Expansions to scope normally cover additional processes or additional permanent locations. An expansion to scope will require completion of a questionnaire and an application from the Client. Additional payment is normally required and Alcumus ISOQAR will follow the procedure outlined in paragraph 4.
Where a Client is already registered to a particular standard i.e. ISO 9001 and subsequently wishes to add an additional standard i.e. ISO 14001 this will be treated as a new application and the Rules of Registration governing initial audits followed.
The Client agrees to notify Alcumus ISOQAR of any material change in circumstances such as a change of address, change of name, closure of a location covered by Registration or change in contact names, telephone number etc. Alcumus ISOQAR will take appropriate action and will reissue a certificate where necessary with the amended details. The reissue of a certificate will involve additional fees to cover the cost of administration. Alcumus ISOQAR agrees to inform its Clients of any major changes to the certificated schemes which may materially affect their certification. The Clients agrees to implement appropriate changes accordingly.
All advertising materials must be amended if the scope specified on the certificate is reduced.
Once a certificate has been issued, but not before, the Client has the right to publish the fact. The relevant certification marks or accreditation marks and logos can be used on its stationery and website, relating only to the audited scope of Registration and the relevant standards or specifications and as detailed on the certificate. A separate document relating t o the Rules of use of certification marks or accreditation marks and logos is available via the Alcumus ISOQAR website or direct from Alcumus ISOQAR. These Rules cover both Alcumus ISOQAR’s logo and where an accredited certificate is issued, the Rules relating to the accreditation bodies certification marks i.e. UKAS.
The Client must not make or permit any misleading statement regarding its certification, the scope and/or standard(s) covered by certification, the Client’s locations covered by the scope and/or standard(s) covered by certification or permit the use of a certification document or any part thereof in a misleading manner. Any references to the Client’s management system certification must not imply that Alcumus ISOQAR certifies a product, service or process.
The Client must not apply certification marks or accreditation marks to laboratory test, calibration or inspection reports as such reports are deemed to be products.
Once registered, Alcumus ISOQAR may contact Clients by post, email, fax or telephone in connection with the certification and other services that may be considered of interest.
10. Certificate misuse
Alcumus ISOQAR will provide written guidance and take all reasonable precautions to ensure that there is no misuse of its certificate, certification or accreditation marks or logos. The Client undertakes only to use Alcumus ISOQAR’s logo and certification marks or accreditation marks as appropriate to its audited scope of Registration and relevant standards or specifications.
The Client must not use certification marks or accreditation marks in such a manner that would bring Alcumus ISOQAR and/or the certification system and/or the Accreditation Body into disrepute. The Client must not make any false claims regarding the scope of certification issued.
Details of all fees payable can be obtained by contacting the Finance Department at Alcumus ISOQAR.
All fees paid to Alcumus ISOQAR are strictly non‐refundable. Stage 1, Stage 2, Extension to Scope, Recertification or additional fees are payable as per the payment terms indicated on the invoice.
Annual Registration fees are payable in advance of audit dates and are to maintain Registration. These fees are normally invoiced in the same month each year (prior to the anniversary of Registration) and will cover all anticipated activities required for the Client to maintain Registration.
Additional fees will be levied for recertification activities (for most Registrations this is every 3 years) and administration connected with the re‐issue of certificates.
Additional fees are payable for certificates that need to be re‐issued for such reasons as a change of company name or address or minor changes to scopes of certification.
Additional fees are payable where Alcumus ISOQAR is required to “close out” major non‐conformances raised during an audit. These fees are applicable to close outs conducted at Clients premises and close outs conducted away from Clients premises.
Additional fees for items such as travel costs, hotel costs or subsistence will be charged where indicated in the original quotation to the Client or subsequently agreed as a result of an extension to scope or as agreed between the Client and Alcumus ISOQAR. Any such fees will be charged at the cost to Alcumus ISOQAR for the expense incurred.
Additional fees for Registration with the British Retail Consortium are applicable – see section 21.
Fees for reinstatement of Registration following a period of suspension or withdrawal will be incurred. Alcumus ISOQAR will specify the fees required together with any other conditions relating to the lifting of a suspension or reinstatement following withdrawal.
All invoices are payable within 30 days of the date of the invoice unless specified under a different section of these Rules of Registration or on the invoice. Time for payment shall be of the essence.
Alcumus ISOQAR will review the annual Registration fees for certification activities and all other fees from time to time. Any increase to fees will be shown on the annual invoice [Clients may cancel annual renewal without liability provided that such cancellation notice is received by Alcumus ISOQAR no later than one month before the date of implementation of the increased price].
