SACAS went Global

SACAS is one of the leading certification bodies in South Africa and just open up offices in Ireland to service Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe over and above services we rendered throughout Africa, rendering value-added certification services.

SACAS Ireland is an Irish-registered company (registration number 650926) who is a subsidiary of South African Certification and Auditing Services that specializes in the certification of companies and first-party and second-party as well as third-party auditing. SACAS also offers gap analyses ensuring conformance with requirements.

We offer certification services based on national and international standard based on:

  • ISO 9001:2015 for Quality Management Systems;
  • ISO 14001:2015 for Environmental Management Systems;
  • ISO 22000:2005 & ISO 22000:2018 for Food Safety Management System;
  • ISO 45001:2018 for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems;
  • ISO 13485:2016 Quality Management Systems for Medical Devices;
  • ISO 39001:2012 Road Transport Management Systems;
  • ISO 50001:2018 for Energy Management Systems;
  • ISO 27001:2013 for Information Management Systems;
  • (HACCP) Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (as required by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland), as well as
  • GFSI Global Markets Capacity Building Programme Basic Introduction and Basic Intermediary Audits.

New services in product certification have been added to improve our services to customers following a one-stop certification service provider.

We offer process, product, and services certification services based on a national and international standard for the South African markets based on:

  • SANS 227:2007;
  • SANS 543:2015 or SANS 543:2019;
  • SANS 1058:2007;
  • SANS 1215:2008;
  • SANS 1475-1:2010 & SANS 1475-2:2010;
  • SANS 1575:2007;
  • SANS 1879:2013; and
  • SANS 1910:2009

SACAS offer process, product, and services certification services based on a national and international standard for the Irish and European markets based on:

  • I.S. 291:2015;
  • I.S. 671-1:2012; and
  • CE Mark for Ireland and Europe as we seeking accreditation as a notifying body with INAB for these three requirements.

Product certification is where a product has passed its performance and quality assurance tests as required by a standard or legislation or complying with the national or international standards or legislative requirements.

SACAS South Africa who is also approved by the Department of Labour and our approvals number PER 0001 CB has been granted, and the other scopes will follow shortly.

Company Policy

The company policies of SACAS are characterized by the expectations of its stakeholders.

These are:

  • Customers;
  • Employees and auditors;
  • External assessors, auditors, industry experts, and business partners;
  • SACAS shareholders;
  • SACAS Stakeholders including the public, government, accreditation body (SANAS and shortly also INAB as we wish to be dually accredited by INAB as well by March 2021);
  • Statutory and Regulatory Authorities namely the Department of Labour etc;
  • Customers of the certified organizations and the end-users of products and services.

The expectations of these interested parties find expression in the various aspects of the corporate policies of SACAS.

Customer Expectations

Customers (as well as shareholders) expect SACAS to deliver high-value services for the audit and improvement of management systems. The customers also expect measurable change from the audit process, as well as active support in exploring opportunities for improvement. Audits will be tailored to customer needs, often integrating or combining different standards in one procedure. Besides, customers expect internationally-recognized certificates.

Information to Clients

SACAS certifies Company Management Systems, Processes, Products, and Services through SACAS against a wide range of national and International Standards. 

SACAS shall make available upon request, the following information to all our clients:

  1. information about the certification scheme(s), including evaluation procedures, rules, and procedures for granting, for maintaining, for extending or reducing the scope of, for suspending, for withdrawing or for refusing certification by contacting the quality manager at certification@sacasireland.com;
  2. SACAS obtains financial support from certification services rendered to clients as well as training services provided and general information on the fees charged to applicants and clients will be made available on request by completing an application form as well as providing SACAS with copies of the registration certificate of your company;
  3. Only the logos provided by SACAS are allowed to be used and no other logos or marks are allowed to be used and are available at the quality manager at certification@sacasireland.com. Also, the ISO logos are not allowed to be used and approval from SACAS management in writing is required if other logos are wished to be used and SACAS's decision will be final if not approved. If companies do not wish to use SACAS logos or marks no other certification bodies logos or marks are allowed to be used. Application for the use of logos is available at the quality manager at certification@sacasireland.com;
  4. information about procedures for handling complaints and appeals is done as below.

Expectations of External Assessors, Auditors, Industry Experts, and Partners

Associate auditors, assessors, experts, and other partners expect SACAS to be a reliable business partner with sustainable business opportunities. They expect cooperation based on mutual respect and partnership, as well as the recognition of achievements, professional development opportunities, and attractive business growth.

Auditor policy competent, experienced, and dedicated auditors provide the basis for value-generating services and customer appreciation. SACAS wants to build and maintain long-term, prosperous partnerships with its auditors, based on respectful interaction, performance-related recognition, and attractive assignments.

Expectations of Society, Government, and Accreditation Bodies

An accreditation organization (SANAS) monitors SACAS, on behalf of the government or relevant public interest groups. Their expectations focus mainly on conformity to applicable rules and laws. Like any other responsible organization, though, SACAS is also expected to contribute an adequate share to society as a whole. Take note SACAS Ireland is not yet INAB accredited and is in the process of obtaining dual accreditation with INAB as SACAS South Africa is accredited by SANAS.

Shareholder Expectations

The shareholders of SACAS expect SACAS to be an internationally-recognized certification body, to supply high-value certification services in the audit and certification of:

  • ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems;
  • ISO 13485:2016 Quality Management Systems for Medical Devices; 
  • ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems;
  • SANS 10330:2007 & SANS 10330:2020 Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points; 
  • ISO 22000:2005 & ISO 22000:2018 Food Safety Management Systems;
  • ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems; 
  • Process, Product and Services certifications;
  • ISO 39001:2012 Road Traffic Management Systems;
  • ISO 27001:2012 Information Management Systems; and
  • ISO 50001:2018 Energy Management Systems.

