Suspension and Withdrawal
Spension occurs for various reasons as the Terms of Business Agreement determines. In regards to certificate, a client-organization enters suspension upon not engaging assessment – audits as planned after three (3) months with justifiable reasons (e.g. financial hardship). The three (3) months suspension is decision that BRSM carries through an ad hoc committee. After the three (3) month suspension it enters in three (3) months probation and onto withdrawal period. During suspension and then withdrawal, the organization refrains from the use of the instruments of certification (Certificate, seal – mark, report and others that associate to the certification).
We will seek ways to carry organizations that are respectable, wishing to carry BRSM status for reasons such as temporary financial matters. We will suspend and proceed to withdrawal organizations that are found and by not taking appropriate action may place in disrepute our brand and client-organizations, to this effect we carry a vision and signatory to a Charter for the protection of communities and consumers.
Suspensions, withdrawals are listed in the database indicating the reason for past client-organization.
Scope: Covers “appeal” requests directed at BRSM from prospect / client-organizations for action taking issue. To not burden the prospect / client-organizations with forms, that may addresses communications within the our system including but not limited to telephone calls, letters, faxes, e-mails, and personal visits to the site-location source of the appeal (– complaint).
We treat disputes equal as appeal, implying that a dispute uses the same initiating protocol and forms an appeal; however it may not escalate to an appeal.
Purpose: Procedure for suspension or withdrawal of certificates: This procedure is to assure a process for suspension or withdrawal of certificates of registration as the need arise. The following definitions apply:
- Suspension: Temporary invalidation of a certificate of registration
- Withdrawal: Permanent invalidation of a certificate of registration
Initiation of suspension or withdrawal
Suspension initiates in cases where the Certificate bearer infringes on the TBA, and some examples follow:
- Knowingly, infringement of the law; Evidence of non-compliance to regulatory/statutory requirements relevant for the certified management system or consumer protection;
- Objectively not carrying out activities that bear the signatory legally binding commitment to protect consumers;
- The certified management system have persistently and seriously failed to meet contractual requirements with BRSM ;
- Failure to respond adequately to address action request(s) and the management system no longer reflect the current organization and processes in accordance with BRSM policies and procedures;
- As a result of changes, acquisitions, diversification of the organization without informing BRSM;
- Major part of the management system not any longer validly implemented;
- Surveillance audits and recertification assessment – audits not allowed to be conducted according to required frequency or as scheduled;
- Violation of any of the specific TBA terms, a signed agreement,
- Improper / inappropriate use of the certification mark and reference to certification;
- Consumers, through a recognized and generally accepted consumer advocate, voluntarily requesting temporary suspension.
- Through objective and valid evidence, a client-organization voluntarily requesting temporary suspension.
- Evidence of infringement or request from a governmental authority that could affect the status of certificate;
- Evidence of a non-effective action in the eventuality of serious / significant incidents.
The management and issuers of the Certificate decide on the action to be taken, based on a review and duly considerations of evidences. If suspension is decided the following process applies, as follows: Suspension of a certificate is normally initiated as the first step, followed by withdrawal if the issue of concern is not resolved within due time. Dependent on the seriousness of the case, BRSM decides a direct withdrawal of the certificate.
Wherein failure of the management system is related to a specific part of the organization, specific products and alike, BRSM may consider a reduction in the scope of certification as an alternative to suspension.
BRSM, through the Impartiality Committee/Board of Governance, may also choose to only give the client-organization a warning that suspension is being considered.
Suspension – the decision to suspend a certificate is communicated to the bearer of the Certificate by a formal communication. The communication shall include:
(a) A statement on the decision to suspend the certificate including a proper description of the situation, argumentation and reference to objective evidences.
(b) The right to respond and appeal to the decision. A 15 working days notice for response and appeal are given. An appeal may be lodged through the complaints procedure.
(c) Start date of the suspension (normally from the receipt of the communication)
(d) Conditions and due date of required action in order to revoke the suspension, and the consequence if satisfactory actions are not performed.
(e) The means of follow-up by BRSM to verify that conditions have been met and effective corrective actions has occurred
(f) A statement that the certificate is invalid during suspension and that use of advertising matter containing a reference to Certification are not permitted during suspension
(g) statement that informs Certificate bearer that the certificate is suspended
(h) Under certain circumstances the suspension may be extended but it shall not be suspended for more than 6 months.
BRSM verifies that the conditions communicated are met and that the corrective actions are effective. Dependent on this verification BRSM will either:
(a) Declare a positive result, revoke the suspension and declare a valid certificate,
(b) Declare a negative result due to failure to resolve the issues that resulted in suspension; this situation will likely result in permanent withdrawal of the certificate. (Read on) in either case the client-organization will receive a communication confirming the result.
Withdrawal of the certificate shall be initiated as follows, if:
(a) The client-organization does not meet the conditions of suspension
(b) A suspension is not considered to be an adequate action. The decision to withdraw a certificate shall be formally communicated to the client-organization including the requirements to: (1) Terminate use of the certification mark and any reference to certification, and (2) Return to BRSM or evidence of mutilation of the Certificate and copies.
The Certificate bearer, client-organization has a right to appeal; an appeal may be lodged through the complaints or appeal procedure.