Monthly payments can be arranged. The full amount of VAT payable on the annual invoice will be included in the first payment and therefore subsequent payments for that years invoice will be exclusive of VAT. Monthly instalments are only permissible for subsequent years if the previous year’s fees have been paid in full and on time.
Clients may elect to pay fees by credit card however payments made by credit card to Alcumus ISOQAR attract a charge from the credit card company to Alcumus ISOQAR. Alcumus ISOQAR will in turn pass this charge on to the Client.
The fee chargeable for cancellation will be on a sliding scale, based on a percentage of Alcumus ISOQAR’s current standards day rate fee per audit day – in section 15.
If the Client fails to make any payment in full on the due date, Alcumus ISOQAR may cancel a planned audit which may also result in Registration being suspended and ultimately withdraw.
12. Certificate suspension, withdrawal or restoring certification
See also section on Appeals Procedure
Following a successful audit of a Client's management system to the appropriate standards or specifications, the certificate may be suspended or withdrawn as follows:
Suspended for a short period due to:
(i) Continued misuse of certification marks and/or Alcumus ISOQAR logos.
(ii) Failure to apply corrective action as a result of non‐conformances found during audits.
(iii) Failure to allow an audit to be conducted as detailed in the planning documentation i.e. annual surveillance audit.
(iv) Failure to pay an invoice within timescales specified in these Rules of Registration.
(v) Breaches in legislation relevant to the scope of activities covered by Registration.
(vi) Any other breach of Alcumus ISOQAR’s Rules of Registration.
Withdrawn due to the Client’s:
(i) Failure to respond to requests made by Alcumus ISOQAR after suspension of a certificate.
(ii) Failure of a Client to settle financial accounts.
(iii) Persistent breach of any the Rules of Registration.
(iv) Ceasing or threat to cease carry on business, or proposed to compound with its creditors, application for an interim order under s.252 Insolvency Act 1986 or having a bankruptcy petition presented against it, entrance into a voluntary or compulsory liquidation or having a receiver, administrator or administrative receiver appointed over all or any of its assets or taking or suffering any similar action in any jurisdiction.
(v) Appearance of being about to suffer all or any of the above; and/or
(vi) Request to withdraw.
Upon suspension or withdrawal of its certification, the Client undertakes to discontinue to claim certification with Alcumus ISOQAR and remove all references to Alcumus ISOQAR and certification from all advertising matter or other material that contains a reference to certification.
In the event that following withdrawal of certification the Client continues to claim certification then Alcumus ISOQAR maintains the right to report the Client to the relevant legal authority and to take appropriate legal action.
A fee will apply for re‐instatement following suspension.
Certificates cannot be extended beyond the expiry date and if a certificate does expire the Client will be contacted and the consequences will be explained. Failure to complete the recertification audit or failure to provide close out evidence could also result in withdrawal of the certificate. Following withdrawal, the certificate can be restored if the Client re‐applies within the first 6 months of withdrawal, subject to technical review and completion of the recertification audit process. After 6 months the Client will need to re‐apply and at least be subject to a stage 2 audit. The stage 1 audit can be waived if a technical review confirms that no major changes have occurred since the last complete audit.
13. Appeals procedure
If for any reason a Client is not in agreement with the audit outcome, suspension or withdrawal of a certificate, they are at liberty to lodge an appeal with Alcumus ISOQAR. All appeals will be held in the presence of an independent committee convened by Alcumus ISOQAR. The committee, in addition to requiring documents, will hear evidence from the Client's representative and the relevant Alcumus ISOQAR representative. The decision of the committee is final and binding on both the Client and Alcumus ISOQAR. No counter claims will be allowed by either party. No costs, for whatever reason, will be allowed for either party as a result of an appeal. Expenses of the Appeal will be met in full by the party who has the decision against them. In the event of an appeal being lodged, full details of the process will be provided.
14. Complaints and requests for information
If a Client has reason to complain this should be sent in writing to Alcumus ISOQAR. Alcumus ISOQAR’s policies include documented procedures for handling complaints. All complaints will be responded to within 3 working days and thoroughly investigated. The result of the investigation will be communicated to the Client in writing. If following investigation of the complaint the Client is not satisfied with the outcome the complaint will be referred to a Director or the Client requested to lodge an appeal.
The Client agrees that they will keep a record of all complaints made known to it relating to compliance with certification requirements. The Client should take appropriate action with respect to such complaints. These actions should be documented and made available to Alcumus ISOQAR on request.