A new expectation added by the shareholders to increase systems certifications to include product certification as well as supplying high-value product certification services which include: (Clients wishing to export to South Africa will be certified by SACAS)

  • SANS 227:2007;
  • SANS 543:2015 and SANS 543:2019;
  • SANS 1058:2007;
  • SANS 1215:2008;
  • SANS 1475-1:2010 and SANS 1475-2:2010;
  • SANS 1575:2007;
  • SANS 1879:2013;
  • SANS 1910:2009.

For the Irish and European market:

  • I.S 691:2015;
  • I.S. 671-1:2012;
  • CE Mark.

(Note SACAS is not yet a notifying body and is in the process to obtain INAB accreditation)

SACAS generates a surplus to:

  • Achieve an adequate, sustainable return on shareholder equity; and
  • Provide the resources necessary for the organization’s growth and development.

Therefore, business strategy/plans are prepared three years in advance according to certifications issued, authorized by the shareholders, and updated at least annually to ensure continual improvement.

Our Vision

To be the first choice certification body, the vision drives the development of SACAS. It reflects the expectations of the essential stakeholders:

  • Appreciated by our customers as a valuable partner;
  • Internationally recognized registrar/certification body;
  • Preferred by employees and partners;
  • Profitable with sustainable growth.

SACAS shall become the preferred assessment provider for all types of management systems and their processes as well as product, process, and service certification provider.

SACAS shall do so by focusing on customer needs.

Starting with the current customer base in different countries in Africa, SACAS achieves growth through new, demand-orientated assessment services that focus on value generation for the customer. Based on successfully established assessments, SACAS achieves international growth through new customers in attractive markets (countries), which shall also be developed jointly with partners.

With its business activities, SACAS generates profits to yield a suitable return on equity and to be able to invest in its growth and development. Thereby making employees, internal and external auditors, and partners of SACAS constitute the most important success factors.

Our Purpose

To provide complete, reliable, and high-quality auditing and certification services in respect of the following standards:

  • ISO 9001:2015,
  • ISO 13485:2016,
  • ISO 14001:2015,
  • ISO 45001:2018,
  • ISO 22000:2005 & ISO 22000:2018,
  • ISO 27001:2013,
  • ISO 50001:2018,
  • ISO 39001:2012,
  • HACCP;

as well as product, process, and services certification based on:

(For the South African market)

  • SANS 227:2007,
  • SANS 543:2015 & SANS 543:2019;
  • SANS 1058:2007,
  • SANS 1215:2008;
  • SANS 1475-1:2010 & SANS 1475-2:2010,
  • SANS 1575:2007;
  • SANS 1879:2013; SANS 1910:2009. 

For the Irish and European market:

  • I.S. 291:2015,
  • I.S. 671-1:2012; and
  • CE Mark.

Why SACAS?

Our goal is to improve our customer’s management systems by offering value-adding certification and auditing services complying with ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015, ISO/IEC 17021-2:2016, ISO/IEC 17021-3:2017, ISO/IEC 17021-7:2014, ISO/IEC 17021-10:2018, ISO/IEC 27006:2015, ISO/IEC 17065:2012, ISO/IEC 17067:2013, ISO/TS 22003:2013, ISO/IEC 50003:2014, SANAS P05-10:2019 and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

  • SACAS stands for symbols of high competence, impartiality, and independence:
  • Reputable internationally recognized registrar;
  • A South African as well as an Irish registered company leading by example;
  • Firmly established and serving clients since 2009;
  • Locally driven, internationally recognized;
  • Has highly qualified and certified auditors with technical competence and experience;
  • Focused on economic benefits and customer and stakeholders needs and expectations;
  • Independent supplier of audits of management systems processes as well as for products, processes, and services;
  • Certification of standalone or integrated management systems;
  • Certifications of products, processes, and or services;
  • Value-adding audits;

Management system and product, process, and service reviews based on client specifications, international codes of practices, Ireland as well as Europian standards and regulatory requirements.

During all audits and certification activities, the management of SACAS is strictly committed to impartiality as an essential element in the conduct of audits and certifications. A potential conflict of interest is managed in order to assure the objectivity of all certification activities.

The value of SACAS certificates is in the degree of confidence and trust that customers and markets place in SACAS. Customers of certified organizations and end-users expect to rely on SACAS certificates. To promote this confidence, SACAS takes into account the following principles in all of its activities:

  • impartiality;
  • competence;
  • responsibility;
  • openness;
  • confidentiality;
  • responsiveness to complaints;
  • risk-based approach.

Impartiality requires independence from any undue influence upon certification decisions, which shall be objective and purely fact-based. Competence is a key asset in ensuring professional audits that lead to valid results. Every employee in every function shall be duly competent for their assigned tasks. At SACAS we take responsibility for our certification activities and their results.

For SACAS, openness means unrestricted access to certification services without any undue discrimination. Confidentiality is another key asset in building sustainable business partnerships with our customers. Professional data and information protection is a continuous activity at SACAS.

For SACAS clients that rely on its certification activities, expect to have complaints investigated and, if these are found to be valid, should have confidence that these complaints will be appropriately addressed and that a reasonable effort will be made by SACAS to resolve such complaints. Effective responsiveness to complaints is an important means of protection for SACAS, its clients, and other users of certification activities against errors, omissions, or unreasonable behavior. Confidence in certification activities is safeguarded when complaints are processed appropriately.

A corporate code of ethics has been established, defining consistent corporate values and principles in all SACAS certifications worldwide.

