POLICY MANUAL
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POLICY MANUAL Document Transcript

  • 1. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY ACCREDITATION SERVICES Social Accountability Accreditation Services ACCREDITATION PROGRAM POLICY MANUAL Social Accountability Accreditation Services 15 West 44th Street, 6th Floor New York, NY 10036, USA Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 1 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 2. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1: SCOPE ............................................................................................................................3 2: REFERENCES ...............................................................................................................3 3: DEFINITIONS................................................................................................................4 4 ACCREDITATION BODY.............................................................................................4 4.1 Legal responsibility............................................................................................................... 4 4.2 Structure................................................................................................................................ 5 4.3 Impartiality............................................................................................................................ 7 4.4 Confidentiality ...................................................................................................................... 8 4.5 Liability and financing.......................................................................................................... 8 4.6 Accreditation activity............................................................................................................ 8 5 MANAGEMENT.............................................................................................................9 5.1 General.................................................................................................................................. 9 5.2 Management system.............................................................................................................. 9 5.3 Document control................................................................................................................ 10 5.4 Records ............................................................................................................................... 10 5.5 Nonconformities and corrective actions.............................................................................. 10 5.6 Preventive actions ............................................................................................................... 10 5.7 Internal audits...................................................................................................................... 11 5.8 Management reviews .......................................................................................................... 11 5.9 Complaints .......................................................................................................................... 12 6 HUMAN RESOURCES ................................................................................................12 6.1 Personnel associated with SAAS ........................................................................................ 12 6.2 Personnel involved in the accreditation process ................................................................. 12 6.3 Monitoring .......................................................................................................................... 13 6.4 Personnel records ................................................................................................................ 14 7 ACCREDITATION PROCESS.....................................................................................14 7.1 Accreditation criteria and information................................................................................ 14 8 RESPONSIBILITIES OF SAAS AND THE CB ..........................................................15 8.1 Obligations of the CB ......................................................................................................... 15 8.2 Obligations of SAAS .......................................................................................................... 15 8.3 Reference to accreditation and use of symbols ................................................................... 16 ANNEX 1 QUALITY POLICY .......................................................................................17 ANNEX 2 ORGANIZATION CHART............................................................................18 Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 2 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 3. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 Introduction Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS) was founded to accredit and monitor third party certifiers operating certification programs to social standards, including the Social Accountability 8000 standard for ethical working conditions. With over a decade of global accreditation experience within the social sector, SAAS initially began work as a department of Social Accountability International (SAI) and was formally established in its own right as an independent not-for-profit organization in 2007. SAAS primary activities are: ♦ To accredit and monitor organizations seeking to act as certifiers of compliance with social standards, including the Social Accountability 8000 standard for ethical working conditions and other such verification standards; ♦ To offer accreditation services to certification bodies; ♦ To determine the qualifications of such bodies to perform full, reliable, and impartial audits of employers against specified social standards; ♦ To provide confidence to all stakeholders in SAAS accreditation decisions and in the certification decisions of its accredited CBs; ♦ To continually improve the SAAS accreditation function activities and systems, in compliance with ISO/IEC 17011, SAAS Procedure 201 and other SAAS procedures and ISEAL guidance documents; ♦ To be impartial and fair to all applicant and accredited certification bodies. SAAS offers accreditation of certifying bodies to issue certifications to social standards and codes (including the SA8000 standard) and monitors accredited CBs for compliance to ISO/IEC Guide 62 (and/or Guide 17021 per the footnote in SAAS Procedure 200) and other stipulated accreditation requirements. SAAS does not develop its own standards but offers accreditation services to bodies interested in performing certification to social standards created by other standard-setting bodies. 