Any requests for information of any kind should be directed to the relevant department of Alcumus ISOQAR. Contact details are available on the website.
15. Cancellation of planned audits
Alcumus ISOQAR is committing resources in agreeing audit dates. Audit dates are normally agreed between the auditor and Client during an audit and are recorded on the report; alternatively Alcumus ISOQAR and the Client will agree dates for audits which will be confirmed by Alcumus ISOQAR in writing. It is not Alcumus ISOQAR’s policy to issue reminders of forthcoming audit dates. It is therefore the Client’s responsibility to ensure that the audit can be conducted in accordance with the plan on the date(s) agreed. Consequently, a fee will be charged if a visit is postponed or cancelled within 20 working days of its planned occurrence. The fee chargeable for cancellation will be on a sliding scale, based on a percentage of Alcumus ISOQAR’s current standard day rate fee per audit day. These are as follows: cancellation on the day = 100%; cancellation within 5 working days = 90%; cancellation within 6‐20 working days = 50%. Additional expenditure that has been incurred and is not reclaimable (such as flights or hotels) will also be levied.
The Client agrees to indemnify and keep indemnified Alcumus ISOQAR against all and any losses, proceedings, lost profits, damages, awards, expenses, claims, costs (including increased administration costs on a full indemnity basis) actions and any other losses and/or liabilities due to the Clients misuse of any approval or Registration given to the Client by Alcumus ISOQAR under its Rules of Registration whilst the Client is registered with Alcumus ISOQAR (including during a period of suspension and following withdrawal of Registration, cancellation of audit dates, misuse of intellectual property of Alcumus ISOQAR, breaches of impartiality clauses, providing false or misleading information during the audit process) and/or any breach where Alcumus ISOQAR suffers a loss.
17. Witnessed audits by accrediatation and authorised bodies
It is a condition of the Rules of Registration that all Alcumus ISOQAR certificated Clients should, if requ ested, allow representatives of accreditation bodies or other authorised bodies to witness Alcumus ISOQAR staff carrying out audits. Failure to allow this could jeopardise the Client’s Registration.
18. Audit team
Alcumus ISOQAR will supply an appropriately qualified, competent and impartial Audit Team or individual Auditor to conduct the Audit in accordance with the Audit Plan or other arrangements made with the Client. In addition to auditors the audit team may be supplemented by the inclusion of technical experts, translators or interpreters. The Client has the right to object to any individual Auditor or member of the Audit Team, but must do so immediately upon notification of the individuals that comprise the Audit Team. Alcumus ISOQAR reserves the right to change the assigned Auditors or add additional Auditors to meet its operational requirements.
The Client does not have the right to require that a specified named individual auditor conducts a particular audit. In order to ensure that the Impartiality of an audit is maintained Alcumus ISOQAR will keep under review the number of audits an individual auditor will conduct for a Client. It may be necessary therefore to change the auditor should Alcumus ISOQAR believe that Impartiality is threatened due to over familiarity.
The audit team may at times be supplemented by trainees. Trainees will have no status at the audit and will be supervised by the Lead Auditor. The Client will not be charged for their attendance. Alcumus ISOQAR acknowledges that the attendance by trainees at audits is at the discretion of and with the permission of the Client. Alcumus ISOQAR will therefore notify the Client of an intention to send a trainee to an audit in advance and will also supply the name of the trainee. The Client has a right to refuse to accept a trainee; however Alcumus ISOQAR would urge the Client to carefully consider the request as Alcumus ISOQAR has a requirement to fully train and develop its staff and the primary means of doing so is through attendance at audits.
Auditors supplied by Alcumus ISOQAR will act fairly and impartially and will reach a decision based solely on the evidence. The Client in agreeing to the Rules of Registration also agrees that no pressure, intimidation or inducement will be offered to auditors designed to change or alter the decision made by the auditor or subsequently by Alcumus ISOQAR staff who review those decisions. Alcumus ISOQAR staff are instructed to immediately report any such instances to the most senior Alcumus ISOQAR member of staff available.
19. Additional rules for specific standards/schemes/specifications
In agreeing to abide by these Rules of Registration the Client also agrees to abide by any rules, requirements or conditions laid down by other organisations or the specific requirements of a particular standard or sector scheme as notified from time to time where that organisation controls or has a valid interest in the issue of a certificate.
Note that the requirements contained in standards and/or sector schemes are liable to change and it is the Client’s responsibility to ensure that any changes are identified, considered and where necessary acted upon.