SACAS needs to take into account the risks associated with providing competent, consistent, and impartial certification. Risks may include, but are not limited to, those associated with:

  • the objectives of the audit;
  • the sampling used in the audit process;
  • real and perceived impartiality;
  • legal, regulatory, and liability issues;
  • the client organization being audited and its operating environment;
  • impact of the audit on the client and its activities;
  • health and safety of the audit teams;
  • perception of interested parties;
  • misleading statements by the certified client;
  • use of marks.

Impartiality Policy

SACAS is a third-party certification body accredited by SANAS based on the following standards:

  • ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015;
  • ISO/IEC 17021-2:2016;
  • ISO/IEC 17021-3:2017;
  • ISO/IEC 17021-10:2018;
  • ISO/IEC 17065:2012;
  • ISO/IEC 17067:2013;
  • ISO/TS 22003:2013; and
  • SANAS P05-10:2019.

We provide accredited certification in accordance with:

  • ISO 9001:2015;
  • ISO 13485:2016;
  • ISO 14001:2015;
  • ISO 45001:2018;
  • ISO 22000:2005; and
  • HACCP management systems.

We are also in the process of obtaining accreditation for systems certification based on:

  • ISO 22000:2018;
  • ISO 39001:2012;
  • ISO 27001:2013; and
  • ISO 50001:2018.

SACAS also renders accredited product, process, and service certification for the South African market based on:

  • SANS 543:2015,
  • SANS 1475-1:2010 & SANS 1475-2:2010;
  • SANS 1879:2013

SACAS also wish to obtain accreditation based on:

  • I.S 291:2015;
  • I.S. 271-1:2012; and
  • CE Mark as a notifying body by INAB.

SACAS top management is committed to impartiality in all of its management system certification activities and will identify and manage all potential threats towards impartiality. SACAS Ireland has a publicly accessible statement on our website www.sacasireland.com as well as the Code of Ethics and Code of Ethical Business is displayed in our offices, that we understand the importance of impartiality.

SACAS carrying out management system certification activities and will manage conflict of interest and ensure the objectivity of our management system certification activities at all times in system certifications based on the international standards of:

  • ISO 9001:2015;
  • ISO 13485:2016;
  • ISO 14001:2015;
  • OHSAS 18001:2007;
  • ISO 45001:2018;
  • ISO 22000:2005 & ISO 22000:2018;
  • HACCP;
  • ISO 39001:2012;
  • ISO 27001:2012;
  • ISO 50001:2018.

For product certification for the South African market based on:

  • SANS 227:2007;
  • SANS 543:2015 & SANS 543:2019;
  • SANS 1058:2007,
  • SANS 1215:2008;
  • SANS 1475-1:2010 & SANS 1475-2:2010;
  • SANS 1575:2007;
  • SANS 1879:2013; and SANS 1910:2009.

For product certification for the Irish and European market based on:

  • I.S. 291:2015;
  • I.S 271-1:2012; and
  • CE Mark.

SACAS shall identify, analyze, assess the potential risks as well as document any possibilities for conflict of interests arising from the provision of certification activities including any potential conflicts arising from its relationships with all customers at all times.

If any relationship creates a threat to impartiality, SACAS shall document these threats and send it to the Impartiality Committee to analyze these relationships preventing a conflict of interest and to eliminate or minimize these threats by taking action and give recommendations back to top management. All potential sources of conflict of interests that are identified, whether they arise from within SACAS or from the activities of other persons including external auditors or contractors or organizations will be analyzed and recommendations from the Impartiality Committee will be addressed and actions are taken to prevent any form of conflict of interest.

“NOTE” A relationship that threatens the impartiality of SACAS can be based on ownership, governance, management, personnel, shared resources, finances, contracts, marketing, and payment of a sales commission or other inducement for the referral of new clients, etc. 

When a relationship poses an unacceptable threat to impartiality (such as a wholly-owned subsidiary of SACAS requesting certification from its parent), then certification shall not be provided.

SACAS commits itself to effective, efficient, and customer-oriented treatment of complaints and appeals. Feedback from customers, which also includes complaints, is considered an opportunity for improvement of our services. For this reason, SACAS is interested in all feedback, including complaints, if needed.

Complaint Procedure

1.1. Responsibilities

Each manager is responsible for:

  • The maintenance of the Complaints Register,
  • The appointment of a member of their staff to coordinate management of complaints until closeout and to be the first contact for complaints,
  • Regular updating of complaints register located at the Quality Manager.

The Quality Manager is responsible for:

  • The maintenance of the Complaints Register,
  • Coordinating management of complaints relating to SACAS matters until closeout and being the first contact for complaints received by SACAS,
  • Monthly reporting of complaints summary to Executive Management.

The Managing Director is responsible for:

  • Maintenance of the General Component of Potential Client Cancellation Reports;
  • Coordinating management of complaints relating to general matters until closeout.

1.2. Complaints Register

The Complaint register shall record the following details:

  • Complaint Number;
  • Who is complaining?
  • What is the complaint about?
  • Who is handling the complaint?
  • When was the complaint received?
  • How was the complaint resolved?
  • When was the complaint closed?

1.3. Processing of Complaints about SACAS

On receiving a complaint the relevant details are recorded on a complaint form and verifying all necessary information to validate the complaint. The Complaint Form (and other relevant details) is passed to the Quality Manager or nominee for review. The person selected to investigate the complaint shall be free of ‘conflict of interest’. (i.e. the person must not have provided consultancy to, or have been employed by the complainant within the previous 2 years. They shall not be a shareholder of the complainant organization, and shall be free of any commercial or personal influences that might affect objectivity).

