This policy confirms that the Board of Sci Qual International Pty Ltd is committed to the impartiality of its certification decisions, understands the importance of impartiality in carrying out its certification activities, manages conflicts of interest and ensures the objectivity of its system certification activities.
We, or any organisation which at any time may become part of the same legal entity, will not:
- Be the designer, manufacturer, installer, distributor or maintainer of any certified product;
- Be the designer, implementer, operator or maintainer of the certified process;
- Be the designer, implementer, provider or maintainer of the certified service;
- Offer or provide consultancy to our clients;
- Offer or provide management system consultancy or internal auditing to our clients where the certification scheme requires the evaluation of the client’s management system.
SQI shall ensure that activities of any separate legal entities, with which SQI or the legal entity of which it forms a part has relationships, do not compromise the impartiality of its certification activities.
The Board has identified, analysed and documented the areas of its business ensuring that in all areas it complies with its impartiality obligations, addresses any potential conflicts of interest and ensures independence in its certification processes. The Board has further taken advice from its Impartiality Committee and has in place appropriate procedures to ensure compliance with impartiality, ensuring no conflicts arise and independence in certifications occur.
The Board of Sci Qual International Pty Ltd has considered Certification issues and will not allow financial considerations to impact upon the Certification process.
The key elements of the company’s approach to independence and impartiality are as follows:
- Awareness of financial relationships and considerations.
- Appointment of a Certification Panel to make Certification decisions and where the members of the panel are not part of the assessment team and have no conflict of interest with the organisation/client being assessed.
- Assurance that each certification decision is an impartial one.
- Where any director, member of a committee, appeals group, contractor, relative body corporate, related entity or body or a staff member has a conflict of interest regarding a decision of the company then after declaration of that conflict, the member or director, or contractor or staff member etc will not take part in the decision making process with respect to a certification decision. All auditors are required to complete a conflict of interest declaration before being assigned to an audit.
- A member of the certification panel will in the normal course of events determine the outcome of the certification. Where all members of the Certification Panel are involved in the initial Assessment of Certification, the company’s secretary or chairman or general manager or other director will determine the outcome of the certification (on behalf of the Board).
- If it is deemed that any relationship creates a threat to impartiality the company shall document and be able to demonstrate how it has eliminated or minimised the threat to impartiality. Further this information shall be made available to the Impartiality Committee.
- A relationship that threatens the impartiality of the company as a Certification Body can be based on ownership, governance, personal management, personnel, shared resources, finances, contracts, marketing, and payment of a sales commission or other inducement for the referral of new clients etc.
If there is a situation where all members of the Certification Panel are involved in the initial assessment for certification then where the Board’s representative determines the outcome of the certification and recommendations of the Audit Team and Certification Panel are not followed that a full meeting of the Board will be called to determine the outcome and approach to such situation. The Impartiality Committee shall also be advised so that it may have input into the question of impartiality. This process may also involve the use of the appeals group or other committees.
The company recognises that the Impartiality Committee is a key element to the company’s position and intent of independence and impartiality.