20. Additional rules for British Retail Consortium certificates
It is a condition when applying for Registration against a British Retail Consortium standard that the Client must agree to be registered with the BRC; Alcumus ISOQAR will do this on behalf of Clients. Any certificate issued by Alcumus ISOQAR to a Client who has been audited against a standard issued by the British Retail Consortium has in addition to the Rules of Registration detailed above, additional Rules laid down by the British Retail Consortium which must be complied with, as follows;
In addition to the Rules of Registration detailed in the above paragraphs the Client agrees to abide by any additional Rules laid down by the British Retail Consortium. Further information is available by visiting www.brc.org.uk.
The Client agrees that any report produced by Alcumus ISOQAR as a result of an audit will be uploaded onto the BRC website and may with the Clients permission be viewed by selected retailers.
The Client agrees that an audit against a BRC standard undertaken by Alcumus ISOQAR allows the BRC the right to require action resulting from a review of the report (produced following conclusion of the audit) by the BRC.
The BRC may if necessary conduct either announced or unannounced site audits and this must be accommodated as necessary and under these Rules of Registration. BRC may also contact you to receive your feedback regarding the quality of the audit process.
It is a condition of the Rules of Registration that the company shall inform Alcumus ISOQAR of any product recall within 3 days of the occurrence or any legal proceedings that may be brought against them.
Unless instructed otherwise by the Client details of the certification awarded will be added to the BRC Global Directory.
Following the issue of a certificate the Client may use a BRC Approved Logo. The Client must follow and accept the BRC terms and conditions and be authorised by the BRC in order to use the logo. These terms and conditions are available from the BRC
Following initial certification by Alcumus ISOQAR a surveillance audit must be undertaken within a specified time, but may not exceed 12 months from the last audit visit. Depending on the nature and number of non‐ conformances identified the Client may be required to be audited every 6 months. However for Clients certified to the BRC Storage and Distribution Standard the frequency of audits may under defined circumstances be extended to every 18 months (see BRC Standard for Storage and Distribution for details).
An extension to the scope of activities such as additions of premises, new standards or new areas of business will require an audit. This will necessitate an additional amount of time over and above the time required to conduct surveillance activities. If any products are excluded from the scope this will, under the requirements of the standard, exclude the Client from using the BRC logo on any of their documentation or advertising
A certificate issued against the requirements of a BRC certificate will be valid for a period of time as defined by the BRC.
For the avoidance of any doubt no certificate will be issued by Alcumus ISOQAR until the auditor is fully satisfied that any non‐ conformance raised during an audit has been corrected and effective corrective action has been taken within the timescale detailed below. This applies to every audit undertaken by Alcumus ISOQAR against a BRC Standard.
An additional fee is required from Clients upon certification to a BRC standard. This fee is invoiced to the Client by Alcumus ISOQAR and paid to the BRC on behalf of the Client. This fee is an annual fee and will therefore be collected by Alcumus ISOQAR annually.
The Client agrees to implement the latest version of the appropriate BRC Standard in accordance with timescales laid down by the BRC. Alcumus ISOQAR will in turn undertake any audit against the version of the standard which is current at the date of the audit.
BRC Audit Process Timetable
It is a requirement laid down by the BRC that a strict timetable of events is adhered too, therefore both Alcumus ISOQAR and the Client agree to the following:
Audit due date – 56 days prior to the audit due date: audit dates must be confirmed between the Client and Alcumus ISOQAR
Audit day 1 + 14 days Report must be fully completed and sent to Alcumus ISOQAR by the auditor for review.
Audit day 1 + 28 days Corrective action must be received by the auditor from the Client
Audit day 1 + 32 days Corrective Action must have been reviewed by the auditor and if required any further evidence requested from the Client.
Audit day 1 + 35 days Non‐conformances must have been closed and report received by Alcumus ISOQAR for review. At this point any queries should be on the non‐conformances.
Audit day 1 + 42 days report and corrective action must have been reviewed by the technical review team at Alcumus ISOQAR and passed to Administration for upload to the BRC Directory and the certificate issued to the Client.
Audit day 1 + 49 days Report must have been uploaded to the BRC Directory and Validated.
21. SIA/ACS Rules of Registration
Security Industry Authority, Approved Contractors Scheme (SIA, ACS)
- Alcumus ISOQAR Ltd is the ACS assessing body or verifier.
- The Client is the company applying for certification to the ACS.
