Step 1: Complete the questionnaire and return to IQS or request an information pack from your local office, which will include the questionnaire for the required service. Complete this questionnaire and return to IQS who will review the information provided and prepare and issue a Proposal of Cost (Quotation) for a three-years Cycle.
On acceptance of the quotation, submit the signed and dated Application (which is the final page of the Proposal of Costs) to confirm your intent to utilize the services of IQS. A confirmation of receipt and invoice for the first year’s fees will be posted to you by return.
On receipt of a signed Application, a Lead Auditor will be allocated to conduct your audits. He/she will contact you to agree a provisional schedule for the visits, explain the registration process and answer any questions you may have.
Once your company’s Procedures and Manuals and other system documentation are complete, these will be reviewed against the requirements of the relevant standard. It may be necessary to carry out this review on-site supported by a limited audit to validate the effectiveness of the documentation prior to the registration audit. This is referred to as a Stage 1 Audit. You will be presented with a formal report of the findings from this audit.
On completion of the Stage 1 audit the Lead Auditor will discuss and mutually confirm the registration audit date. This will take account of any time needed to make any adjustments to the documented system resulting from any deficiencies identified during the document review.
The main registration audit will commence with an opening meeting. During this meeting the methodology and conduct of the audit will be explained. The itinerary will also be confirmed and an opportunity given for any questions you may have regarding the audit. Who attends the opening meeting is a matter for the client but it is recommended as a minimum the key management personnel responsible for the implementation of the system are in attendance.
The registration audit will consist of sampling of objective evidence (records) observation of working processes and discussion with personnel at all levels of your company’s organization. For audits over several days a brief outline of the progress of the audit will be given at the close of each day.
Should the Lead Auditor decide at any time during the audit that there is a complete breakdown of the system against the requirements of the standard, a meeting will be called with senior management to advise you of the Team’s findings and agree with you a course of action. It is worth noting however that this is a rare occurrence.
On completion of the main registration audit (Stage 2), a closing meeting will be convened to provide an overview of the audit and detail the audit findings and recommendations. Any deficiencies identified will be documented within a Corrective Action Request (CAR). Where these deficiencies are minor in nature, the CAR will be designated as a minor. Where major deficiencies are noted then the CARs will be designated as major. In both cases a written indication of the action to be taken to address the deficiency before the certificate can be issued must be provided to IQS.
It is general policy of IQS to produce a written report on site at the time of the main registration audit (where this not possible, a written report shall be prepared within 10 working days of the registration audit). This report will be submitted to IQS for review by the appropriate Certification Manager on behalf of the Independent Governing Council of IQS, whose role it is to ensure that IQS is impartial and fair in its dealings with its customers. The Governing Council reviews reports retrospectively.
Once the report has been successfully reviewed a Registration Certificate and Registration Schedule will be issued, usually within 15 working days of completion of the audit. IQS registered company mark is now available to be used by IQS client companies. The mark can be applied to stationery and publicity material that relates to the company’s Scope of Registration. This can include websites, brochures, product cards, walls, exhibition stands, advertisements etc.., and may also cover items such as company flags and vehicles.
Quotations will be provided on the basis of a 12 monthly or 6 monthly surveillance visit routine following the main registration audit and a quotation can be provided accordingly upon request. Should clients fail to effectively maintain their management system on a 12-monthly visit programme or during the main registration audit it is evident that there were sufficient concerns to indicate that more regular visits would be more appropriate, and then IQS would retain the right to impose 6 monthly surveillance visits until confidence is restored.