Principal ISO its directors, managers, staff and other persons involved fully understand the importance of impartiality in undertaking its Certification Activities. Principal ISO provides an impartial and comprehensive management system certification service in line with the ISO 17021-1:2015 Conformity assessment standard requirements.
Principal ISO will, therefore, ensure that in all its dealings with clients or potential clients, all employees or other personnel are and will remain impartial.
The following principles have been established to ensure that impartiality is maintained and can be demonstrated.
- Principal ISO Certificates are only issued following a review by an independent, authorised and competent individual (who has not been involved in the audit) to ensure that no interest shall predominate.\
- Individuals employed by or otherwise contracted to Principal ISO must document and record their current and past relationships with all companies. Any situation that may present a potential conflict of interest is required by Principal ISO to be declared. Principal ISO will use the information to identify any threats to impartiality and will not use that individual in any capacity unless they can demonstrate that there is no conflict of interest.
- Principal ISO will not allocate a staff member or sub-contractor to a management system audit where any past relationship has existed. Exceptionally and at the discretion of the Directors, an individual or sub-contractor may be allocated to a management system audit where a past relationship has existed but there has been no relationship for a minimum of 2 years.
- Principal ISO shall not certify another Certification Body for its activities relating to Management System Certification.
- When potential threats to impartiality arise, Principal ISO eliminates or mitigates those threats.
- Auditors and others involved in the certification process are not and will not be put under any pressure and will not be influenced in any way to come to a particular conclusion regarding the result of an audit.
Principal ISO recognises that threats to impartiality include the following:
- Self-interest threats – threats that arise from a person or body acting in its own interest to benefit itself.
- Self-review threats – threats arising from a person reviewing the work that they have conducted themselves.
- Familiarity threats – threats that arise from a person being familiar with or trusting of another person, e.g. an examiner or certification body personnel developing a relationship with a candidate that affects the ability to reach an objective judgment.
- Intimidation threats – threats that prevent a certification body or its personnel from acting objectively due to fear of a candidate or other interested party.
- Financial threats – the source of revenue for a certification body can be a threat to impartiality.
Principal ISO shall identify threats to its impartiality on an ongoing basis. This shall include those threats that arise from its activities, from its related bodies, from its relationships, or from the relationships of its personnel. Top management conducts an annual risk assessment on impartiality and conflict of interest and is responsible for ensuring that threats to impartiality and conflict of interest are reviewed regularly.
To ensure that positive actions back up this commitment, we maintain a Management System in accordance with ISO 17024 and ISO 17021-1 international standards.
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