SACAS confirms whether the complaint relates to certification activities that it is responsible for and, if so, shall deal with it. If the complaint relates to a certified client, then an examination of the complaint shall consider the effectiveness of the certified management system. 

Submission, investigation, and decision on complaints shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the complainant. 

On receiving a complaint the person(s) appointed in the decision resolving of the complaint shall be made by, or reviewed and approved by, the person(s) not involved in the certification activities related to the complaintAlso upon receipt of a complaint, SACAS shall confirm whether the complaint relates to certification activities that it is responsible for and, if so, shall deal with it. If the complaint relates to a certified client, then an examination of the complaint shall consider the effectiveness of the certified management system. 

Any valid complaint about a certified client shall also be referred by SACAS to the certified client in question at an appropriate time. SACAS, however, shall first obtain the necessary information ensuring it is valid before the client will be the approach. 

SACAS has this procedure as a documented process to receive, evaluate, and make decisions on complaints. This process is subject to requirements for confidentiality, as it relates to the complainant and to the subject of the complaint. 

The complaints-handling process includes the following elements and methods:

  1. An outline of the process for receiving, validating, investigating the complaint, and for deciding what actions are to be taken in response to it;
  2. Tracking and recording complaints, including actions undertaken in response to them;
  3. Ensuring that any appropriate correction and corrective action are taken. 

SACAS shall when receiving the complaint be responsible for gathering and verifying all necessary information to validate the complaint. 

Whenever possible, SACAS shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint and shall provide the complainant with progress reports and the result of the complaint. 

The decision to be communicated to the complainant shall be made by, or reviewed and approved by, individual(s) not previously involved in the subject of the complaint. 

Whenever possible, SACAS shall give formal notice of the end of the complaints-handling process to the complainant. 

SACAS shall determine, together with the certified client and the complainant, whether and, if so to what extent, the subject of the complaint and its resolution shall be made public. 

The following process shall be followed by SACAS:

On review, the Quality Manager or nominee shall appoint a member of the staff to manage the complaint and to enter details into the complaint register.

If not have the resources to manage a particular complaint, assistance may be sought from the following:     

Managing Director.

  • A copy of all correspondence relating to the complaint (sent and received) must be filed with the relevant complaint form.
  • Once an agreement has been reached on the satisfactory resolution of the complaint, the relevant staff member investigating the complaint shall:
    • update the complaint form,
    • update complaint register,
    • provide written confirmation of the action that will be or has been taken to resolve the complainant’s grievance.

Apart from confirming to the complainant what action has been taken to resolve their complaint, the complainant must be advised of their right to appeal against the handling of their complaint. That is if the complainant is not happy with the resolution of their grievance with SACAS they may lodge a written appeal with:

The Company Legal Adviser
SACAS
The Sideline, Corskeygh
Frenchpark
Castlerea, Co Roscommon,
F45DD51
Ireland

For the purposes of this procedure, where all actions reasonably expected of SACAS have been taken, it is deemed that “agreement has been reached on the satisfactory resolution of the complaint”, whether or not the complainant agrees to the resolution or considers it to be “satisfactory”.

1.4 Processing a Complaint about SACAS Clients

On receiving a complaint the relevant details are recorded on a complaint form. The complaint form (and other relevant detail) is passed to the Quality manager for review.

SACAS will confirm whether the complaint relates to certification activities that it is responsible for and, if so, shall deal with it. If the complaint relates to a certified client, the complaint will be investigated determining whether it represents a source of information as to possible Non-conformity, including any predetermining factors within the SACAS management system by examining the complaint considering the effectiveness of the certified management system.

The Quality manager reviews the importance of the complaint to SACAS and enters details into the complaints register. The review shall consider, at least the following issues:

  • safety,
  • miss-use of the Standards Mark,
  • certified management systems,
  • potential to undermine the reputation of SACAS.

All complaints and disputes shall be dealt with in a constructive and timely manner. Where the operation of complaints and disputes procedures has not resulted in the acceptable resolution of the matter or where the proposed procedure is unacceptable to the complainant or other parties involved, SACAS provides for an appeals process.

This appeals procedure provides:

  1. The opportunity for the appellant to formally present its case;
  2. An independent element or other means to ensure the impartiality of the appeals process;
  3. A written statement of the appeal findings to the appellant including the reasons for the decisions reached.

SACAS shall ensure when receiving a complaint SACAS shall be responsible for gathering and verifying all information to validate the complaint.

If a decision is taken to investigate a complaint; the method and resources allocated to the investigation are left to the discretion of the Quality Manager. The progress of such investigations shall be reported as described above to the complainant.

At the discretion of the Quality Manager, the SACAS client which is the subject of a complaint may be informed that SACAS is investigating a complaint made by one of their clients and also may be informed of the outcome of the SACAS investigation. However, please note the following:

  • the degree and type of information given to a third-party is governed by SACAS Ireland Rules relating to confidentiality,
  • the identity of the complainant shall not be disclosed without the complainant’s expressed permission to do so.

The decision to be communicated to the complainant shall be made by, or reviewed and approved by, individual(s) not previously involved in the subject of the complaint. 

If the complaint is solely about lack of service or a commercial dispute, the investigating officer shall organize a letter, over the signature of the Quality Manager, outlining SACAS’s role to the complainant within seven (7) days from receiving the complaint.

Once the required action has been implemented, the investigating officer completes the complaint form and updates the complaint register. 

SACAS shall give formal notice of the end of the complaints-handling process to the complainant.

SACAS shall determine, together with the client and the complainant, whether and, if so to what extent, the subject of the complaint and its resolution shall be made public. 

SACAS shall take any subsequent action needed to resolve the complaint. 

