The contractual relationship
Companies that decide to cooperate with the certification body formally enter into a contractual relationship that defines certain rights and obligations of the parties.
Obligations of certification bodies
The certification body is officially registered for the activity of monitoring the implementation of certification and is authorized to carry out the same accreditation according to international rules.
The certification body provides services to legal and physical persons but also has discretionary power.
The certification body is required within a reasonable time to inform their clients about possible changes that could be related to clients or their business operations.
The certification body provides certification of quality management, environmental protection, occupational safety and food safety, according to international or national standards.
The certification body conducts services in accordance with accreditation rules and procedures.
Certifying Authority supports the trade secret at all levels, and that includes all information provided by the customer during the business relationship. Certifying Authority is contractually and statutorily, in accordance with the Statement of confidentiality, agrees that no information will be revealed to third parties except in response to legal process or to request an accreditation body.
Public data is not considered a client information relevant to trade secrets.
After the inspection and conformity with the certification requirements of the client, Certifying body will notify the customer and issue a certificate according to the reference procedure. Issued certificate is the property of the Certifying body and remains the property of the same to the expiry or withdrawal of certification after 3 years.
After the certification assessment, Certification body is obligated to undertake annual surveillance audits in terms of checking the conformity of the management and meeting the requirements of the standard / and or regulations. The client is informed of the results of each inspection visit.
Renewal of certificate
Before the expiry of the certificate of 3 years, Certifying body will contact the client and check the interest for recertification or renewal of management system certificate. Further proceedings shall be conducted according to the certification model.
The rights of the certification body
Suspension of certificate
The certification authority may suspend a certificate for a specified period of time in the following cases (i) if a request for corrective action has been concluded satisfactorily within the stipulated time period, (ii) in case of improper use of the certificate, or if it has not been corrected or have not taken other appropriate measures by client, or (iii) in case of a violation of any of the conditions of the contract.
During the suspension, Client must not be running as a certified company or falsely leading third parties to such conclusion.
Certification body should notify the Client in writing regarding certificate suspension, and also indicate under which conditions suspension may be lifted. After the operation, one should examine performed actions in terms of lifting the suspension. After fulfilling all the conditions, Client is informed in writing about the abolition of the validity of the suspension and re-certification. If the conditions are not met, the Certificate is withdrawn.
All expenses incurred due to the Certifying body suspension and re-empowerment of the Certificate shall be borne by the Client.
Withdrawal of certificate
The certificate may be withdrawn if (i) the Client fails to take appropriate measures in case of suspension or (ii) the Certifying body terminated the contract with the Client. In any of these cases, the Certifying body has the right to withdraw the certificate by writing report to the Client.
In cases of Certificate withdrawal, there is no refund for the cost estimates, and the certification withdrawal will be publicly announced by Certifying body. Appropriate accrediting body, if any, will also be informed about the certification withdrawal.
Expiry of certificate
The certificate shall expire if (i) there is a withdrawal of certification, (ii) there is a termination of the contractual relationship, or (iii) Client has duly applied for renewal of certification.
After termination the client is obliged to (i) settle all outstanding accounts, (ii) deliver certificates to the Certifying body, (iii) remove all certification marks, printed or electronic and (iv) remove any indication or allegation that could mislead third parties that company is certified.
Recognition of accrediting organizations
By signing the Agreement, Client agrees not to expect any benefits or guarantee of the Certification Body in accordance with the described procedure of certification. The client accepts the accreditation bodies as more instances of control in terms of acceptance of all the prescribed rules governing the activities of the Certifying body.
According to the accreditation rules, the customer must provide all necessary product samples, access, assistance and information to the Certifying body when requested, including appropriate assistance and authorized personnel. Additionally, the Client shall provide adequate space without charge and provide conditions for normal operation of the representatives of the Certifying body.
In order to protect the health and safety at work, the client will meet representatives of the Certifying body with all kinds of known and potential hazards which they could be exposed to during the visit. Representatives of the Certifying body shall fully comply to health and safety requirements of the client while they are on his property.
In the event that during the evaluation there were deviations from the requirements of the standard, certification body shall inform the Client of those segments in which they are not met. The client is obliged to take actions based on perceived inconsistencies to eliminate causes of non-compliance and inform Certifying body about the results. Depending on the severity of non-compliance, Certification body will percieve taken actions (i) as sufficient to maintain the certificate or (ii) repeat necessary parts of the evaluation, with additional costs, re-visiting a client.
After issuing the Certificate, Certifying body may authorize the Client for usage of certification tokens in terms of publication or commercial activities. Client’s right to use such tokens is associated with maintaining the validity of the certificate for the appropriate management system or product and in accordance with the Rules for the use of certification tokens.
Under such rules Client must ensure that its publications and promotional materials does not create confusion or leads third parties to the wrong conclusion about the certified and uncertified system, product or location. Improper certification token use can result in suspension or withdrawal of Certificate, legal proceedings, publication of the offense and possible accompanying costs.
Changing the scope of registration
The Client is able to inform the Certifying body about any modification in management systems scope, products or production processes that may affect compliance with standards or regulations.
The Certifying body shall determine whether such changes require additional evaluation or not. If Client fails to inform the Certifying body of the intended changes, the certificate may be suspended.
Termination of the contractual relationship
The Client is able to terminate the contractual relationship without any restrictions, but is required to notify the Certifying body about termination of the contract and to carry out the activities covered in the certificate procedure termination.
Appeals and complaints
If, for whatever reason, the Client was informed that the certificate will not be issued, or will be suspended, or withdrawn, the Client has the right to appeal. Such appeal must be filed to the Certifying body formally in writing within seven days of receipt of the notice about not issuing, suspension or withdrawal of certification. According to the complaint, actions for resolving customer complaints will be taken.
If a company has reason to object to the behavior of the Certifying body employees, it must submit the complaint in writing, without delay. According to the complaint, the procedure for resolving customer complaints will be initiated.
According to the prescribed procedure for resolving customer complaints Certifying body is required to promptly respond and take actions to remove the reported causes of discontent.
Due process is, to ensure impartiality, fully autonomous, independent and transparent. Any communication with the parties concerned shall be conducted in a manner to ensure confidentiality and objectivity, where particular care is taken for the personal integrity of the parties.
All disputes or differences resulting from the contractual relationship, will be resolved by mutual agreement. Otherwise, territorial jurisdiction of the Court in Zagreb will manage disputes.
Ref. doc. CS OC 1/01.12.2011.