Certification news

The circumstances under which a client’s certification may be suspended or withdrawn are detailed below.

  • The client’s certified management system has persistently or seriously failed to meet certification requirements;
  • The certified client does not allow surveillance or recertification audits to be conducted at the required frequencies, or prior to the expiry of their certification;
  • The certified client goes into receivership, liquidation, becomes the subject of bankruptcy laws, is convicted of breaking the law of the land or acts in a disreputable manner;
  • Non-payment of fees, or
  • The client has voluntarily requested a suspension.

The certification manager or technical director, in conjunction with a technical panel if deemed necessary, will authorise all suspensions either imposed or voluntary and agree/set the conditions with the client for restoration. The records pertaining to suspension will be retained in the client folder. The INSPEC certificate database will be amended to reflect the suspension. Under suspension, the client’s management system/product certification is temporarily invalid. INSPEC will inform the client of their obligations under the terms of business and to refrain from further promotion of its certification or use of marks, including where applicable INSPEC’s notified body number. In the event that a client fails to meet such obligations, INSPEC will use other measures as appropriate.
Failure to resolve the issues that have resulted in suspension in a time established by INSPEC (6 months) will result in withdrawal or reduction of the scope of certification.

INSPEC may choose to reduce a client’s scope of certification to exclude the elements not meeting the requirements when the client has persistently or seriously failed to meet the certification requirements. All such reductions will be in line with the requirements of the standard used for certification. The certification manager will make the decision to reduce the scope of certification and a record will be retained. The certificate database will be updated to reflect the reduction in scope. Where a reduction in scope affects product certification and the ability to apply CE marking, the client will be advised in writing of the constraints by clearly communicating the reduced scope of certification and updating all certification documents.

The decision to withdraw certification will be taken by the certification manager or technical director in conjunction with a technical panel if required, and a record kept. Upon notice of withdrawal, the client will be directed to discontinue its use of all advertising matter that contains any reference to certified status, discontinue the use of marks and where applicable the use of the INSPECs notified body number. In the event that the client fails to meet such obligations, INSPEC will use other measures as appropriate.

Restoration of a suspended certificate can only take place after all issues have been resolved and verification of such resolution (audit/testing/other) has been undertaken within 6 months from the original suspension. Where scope of certification has been reduced instead of complete suspension of a certificate, this too can be restored following issue resolution and, where appropriate, an audit or testing/other method of evaluation has taken place to confirm and verify resolution. In all cases a certification decision will be recorded.

For use by companies whose certification is covered by INSPEC's UKAS accreditation.

The mark may only be used on company stationery, literature, brochures etc and only in association with the production or service capability covered by a valid certificate and schedule.

The mark shall not be used on vehicles, buildings, flags, calibration certificates, test certificates or similar.   Where any doubt about restrictions exists, reference shall be made to INSPEC.

There are no restrictions as to the form of the mark providing it is easily distinguishable and is a faithful reproduction, with a minimum height of 24 mm. However, in exceptional circumstances, a reduction in height is possible, but the mark must remain legible at all times. Exceptional circumstances include space limitation and cost.

The mark shall be produced in a single colour, which should be the predominant ink colour of the document or letterhead.

The company's certificate number shall be applied in direct association with the mark, together with the relevant standard number.

The proportions and form of the mark will be provided at the application stage and are available upon request.

The mark may only be used on stationery where the address is that of the certified site or a qualifying statement is included in the case of general stationery.

If a company wishes to make reference to the quality management system on products or packaging, then the following phrase is permissible "Products manufactured within a quality management system accepted by INSPEC".

If the scope of certification is reduced or cancelled, for whatever reason, company stationery, literature, brochures etc bearing incorrect references and claims shall not be used.

The mark may not be used on, or in direct association with, products, product packaging or similar in such a way that certification by INSPEC of the product(s) themselves may be implied.

Any use of the mark that is unacceptable to INSPEC must cease immediately.

Requests for information regarding INSPEC clients should be received in writing. Upon request, INSPEC will only provide information already in the public domain or confirm the status of a client’s certification as being: valid, current, suspended, reduced or withdrawn.

All other information will be kept confidential and not disclosed to third parties without the written consent of the client, unless required to do so by law, and in such cases, the client shall, unless prohibited by law, be notified of the information provided.

The management and Governing Board of INSPEC International are committed to maintaining impartiality in providing certification services to our clients, and actively monitors and addresses any potential conflicts of interest.

In addition, the certification process is reviewed on a periodic basis to ensure that it is an open and objective process, without any pressure being applied by interested parties.

It is company policy to avoid involvement in any activities that would diminish confidence in its independence, competence, impartiality, judgement or operational integrity. Instances giving rise to doubt are subject to immediate review at the highest level.