1: Scope This Policy Manual describes the policy by which Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS) complies with the requirements ISO/IEC 17011:2004 Conformity assessment — General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies and relevant International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling (ISEAL) Alliance Guidance Documents. This Policy Manual is supported by procedures and guidance documents that are contained within separate manuals. The SAAS Quality Policy is shown at Annex 1. The SAAS organization for certification body accreditation is shown at Annex 2. 2: References The following documents should also be referred to when reading this policy manual. SA80001 – Social Accountability 8000 Standard Guidance Document for Social Accountability 8000:2004 1 SAAS will require all SA8000 certifications be to SA8000:2008 beginning January 1, 2010. Until that time, certification to SA8000:2001 are acceptable. Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 3 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 4. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 ISO/IEC Guide 62:1996 General requirements for bodies operating assessment and certification/registration of quality systems (and/or 17021 Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems) ISO 9000:2005 Quality Management systems – Fundamentals and Vocabulary. ISO/IEC 17000:2004 Conformity Assessment – Vocabulary and general principles ISO/IEC 17011:2004 Conformity assessment — General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies ISO 19011: 2002: Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing SAAS Documents: Procedure 200: Requirements for Gaining And Maintaining Accreditation Procedure 201: Accreditation of Certification Bodies of Social Accountability Systems Procedure 202: Complaints and Appeals Procedure 203: Staff & Contractor Appointment, Training and Appraisal Procedure 204: Document Control Procedure 205: Files and Records Procedure 206: Internal Quality Audits Procedure 207: Management Review Procedure 208: Corrective and Preventive Action Procedure 211: Expansion of Accreditation Services Procedure 213: Related Bodies Procedure 301: Advisory Board Roles And Responsibilities Procedure 302: Accreditation Committee Terms of Reference Procedure 303: For Accreditation Review Panel Members Procedure 424: Agreement for Contractor Services Procedure 426: Conditions For Use Of The SA8000 Accreditation Mark Procedure 438: Related Bodies Log NOTE: References to SAAS Procedures, Guidelines, Forms and Letters are denoted within this Policy Manual by the use of bracketed numbers e.g. (123). 3: Definitions This Policy Manual and the other parts of the SAAS Documented Quality Management System use definitions from ISO9000, ISO17000, ISO17011 and ISO/IEC Guide 62 documents except as defined as follows: Auditor: As used, is equivalent to the ISO definition assessor CAR: Corrective Action Request CB: Certification Body, as used, is equivalent to the ISO definition CAB – Conformity Assessment Body CCD: Consecutive Calendar Days CSO: Child Sponsorship Organization for InterAction Designee: Person appointed by SAAS Executive Director to serve particular function Executive Director: Chief director of SAAS. May also be referred to as the Director of Accreditation throughout SAAS documentation IRCA: International Register of Certificated Auditors Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 4 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 5. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 Management System: System to establish policy and objectives and process to achieve those objectives. Note, a management system of an organization can include different management systems such as Quality Management System, Environmental Management System and Social Accountability Management System. SAAS: Social Accountability Accreditation Services SAAS Secretariat: Members of SAAS staff SAI: Social Accountability International Quality Assurance Officer: Duties will be performed by person nominated by Executive Director responsible for conducting internal audits of SAAS management system. (Procedure 206) 4: Accreditation body 4.1 Legal responsibility SAAS is an independent not-for-profit organization incorporated in 2007 in the State of Delaware. SAAS maintains copies of its by-laws, articles of incorporation, relevant legislation and regulations that govern its operations in the United States, its country of residence, through its legal and human resource consultants. SAAS has ready access to the most up-to-date regulatory information through the internet and with the assistance of legal counsel. Relevant legislation and regulations include those that govern: • SAAS's legal status • SAAS's financial operations • Duties and obligations of directors and board members of SAAS SAAS’s key personnel receive regular briefings on relevant regulations in order to maintain an understanding of such legislation and regulations. General Counsel regularly updates senior staff on such regulations and any changes thereto. Prior to its separate incorporation in 2007, SAAS operated as an accreditation department within Social Accountability International (SAI) beginning in 1997. SAI is a 501(c) (3) organization incorporated in the State of Delaware. SAI is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting human rights for workers through the creation of social standards, training, and other related projects. SAAS and SAI maintain a service agreement, periodically updated, delineating the operational arrangement between the two. 4.2 Structure 4.2.1 SAAS is structured as an independently incorporated accreditation body and operates in such a way as to give confidence in its CB accreditations. SAAS maintains a set of procedures and policies which govern the structure and operation of the body. As an accreditation body, SAAS derives its authority from its implementation of ISO/IEC 17011. 4.2.2 SAAS has complete authority and is responsible for all decisions relating to its accreditation activities, including the granting, maintaining, extending, reducing, suspending and withdrawing of accreditation. The SAAS Board of Directors has created an Accreditation Review Panel (ARP) whose members are nominated by SAAS which is given the authority to make recommendations related to Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 5 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 6. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 accreditation. The SAAS Executive Director, taking into advisement the recommendation of the ARP and Lead Auditor, has the authority to make the final accreditation decision. SAAS maintains a procedure (Procedure 201) which details the assessment and decision-making process, and a procedure (Procedure 303) identifying the role of the ARP. 4.2.3 SAAS maintains a certificate of incorporation and by-laws that identify SAAS’s legal status, including the names of its owners and the names of the persons who control it and other related organizations. 