1.5 Processing of SACAS Complaints

Complaints received by Corporate shall be processed and investigated based on the root-cause analysis.

1.6 Processing of Complaints about Certified Clients

When receiving a complaint about a certified company the relevant details are recorded on a complaint form. The Complaint Form (and other relevant details) is passed to the Quality Manager or nominee for review. The person selected to investigate the complaint shall be free of ‘conflict of interest’. (i.e. the person must not have provided consultancy to, or have been employed by the complainant within the previous 2 years. They shall not be a shareholder of the complainant organization, and shall be free of any commercial or personal influences that might affect objectivity). The certified client will be informed at an appropriate time. 

On review, the Quality Manager or nominee shall appoint a member of the staff to manage the complaint and to enter details into the complaint register.

If not have the resources to manage a particular complaint, assistance may be sought from the following:

Managing Director

A copy of all correspondence relating to the complaint (sent and received) must be filed with the relevant complaint form for future reference.

If it is a systems complaint the certified client will be informed of the complaint in writing and a short notice audit will be conducted on the certified company, on companies expense, to obtain objective evidence of the complaint and if non-conformances are identified the certified company will draft a complete action plan by when by whom and what actions will be taken to address the non-conformity and SACAS will not be held responsible for any financial claims because of poor services or products delivered by the certified company.

If a complaint was raised by the public of a certified client (in the newspaper, on the radio or television), the client will be informed of the complaint in writing and a short notice audit will be conducted on the certified company, on companies expense, to obtain objective evidence of the complaint and if non-conformances are identified the certified company will draft a complete action plan by when by whom and what actions will be taken to address the non-conformity and SACAS will not be held responsible for any financial claims because of poor services or products delivered by the certified company.

Once an agreement has been reached on the satisfactory resolution of the complaint, the relevant staff member investigating the complaint shall:

  • update the complaint form,
  • update complaint register,
  • provide written confirmation of the action that will be or has been taken to resolve the complainant’s grievance.

SACAS uses such investigation to develop remedial/corrective action, which includes measures for:

  1. Preventing recurrence;
  2. Assessing the effectiveness of the remedial/corrective measures adopted.

Apart from confirming to the complainant what action has been taken to resolve their complaint, the complainant must be advised of their right to appeal against the handling of their complaint. That is if the complainant is not happy with the resolution of their grievance with SACAS they may lodge a written appeal with:

The Company Legal Adviser
SACAS
The Sideline, Corskeygh
Frenchpark
Castlerea, Co Roscommon,
F45DD51
Ireland

For the purposes of this procedure, where all actions reasonably expected of SACAS have been taken, it is deemed that “agreement has been reached on the satisfactory resolution of the complaint”, whether or not the complainant agrees to the resolution or considers it to be “satisfactory”.

All complaints will be handled in the same manner and same objectivity and the same effort will be given to ensure proper corrective action is taken and preventive actions are put into place to prevent re-occurrence.

Written feedback will be given to the complainant on actions taken.

1.7 Corrective Action or Service Improvement

Long term corrective action or preventative action or suggested service improvements, were identified by this procedure should be brought to the management review meeting for determination of the appropriate cause of action.

1.8 Information made publicly available regarding a complaint

If a complaint was raised in the public and the complaint was investigated through a short notice audit and non-conformances were identified, a proper press release will be compiled with the advice of legal advisors of the certified client as well as the legal advisors of SACAS with a summary report which includes the corrective action plans as determined by the certified client, will be made available to the public. If the certified client refuses to make any information publicly available, SACAS reserves the right then to withdraw certification. SACAS will not be held responsible for any financial claims because of poor services or products delivered by the certified company whether or not made information available publicly or not.

If a complaint was raised in the public and the complaint was investigated through a short notice and no non-conformances were identified, a proper press release will be compiled with the advice of legal advisors of the certified client as well as the legal advisors of SACAS with a summary report, will be made available to the public. SACAS will not be held responsible for any financial claims because of poor services or products delivered by the certified company whether or not made information available publicly or not.

1.9. Management Reporting

1.9.1. The Quality Manager shall ensure all components of the complaints register is maintained in a current state, and available for review on a monthly basis by the Managing Director.

1.9.2. The Quality Manager shall ensure records of all completed complaint forms and related documentation are maintained as per our own Procedure.

1.9.3. The Managing Director shall collate and report on a monthly basis to Executive Management the following:

  • details of all new complaints for the month,
  • all formal complaints still open from the previous month.

1.1. Responsibilities

Each manager is responsible for:

  • The maintenance of the Appeals Register; 
  • The appointment of a member of the senior staff to coordinate management of appeals until close-out and to be the first contact for appeals;
  • Regular updating of appeals relating to SACAS Ireland matters until close-out and being the first contact for appeals received by SACAS Ireland ;
  • Monthly reporting of appeals summary to Executive Management.
  • The Managing Director is responsible for:
  • Maintenance of the General Component of potential Client Cancellation Report;
  • Coordinating management of appeals relating to general matters until close-out.

1.2. Appeals Register

The Appeals register (shall record the following details:

  • Appeals Number;
  • Who is appealing?
  • What is an appeal about?
  • Who is handling the appeal?
  • When was the appeal received?
  • How was the appeal resolved?
  • When was the appeal closed?

1.3. Processing of Appeals about SACAS Ireland

SACAS shall ensure a description of the appeals-handling process shall be publicly accessible.