Alcumus ISOQAR has an agreement with The SIA to act as an ACS Assessing Body with effect from February 2006
Alcumus ISOQAR is an approved assessing body for the above scheme. The scheme is owned by the SIA and both Alcumus ISOQAR Ltd and ACS Clients agree to comply with the SIA Rules for Registration. The Client is the entity applying for certification to the ACS. Certificates are issued by the SIA.
1. Alcumus ISOQAR agrees to provide a quotation to carry out verification audits for ACS.
2. The Client for the ACS agrees to include The SIA in correspondence including auditor verification visit plans and any amendments.
3. The Client will accept email as one of the methods of communication.
4. The Alcumus ISOQAR Ltd audit verification visit plan will include dates, activities and locations to visit and this may be adjusted by the SIA.
5. All matters relating to the ACS verification process will be made available to the SIA.
6. The proposed visit days for each and every visit must allow the SIA at least three working days prior notice of the visit.
7. Audit verification time allocated by Alcumus ISOQAR is based on the SIA document: Assessment Planning Guidelines for the ACS. All verification days allocated must be completed by Alcumus ISOQAR.
8. All Client audit verification material will be sent to The SIA with recommendations from Alcumus ISOQAR Ltd. The SIA will decide if a certificate is to be awarded.
9. After the first successful certification Alcumus ISOQAR Ltd will conduct annual re‐verification visits to confirm continued approval.
- Annual re‐verification requires the Client to update their online achievement record and the assessment is carried out in line with SIA guidelines.
-Re‐application for ACS is every three years and requires the Client to complete the whole application process via the SIA, and the verification process by Alcumus ISOQAR as per the initial assessment.
-Any change of circumstances to the Client’s scope should be notified to the SIA (by the contractor and verification carried out by Alcumus ISOQAR.
10. ALCUMUS ISOQAR fees for verification will be charged on a standard day rate fee set by Alcumus ISOQAR Ltd (fees may be changed without prior notice). The same day rate will be charged for any follow‐up visit to the Client for whatever reason. Extra office days will be charged, at the standard day rate, for the preparation of reports. (With the exception of condensed reports)
11. SIA‐ACS Routes to Approval Alcumus ISOQAR offers the standard route to approval. Other criteria may apply to the above (see the SIA‐ACS routes to Approved Contractor Status).
12. Certificate suspension or withdrawal is at the discretion of the SIA.
13. Appeals and complaints – any appeals or complaints against the ACS process will go to the SIA. Any appeals or complaint regarding the verification process will go to Alcumus ISOQAR Ltd.
14. All fees paid to Alcumus ISOQAR Ltd are strictly non‐refundable and are invoiced 30 days in advance to cover one year's Registration and re‐verification visits. Fees for any verification audit activity will be reviewed annually and may be increased.
15. Verification or Re‐verification Visits
-Verification audit fees are to be paid at least 10 working days prior to commencement of the audit.
-The annual verification fees for the following year are to be paid at the same time each year.
-Extra visits as a result of non‐compliance (failing to meet the required standard) will be chargeable at Alcumus ISOQAR’s standard fee at the time.
16. Alcumus ISOQAR is committing resources in agreeing verification dates. Verification dates are normally agreed between the auditor and the Client during a verification audit and are recorded on the summary report; alternatively Alcumus ISOQAR and the Client will agree dates for verification which will be confirmed by Alcumus ISOQAR in writing. It is not Alcumus ISOQAR’s policy to issue reminders of forthcoming verification dates. It is therefore the Client’s responsibility to ensure that the audit can be conducted in accordance with the plan on the date(s) agreed. Consequently, a fee will be charged if a visit is postponed or cancelled within 20 working days of its planned occurrence. The fee chargeable for cancellation will be on a sliding scale, based on a percentage of Alcumus ISOQAR’s current standards day rate fee per audit day. These are as follows: cancellation on the day = 100%; cancellation within 5 working days = 90%; cancellation within 6‐20 days = 50%. Additional expenditure that has been incurred and is not reclaimable (such as flights or hotels) will also be levied.
17. It is a condition of the Rules of Registration that all Clients should, if requested, allow SIA staff to visit their companies, announced or unannounced.
22. Third Party Rights
All third party rights are excluded and no third party shall have any right to enforce these Rules of Registration. This shall not apply to any member of Alcumus ISOQAR’s parent group from time to time who shall, subject to Alcumus ISOQAR’s consent have the right to enforce these Rules of Registration as if they were Alcumus ISOQAR.
23. Terms and conditions
These Rules of Registration are to be read in conjunction with the Alcumus Holdings Limited Terms and Conditions of Contract which are available here