4.2.4 SAAS, within this policy manual and supporting procedures, documents the duties, responsibilities and authorities of top management and other personnel associated with SAAS who could affect the quality of the accreditation. 4.2.5 SAAS’s top management has the overall authority and responsibility for each of the following: a) development of policies relating to the operation of SAAS; b) supervision of the implementation of the policies and procedures; c) supervision of the finances of SAAS; d) decisions on accreditation; e) contractual arrangements; f) delegation of authority to committees or individuals, as required, to undertake defined activities on behalf of top management. 4.2.5.1 An organizational chart is shown at Annex 2. The identity, key roles and responsibilities of SAAS and its associated staff and committees are as follows (responsibilities for each position identified in the organizational chart are found in individual job descriptions): SAAS-Social Accountability Accreditation Services SAAS is an independent not-for-profit organization incorporated in 2007. SAAS began offering global accreditation services to organizations wishing to conduct SA8000 certification audits in 1997 as a department within Social Accountability International (SAI) and was separately incorporated in 2007. SAAS Secretariat Members of the SAAS staff or “Secretariat” shall be responsible for various day-to-day SAAS operations, as set out in individual job descriptions located in each staff member’s personnel file. Additionally, members of the SAAS Secretariat have the responsibility for the performance of assessments of applicant and accredited certification bodies as set out in ISO/IEC Guides, in accordance with SAAS Procedures. SAAS Executive Director The Executive Director is the senior staff of SAAS and coordinates the activities of the SAAS Board of Directors, Accreditation Review Panel, and various SAAS committees. The Executive Director is the top management having overall authority for the establishment of accreditation requirements and decision- making responsibility for the organization. The SAAS Board of Directors The SAAS Board of Directors, convened in 2007, is charged with the responsibilities and membership as defined in the by-laws of the Corporation. It evaluates the performance of SAAS and its management. This evaluation includes activities and operations and future work-plans, policies and budgets as presented to it by the management and staff. The Board of Directors may contract out to other organizations for management and services for SAAS as needed. Refer to the by-laws of the corporation for further information. Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 6 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 7. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 Accreditation Review Panel SAAS convenes an Accreditation Review Panel (ARP), a committee of SAAS whose members review assessment reports of applicant and accredited certification bodies and, given the authority by the SAAS Board of Directors, are authorized to advise and counsel SAAS on such reports and applications and make accreditation recommendations to the Executive Director on the basis thereof. The Executive Director has final decision-making responsibility for accreditation decisions. The members of the Accreditation Review Panel are nominated by the SAAS Standard Setting Body client for whom accreditation services are conducted. Those nominations are considered by the SAAS Board of Directors who then appoints the members of the ARP. SAAS has established a procedure (Procedure 303) which states the appointment criteria and requirements for ARP. Advisory Committees SAAS convenes Advisory Committees, as authorized by the SAAS Board of Directors, comprised of multi-stakeholder outside experts, to advise on and assist in developing strategy on managing the certification process for each SAAS standard-setting client and assist in identifying best practices for managing those activities. The Committees provide strategic recommendations and advice to SAAS staff. The advisory committees are convened to address quality issues and provide an analysis function, not a decision-making function. Each standard-setting client can nominate members of the advisory group to SAAS and qualified members are appointed by the Executive Director. SAAS has established a procedure (Procedure 302) setting terms of reference for the Committee. 4.2.6 SAAS has access to necessary expertise to advise on matters directly relating to accreditation through members of the Accreditation Committee, the ARP, and other qualified individuals such as accreditation auditors, staff and other colleagues in the accreditation and auditing field. 4.2.7 SAAS has in place formal rules for the appointment, membership, and terms of reference and operation of all committees that are involved in the accreditation process (Procedure 302, 303). 4.2.8 SAAS through this Policy Manual and its procedures and organization chart (annex 2) has documented its entire structure including lines of authority and responsibility. 4.3 Impartiality 4.3.1 SAAS is organized and operated so as to safeguard the objectivity and impartiality of its activities. 4.3.2 To safeguard its impartiality and to develop and maintain the principles and major policies of operation of its accreditation system, SAAS has a structure to provide opportunity for effective involvement by interested parties (stakeholders) such as those users of the accreditation services provided by SAAS (certification bodies and standard setting clients of SAAS). These structures are through participation in SAAS committees, attendance at calibration meetings, review of proposed revised procedures (per SAAS Procedure 201, 21.5), and a documented complaints system. SAAS ensures a balanced representation of interested parties with no single party predominating. 4.3.3 SAAS policies and procedures are non-discriminatory and are administered in a non-discriminatory way. SAAS makes its services accessible to all applicants whose requests for accreditation fall within the activities and the limitations as defined within its policies and procedures. Access to its accreditation program is not conditional upon the size of the applicant CB or membership of any association or group, nor is accreditation conditional upon the number of CBs already accredited. 4.3.4 All SAAS personnel and committees that could influence the accreditation process act objectively and are free from any undue commercial, financial and other pressures that could compromise Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 7 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 8. