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Appeal and Complaints

Appeal and Complaints

1.0 Purpose
To document, establish, implement and maintain the system for addressing Appeal, Complaints and Disputes received by OTABU as per requirements of IS/ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015, and other applicable international standards for certification bodies offering management system certifications
2.0 Scope
This procedure is applicable to all appeal and complaints received by OTABU related to its Management System Certification.
3.0 Responsibility And Authority
Managing Director
4.0 Policy & Procedure
4.1 Appeals
4.1.1 Any client shall make an appeal to the Managing Director of OTABU in respect of the following,
a.    Non acceptance of client’s application for certification.
b.    Granting, suspending, withdrawing or denying of certification
4.1.2 OTABU shall record all appeals in document OTABU-FM-054 and acknowledge the receipt of the appeal. All appeals shall be addressed within 30 working days from the receipt of the appeal and OTABU shall provide the client with progress reports and the outcome.

4.1.3 All appeals are reviewed by the appeal panel constituted by managing director for each appeal. The appeal panel shall contain at least two members from the OTABU auditor panel who have not been part of the audit and also not involved in certification decision or involved in the subject of the appeal. For appeal against the decision of the Managing Director the matter shall be referred to the chairman of the Impartiality Board (IB) for constituting the panel and taking the decision.

4.1.4 The appeal panel shall investigate the appeal by looking into the records and / or talking to the appellant and OTABU and shall take a decision taking into account the results of any previous such appeals.

4.1.5 Based on the decision of the appeal panel OTABU shall initiate appropriate correction and corrective action and the same recorded in OTABU-FM-054, register for complaints, appeals & disputes.

4.1.6 OTABU shall be responsible for all decisions at all levels of the appeal handling process. The decision on the appeal is reviewed and approved by managing director and is communicated to the client. This completes the appeal process and OTABU shall also inform the appellant at this time about the closure of the appeal.

4.1.7 OTABU shall ensure that the submission, investigation and decision on appeals shall not result in any discriminatory action against the appellant.

4.1.8 The right of the client to appeal against any decision by OTABU is communicated at the time of sending the quotation through document PID-02.

4.1.9 Information about appeal handling process of OTABU is made publicly available through web site and / or document PID-02

4.2 Complaints

4.2.1 Information about complaint handling process of OTABU is made publicly available through web site and / or document PID-02. The complaints handling process includes the following :

An outline of the process for receiving, validating, investigating the complaint and for deciding what actions to be taken in response to it.
The Managing Director is responsible for gathering and verifying all necessary information to validate the complaint.

4.2.2 The complaint can be made to the Managing Director by the client or any other interested party in writing giving details of the complaint. The complaint shall either relate to the certification activities of OTABU or to the certified client and its activities.

4.2.3 The complaints received are recorded in OTABU -FM-054 and is acknowledged to the complainant. The managing director shall review the complaint to ascertain the seriousness and the genuineness of the complaint. OTABU shall provide the complainant with progress reports and the outcome

4.2.4.The complaint redressal process: Complaints about OTABU from the client or third party

a.    Depending on the nature of the complaint, Chairman of the Impartiality Board shall decide to conduct the investigation himself or appoint a complaint panel for each complaint. The complaint panel shall contain at least two members from the OTABU’s auditor panel who have not been part of the audit and also not involved in certification decision or involved in the subject of the complaint. Further, the complainant shall be given an opportunity to present the case to the panel in person if he so desires.

b.    The complaint panel shall investigate the complaint by looking into the records and / or talking to the complainant and OTABU and shall take a decision taking into account the results of any previous such complaints.

c.    The details of investigation and the correction and the corrective actions identified are recorded in the complaint register. Upon verification on the effectiveness of corrective action taken, OTABU shall inform the complainant about the correction and corrective action taken and if the complainant is satisfied with the actions taken the complaint is treated as closed. The final Decision on the resolution of complaint shall be taken by the chairman of the Impartiality Board. Complaints about the certified client from its customers or any other third party:
a.    (a) OTABU shall inform the client about the complaint received and ask the client to investigate the complaint and report the findings to OTABU within two weeks from the date of receiving the complaint by the client.

b.    If OTABU does not receive any response from the client or the action taken by the client is not found effective, OTABU shall inform the client accordingly and ask for a special audit at the client site by OTABU. On confirmation from the client OTABU shall conduct a special audit as per OTABU procedure, PM-07 and investigate the complaint.

c.    If the complaint is of serious nature OTABU shall initiate the special audit directly with the client

d.    As its policy, OTABU shall not disclose the identity of the complainant to the client.

e.    If any action is needed to be taken by the client OTABU shall verify the effectiveness of such action by suitable means appropriate to the gravity of the problem.

f.    If the corrective action taken by the client is found effective OTABU shall inform the complainant accordingly and the complaint shall then be treated as closed.

4.2.5. OTABU shall decide to make public the complaint and its resolution if agreed with client and complainant.

4.2.6. All the complaints received and their status with respect to their resolution are presented in the MRM and the IB meeting

4.3 Client feed back

4.3.1 After every audit (certification, surveillance and re-certification) a feedback from the client in obtained in document OTABU -FM-055, to assess,

1.    OTABU’s office responsiveness to client queries at various stages of the certification process

2.  Performance of the audit team

3. Areas for further improvement

4.3.2 All the feedback received from the clients are analyzed and appropriate action taken if required.

4.3.3 The actions taken are recorded in OTABU -FM-055

4.3.4 A summary of feedback and the findings with corrective action taken are reviewed in MRM and (Impartiality Board) IB meeting.

4.4 Disputes

4.4.1. Any dispute arising out of OTABU’s certification activities shall be settled by private negotiations between the parties, and if this is not possible it shall be referred to arbitration as per the Indian Arbitration Act, 1996, subject to Lucknow jurisdiction. The decision of the arbitration shall be binding for the both parties.

4.4.2 Records of all the disputes are maintained and reviewed in MRM and IB meeting.

5.0 Records
1.    OTABU -FM-054 – Register for Appeal & complaints
2.    OTABU -FM-055– Feedback form
3.    OTABU -FM-009-- Special Audit Report

6.0 References
1.    PID-02-Rules and regulation for certification
2.    PM-07, Procedure for Special Audit