On receiving an appeal the relevant details are recorded on an appeals form. The Appeals Form (and other relevant details) is passed to the Quality Manager for review. The person selected by the Quality Manager to investigate the Appeal shall be free of ‘conflict of interest’. (i.e. the person must not have provided consultancy to, or have been employed by the complainant within the previous 2 years. They shall not be a shareholder of the appealing organization, and shall be free of any commercial or personal influences that might affect the objectivity and was not part of any internal or external audits in the past two years from the date of appeal at the appealing company).

On review, the Quality Manager or nominee shall appoint a member of the staff to manage the appeal and to enter details into the appeals register.

If not have the resources to manage a particular appeal, assistance may be sought from the following:

Managing Director

  • A copy of all correspondence relating to the appeal (sent and received) must be filed with the relevant appeals form. 
  • Once an agreement has been reached on the satisfactory resolution of the appeal, the relevant staff member investigating the appeal shall:
  • update the appeals form,
  • give information to the Quality Manager to update the appeals register,
  • provide written confirmation of the action that will be or has been taken to resolve appealing company’s grievance.

Apart from confirming to the appealing company what action has been taken to resolve their appeal, the appealing company must be advised of their right to appeal against the handling of their appeal. That is if the appealing company is not happy with the resolution of their grievance with SACAS Ireland they may lodge a written appeal with:

The Company Legal Adviser
SACAS Ireland
The Sideline, Corskeygh
Frenchpark
Castlerea, Co Roscommon,
F45DD51
Ireland

For the purposes of this procedure, where all actions reasonably expected of SACAS Ireland have been taken, it is deemed that “agreement has been reached on the satisfactory resolution of the appealing company”, whether or not the appealing company agrees to the resolution or considers it to be “satisfactory”.

1.4 Processing an Appeal about a SACAS Ireland outcome

On receiving an appeal the relevant details are recorded on an appeals form. The appeals form (and other relevant detail) is passed to the Quality manager for review. A formal acknowledgment will be given to the appellant in writing and will be sent via e-mail as well as per hand ensuring the appellant knows that the appeal is received and the process of investigation has started.

The Quality manager reviews the importance of the appeal to SACAS Ireland and enters details into the appeals register. The review shall consider, at least the following issues:

  • what is the appeal about,
  • who is appealing.

If a decision is taken to investigate the appeal; the method and resources allocated to the investigation are left to the discretion of the Quality Manager. The progress of such investigations shall be reported as described above.

At the discretion of the Quality Manager, the SACAS Ireland’s client which is the subject of an appeal must be informed that SACAS Ireland is investigating the appeal made by one of their management and also must be informed of the outcome of the SACAS Ireland investigation. However, please note the following:

  • the degree and type of information given to a third-party is governed by SACAS Ireland Rules relating to confidentiality.

No person engaged in the appeal handling process was part of the audit been carried out, or as part of any audits in the past two years at the organization, or consult at the appealing company for the past two years;

SACAS Ireland is responsible for all decisions at all levels of the appeals-handling process. SACAS Ireland shall ensure that the persons engaged in the appeals-handling process are different from those who carried out the audits and made the certification decisions.

Submission, investigation, and decision on appeals shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the appellant.

The appeals-handling process shall include at least the following elements and methods:

  1. An outline of the process for receiving, validating and investigating the appeal, and for deciding what actions are to be taken in response to it, taking into account the results of previous similar appeals;
  2. Tracking and recording appeals, including actions undertaken to resolve them;
  3. Ensuring that any appropriate correction and corrective action are taken.

SACAS Ireland shall acknowledge receipt of the appeal and shall provide the appellant with progress reports and the outcome;

The decision to be communicated to the appellant shall be made by, or reviewed and approved by, individual(s) not previously involved in the subject of the appeal;

SACAS Ireland shall give formal notice to the appellant of the end of the appeals-handling process.

Once the required action has been implemented, the investigating officer completes the appeals form and gives the information to the Quality Manager who updates the appeals register. 

1.5 Investigation of SACAS Ireland Appeals

The appointee who is responsible for the investigation of the appeal shall be free of ‘conflict of interest’. (I.e. the person must not have provided consultancy to, or have been employed by the appellant within the previous 2 years. They shall not be a shareholder of the appealing organization, and shall be free of any commercial or personal influences that might affect the objectivity and was not part of any internal or external audits in the past two years from the date of appeal at the appealing company.

The appointee may decide to depend on the form of appeal to appoint more members to assist with the investigation but the same rules apply.

The appointee(s) may not be the same people who conducted the audits or who is part of the approvals board activities. 

SACAS Ireland shall ensure that submission, investigation, and decisions on appeals shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the appellant. 

The appeals-handling process shall include at least the following elements and methods:

  • an outline of the process for receiving, validating and investigating the appeal, and for deciding what actions are to be taken in response to it, taking into account the results of previous similar appeals;
  • tracking and recording appeals, including actions undertaken to resolve them; and
  • ensuring that any appropriate correction and corrective action are taken. 

SACAS Ireland shall acknowledge receipt of the appeal and shall provide the appellant with a progress report as well as the final outcome. 

SACAS Ireland shall ensure the decision to be communicated to the appellant shall be made by, or reviewed and approved by, individual(s) not previously involved in the subject of the appeal.

The decision to be communicated to the appellant shall be made by, or reviewed and approved by, individual(s) not previously involved in the subject of the appeal. 

SACAS Ireland shall give formal notice to the appellant of the end of the appeals handling process.

SACAS Ireland shall take any subsequent action needed to resolve the appeal.

A complete investigation is conducted taking into consideration all objective evidence provided by the appellant as well as the requirements required by the applicable standard and normative references required according to which the appellant seeks certification.

This may require that the investigation team may have to access the premises of the appellant to obtain more objective evidence ensuring compliance with the required standard and normative reverences ensuring compliance.

