Detailed Certification Process

1 Application
The client completes an application form through – Management Systems, Factory Production Control or change of details/scope. The Scheme Assistant reviews the information supplied. If further information is required, the Scheme Assistant contacts the client. Following the review, the Scheme Assistant completes an application review form and prepares a quotation, detailing the methodology and costs involved for the certification process. The Scheme Assistant issues the quotation through the SCCS database , the SCCS database allows access to the SCCS Regulations and Fees structure documents.
2Quotation acceptance
If the client is satisfied with the quotation, the signed acceptance is returned to the Scheme Assistant. The Scheme Assistant then starts the assessment planning.
The Scheme Assistant appoints a Lead Assessor for the assessment. Initial certification assessments by SCCS are conducted in two Stages. The Lead Assessor makes contact with the client to arrange a date for the Stage 1 audit
4Stage 1
This is a formal review of the client’s management system documentation and preparedness for the audit relevant to the respective standard. This is usually conducted at the client’s premises. SCCS output of this review is a formal report including identification of any auditor findings that need to be formally addressed in readiness for Stage 2.
5Stage 2
This is a formal assessment of the client’s compliance with the management system reviewed during Stage 1. This assessment is commenced after any amendments to the system resulting from the Stage 1 findings. SCCS output of a Stage 2 Audit includes a formal report including identification of all non-compliances with the formal management system reviewed and/or the relevant management system standard.
When the client has submitted the required evidence to verify completion of any corrective actions resulting from Stage 2 of the assessment, the nominated decision-maker/verifier will review the corrective action statements and any supplied information for adequacy. When these are accepted, the decision-maker/verifier signs the report as accepted. The Director of Certification produces and signs the relevant certificate and issues it to the client with a copy of the conditions for use.
Client management systems certified by SCCS are subjected to regular surveillance audits. Surveillance audits are conducted against a programme specific to each certified organisation against all requirements of the relevant standard. All the production facilities of organisations issued with certification covering more than one production site are visited at least once every 18 months.
Each management system certified by SCCS is formally re-assessed every 36 months. The re-certification process, including the client’s completion of any corrective actions emanating from the re-assessment audit, needs to be completed before the Scheme can re-issue certification of a management system.
9Special audits
SCCS may exercise its rights to request access for additional audits to assess the client’s management system:
  • Where the client wishes to extend the Scope of Certification to include additional processes or locations etc. (This can be done in conjunction with a surveillance visit)
  • When SCCS needs to investigate the situation relevant to a formal Customer Complaint or to verify the evidence of the clients’ response to a complaint.
  • If the client announces significant changes to the management system or the organisational structure.
  • Following a period of temporary suspension of certification. In such cases the ‘Special Audit’ shall be completed and any relevant corrective actions completed prior to re-instatement of the certification.
    • SCCS will notify the client in advance of any special visits and how they will be conducted. A surveillance audit report is issued following such a visit addressing the specific aspects of the audit.
10Suspending, withdrawing or reducing the scope of certification
SCCS operates a formal procedure for the suspension, withdrawal, reduction of certification which requires the Director of Certification to provide all relevant information to the Certification Board Chairman who is responsible for all relevant decisions. In instances where certification is suspended or withdrawn, the Certified Organisation shall cease to claim SCCS certification until it is re-instated and has SCCS confirmed permission for the SCCS and/or UKAS logos to be used again. Upon receipt of a formal request from any party, the Scheme is required to confirm the status of certification for any identified SCCS certified organisations including those whose certification has been temporarily suspended.