A formal opening meeting will be held and the investigation during site visits will be in the form of audits gaining information based on objective evidence and continuous feedback to the appellant will be given ensuring they understand the process of the investigation and the whole process will be handled according to SACAS Ireland procedures. A formal feedback session at the end of the onsite activities will be given ensuring the appellant understands the process followed and the way forward.

Based on the outcome of the investigation team will make a decision whether the original certification outcome was satisfactory and in line with the requirements of the required standard and normative references as well as the requirements of ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015, ISO/IEC 17065:2012, ISO/TS 22003:2013, SANAS P05-10:2019 and ISO 19011:2018.

A formal report will be forwarded to the approvals board for final verification and approval of the report and if corrective action is required from SACAS Ireland, a non-conformance will be opened, and these actions will be noted down on the non-conformance with the required corrective and preventive actions for future use as well. The non-conformance will also be recorded in the non-conformance register.

A formal final report will be given to the appellant in writing and verbally at a formal meeting with the appellant ensuring they understand the outcome of the investigation with objective evidence.

Both parties then sign an acknowledgment of the report and SACAS Ireland will take full responsibility for the outcome of the investigation. 

If the appellant still appeals the outcome the final report it will be forwarded to the Impartiality Committee who will review the appeal again and give their opinion based on the objective evidence and will also notify the certification authorities SANAS and INAB on the outcome of their investigation in writing as well as to the appellant.

If the appellant is still not satisfied a formal complaint will be logged with SANAS and INAB to investigate the appeal to ensure compliance with requirements. Take note SACAS Ireland is not yet INAB accredited and is in process of obtain INAB accreditation.

If still not satisfied it will be referred to the dispute solution as per signed agreement.

All investigations will be done on SACAS Ireland expense if the outcome indicates that the audit team was not in line with the requirements of the required standard and normative references, but if found evidence that the appellant was responsible and did not comply with the required standard requirements or normative references they will be held responsible for all costs involved.

Note: The Managing Director of SACAS Ireland is also the CEO of the company.

1.6 Corrective Action or Service Improvement

Long term corrective action or preventative action or suggested service improvements, where identified by this procedure should be brought to the management review meeting for determination of the appropriate cause of action and future management preventing re-occurrence.

1.7 Management Reporting

1.7.1. The Quality Manager shall ensure all components of the appeals register is maintained in a current state and available for review on a monthly basis by the Managing Director.

1.7.2. The Quality Manager shall ensure records of all completed appeal forms and related documentation are maintained as per SACAS Ireland procedure.

1.7.3. The Managing Director shall collate and report on a monthly basis to Executive Management the following:

  • details of all new appeals for the month,
  • all formal appeals still open from the previous month.
  • The certified Organisation may use the SACAS scheme logo, in order to indicate participation in the relevant Scheme.
  • The SACAS mark scheme logo may only be used for the scheme certified for, by the Organisation certified by SACAS whilst it maintains a valid registration certificate issued by SACAS.
  • The certified Organisation may display the SACAS mark scheme logo:
    • on its letterheads and stationery.
    • in advertising or in promotional material.
    • on a panel or boarding that identifies its premises or the nature of its business.
    • on a flag, obtainable from SACAS, to be displayed at such premises. 
    • on a fleet vehicle or delivery vehicle, on condition that it is clear from such display that the logo relates to the subject of product-specific certification only.
  • The SACAS logos for product, process, and services certifications may be used on the Organization’s product packaging, the product label, or on the product itself and to be used on test reports or product datasheets if the product, process, or service is certified.
  • The flag may not be used in any manner after the cancellation of the registration.
  • If the company follow the option not to use the SACAS logos no alternative logo is authorized to be used whatsoever, as tractability back to SACAS is required as an accredited certification body and no other certification body, or the SANAS logo or any internet logos are allowed to be used as those logos is not authenticated by SACAS.
  • The Organization agrees to conform to the requirements of SACAS when referring to its certification status in communication media such as the internet, brochures or advertising, or other documents.
  • The Organization shall not make or permit any misleading statement regarding its certification.
  • The Organization shall not use or permit the use of a certification document or any part thereof in a misleading manner.
  • The Organization shall upon withdrawal of its certification, discontinues its use of all advertising matter that contains a reference to certification, as directed by SACAS.
  • The Organization shall amend all advertising matter when the scope of certification has been reduced.
  • The Organization shall not allow reference to its management system certification to be used in such a way as to imply that SACAS certifies a product (including service) or process.
  • The Organization shall not imply that the certification applies to activities and sites that are outside the scope of certification.
  • The Organization shall not use its certification in such a manner that would bring SACAS and/or certification into disrepute and lose public trust.
  • Incorrect references to the certification scheme, or misleading use of licenses, certificates, marks, or any other mechanism for indicating a product is certified, found in documentation or other publicity, could lead to suspension or even withdrawal of certification.

Procedure for evaluation, granting certification, maintaining, extending, or reducing the scope of certification, suspension, withdrawal, or refusing certification

SACAS does not outsource any systems certification activities but utilize the services of its service providers (External Auditors) and have procedures in which we define the conditions under which such certification services rendered. Subcontracting with another organization to provide part of the certification activities on behalf of SACAS IS NOT ALLOWED and contracting with individual auditors and technical experts may take place but is not classified as outsourcing as it takes place under the control of SACAS direct. SACAS has a legally enforceable agreement covering the arrangements, including confidentiality and conflicts of interests, with each auditor and technical expert that provides certification services. Currently, all critical activities are done by SACAS SA who is accredited by SANAS.

Refer to Subcontracting. 

  1. Where SACAS does not conduct testing activities itself, SACAS shall outsource evaluation activities only to bodies that meet the applicable requirements of the relevant International Standards and as specified by the certification scheme, of other documents. For testing, it shall meet the applicable requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017; for inspection, it shall meet the applicable requirements of ISO/IEC 17020:2012; and for management system auditing, it shall meet the applicable requirements of ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015. The impartiality requirements of the evaluation personnel stipulated in the relevant standard shall always be applicable. 

NOTE 1:  Examples of reasons as to why some requirements are not applicable include the following:

  • expertise is available within SACAS when using the results of the evaluation activity.
  • the extent of control SACAS has over-testing (including witnessing the testing), inspection (e.g. specifying inspection methods or parameters) or management system assessment (e.g. requiring specific details of a management system);
  • a requirement is covered in an equivalent way by ISO/IEC 17065:2012 or is not needed to give confidence in the certification decision.

NOTE 2: This can include outsourcing to other certification bodies. The use of external personnel under contract is not outsourcing.

NOTE 3: For the purposes of ISO/IEC 17065:2012, the terms “outsourcing” and “subcontracting” are considered to be synonyms.

  1. Where evaluation activities are outsourced to non-independent bodies (e.g. client laboratories) SACAS shall ensure that the evaluation activities are managed in a manner that provides confidence in the results and that records are available to justify the confidence. This will be done through evaluations onsite of the outsourced service provider, maintaining records of such evaluations as well as maintaining records of their accreditations with an accredited body as a laboratory, testing, or inspection authority. 
  2. SACAS shall have a legally binding contract with the body that provides the outsourced service, including provisions for confidentiality and conflict of interest as specified in 6.1.3, item c) of ISO/IEC 17065:2012. 

SACAS Shall:

  1. take responsibility for all activities outsourced to another body.
  2. ensure that the body that provides outsourced services, and the personnel that it uses, are not involved, either directly or through any other employer, in such a way that the credibility of the results could be compromised.
  3. have documented policies, procedures, and records for the qualification, assessing, and monitoring of all bodies that provide outsourced services used for certification activities.
  4. maintain a list of approved providers of outsourced services.
  5. implement corrective actions for any breaches of the contract in point d or other requirements of which it becomes aware.
  6. inform the client in advance of outsourcing activities, in order to provide the client with an opportunity to object.

NOTE: If the qualification, assessing and monitoring of the bodies that provide outsourced services are performed by other organizations (e.g. by SANAS, peer assessment bodies or governmental authorities), SACAS can take this qualification and monitoring into an account provided that:

  • it is provided for within the scheme requirements.
  • the scope is applicable to the work being undertaken.
  • the validity of the qualification, assessing, and monitoring arrangements are verified at a periodicity determined by SACAS. 
  1. Decision-making for granting, refusing, maintaining certification, expanding, or reducing the scope of certification renewing, suspending, or restoring, or withdrawing of certification shall never be outsourced. 
  2. SACAS and its service providers shall ensure that contracted individual persons are competent and comply with the applicable provisions of our quality manual and other standards and guides relevant to testing, inspection, or other technical activities.
  3. If processes, products, or services are outsourced, the outsourced body shall not provide the design or production of the certified product neither shall it provide management system consultancy. Contracted individuals shall be free of conflict of interest in these respects both directly and through the person’s employer.
  4. SACAS requires outsourced organizations and contractors to work within the quality management system and certification processes are defined in our Quality Manual and supporting procedures.
  5. SACAS:
    • Take responsibility for all activities outsourced to another body; 
    • Make decisions for granting, maintaining, renewing, extending, reducing, suspending, or withdrawing certification; 
    • Ensure that where SACAS uses individuals for outsourced activities, that conform to our requirements and also to the requirements of our Quality Manual as well including  ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015, ISO/IEC 17065:2016, ISO/IEC 17067:2013, ISO/TS 22003:2013 requirements. This includes competence, impartiality, and confidentiality; 
    • Ensure that where SACAS uses individuals for outsourced activities, that they are not involved, either directly or through any other employer, with an organization to be audited, in such a way that impartiality could be compromised; 
    • Obtain the consent of the clients first, where SACAS uses individuals for outsourced activities that they are impartial.
    • SACAS has a process for the approval and monitoring of all bodies that provide certification services for our certification activities and shall ensure that records of the competence of all personnel involved in certification activities are maintained. 

NOTE 1: For ISO/IEC 17021-1 clause 7.5.1 to 7.5.4, where SACAS engages individuals or employees of other organizations to provide additional resources or expertise, these individuals do not constitute outsourcing provided they are individually contracted to operate under SACAS’s management system.

NOTE 2: For ISO/IEC 17021-1 clause 7.5.1 to 7.5.4, the terms “outsourcing” and “subcontracting” are considered to be synonyms.

Maintaining Certification

SACAS will maintain accreditation based on the demonstration that our clients continue to satisfy the requirements of the management system standard(s) they certified against. A client’s certification will be maintained based on a positive conclusion by the audit team leader as well as with objective evidence of continual improvement and effectiveness without further independent review, provided that:

  1. for any non-conformity or other situation that may lead to suspension or withdrawal of certification, SACAS requires that the audit team leader need to report to SACAS the need to initiate a review by requesting the approvals board to review the current certification who will send appropriately competent personnel, different from those who carried out the audit, to determine whether certification can be maintained, and
  2. the approvals board who is trained and competent personnel of SACAS monitors its surveillance activities, including monitoring the reporting by its auditors, to confirm that the certification activity is operating effectively and feedback to the Impartiality Committee on a six-monthly basis on certificates that are maintained.

For more Information, SACAS clients can contact the Managing Director at (+353) 089 440 1267.


Certification Process Flow