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 impartiality. All personnel, contract auditors, and committee members are required to declare any potential conflicts of interest that may arise in the course of undertaken their work with SAAS. 4.3.5 SAAS ensures that each decision on accreditation is taken by competent person(s) or committee(s) different from those who carried out the assessment. These requirements are set out in SAAS Procedure 303. 4.3.6 SAAS does not offer or provide any service that affects its impartiality. SAAS activities are not linked with consultancy and it is not said or implied or suggested that accreditation would be simpler, easier, faster or less expensive if any specified person(s) or consultancy were used. SAAS does not offer consultancy, training services or technical assistance. 4.3.7 SAAS ensures that the activities of its related bodies do not compromise the confidentiality, objectivity and impartiality of its accreditations. SAAS has identified, analyzed and documented the relationships with related bodies to determine the potential for conflict of interest. SAAS maintains a procedure and log with respect to related bodies (Procedures 213 and 438). Where conflicts are identified, appropriate action is taken. 4.4 Confidentiality SAAS recognizes the need for confidentiality in many of its dealings with applicants, accredited bodies and others. SAAS safeguards the confidentiality of information obtained in the course of its accreditation and other activities at all levels of the organization, including Board of Directors, staff, committees and external bodies or individuals acting on its behalf. Except where required in SAAS procedures, information about a particular applicant or accredited body shall not be disclosed to a third person without the written consent of that body. Where the law of the United States of America or any jurisdiction within the United States requires information to be disclosed to a third party, the body shall be informed of the information provided. SAAS maintains a procedure (Procedure 205) detailing the maintenance of such files and records. 4.5 Liability and financing 4.5.1 SAAS has arrangements in place to cover liabilities arising from its accreditation activities through Directors & Officers insurance and indemnification from liability through its contracts with its clients. 4.5.2 SAAS has a system in place to ensure that the appropriate financial resources are available for the operation of its accreditation activities. SAAS is a not-for-profit corporation which charges clients for the accreditation services it provides. SAAS provides accreditation services, for a fee, to organizations currently accredited or wishing to be accredited by SAAS to conduct certifications to social standards that fall within the SAAS scope of activity. The fees paid by accredited and applicant certification bodies cover the operation and administration of the organization. The fees for such services are made available to the public. SAAS describes its finances in accordance with statutory requirements. 4.6 Accreditation activity 4.6.1 SAAS has produced program documentation that clearly describes its accreditation activities for global implementation of certification to Standards within its scope (such as SA8000), referring as appropriate in each procedure to the limits of activities and to relevant international standards, guides or other normative documents. SAAS programs are described in its procedures, specifically Procedure 201 and other related documentation, as well as on its website, www.saasaccreditation.org. Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 8 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 9. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 4.6.2 SAAS ensures that its documents for accreditation by SAAS are formulated by committees or persons possessing the necessary competence and, where appropriate, with participation of interested parties. Where international application or guidance documents are available, these are used, such as those listed in section 2.0 (example: ISO/IEC 17011:2004). 4.6.3 SAAS has established procedures (Procedure 211) for extending its activities and to react to demands of interested parties. SAAS, in consultation with its Board of Directors, shall consider the extension of its accreditation activities to new fields as follows: a) analysis of its present competence, suitability of extension of its activities, access to appropriate resources, etc. in the proposed new field, b) accessing and employing expertise from other external sources for work in the new field, c) evaluating the need to develop or use application or guidance documents in the new field, d) initial selection and training of auditors, and e) training accreditation body’s staff in the new field. 5: Management 5.1 General 5.1.1 SAAS has established, implemented and maintains a management system and continually strives to improve its effectiveness in accordance with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011:2004 Conformity assessment — General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies and relevant International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling (ISEAL) Alliance Guidance Documents. 5.1.2 Where ISO/IEC 17011:2004 Conformity assessment — General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies and relevant International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling (ISEAL) Alliance Guidance Documents require SAAS to have or establish procedures, these have been documented, implemented and maintained, and are based on formulated policies wherever suitable. 5.2 Management system 5.2.1 SAAS’s top management, in consultation, as necessary, with its Board of Directors, has defined and documented policies and objectives, including a quality policy (See Annex 1) for its activities, and has evidence of commitment to this policy and to compliance with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011:2004 Conformity assessment — General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies and relevant International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling (ISEAL) Alliance Peer Review Guidance Documents. SAAS management also ensures effective communication of the needs of interested parties through consultation with such interested parties, including Certification Bodies. SAAS management ensures that their policies are understood, implemented and maintained at all levels. All objectives set are measurable and consistent with SAAS’s policies. 5.2.2 SAAS’s management system is appropriate to the type, range and volume of work performed as an international accreditation agency issuing global accreditation for social standards (such as SA8000). All applicable requirements of ISO/IEC 17011:2004 Conformity assessment — General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies and relevant International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling (ISEAL) Alliance Guidance Documents are addressed either in this Policy Manual, or other SAAS Procedures, Guidelines, Forms and Letters or in other associated documents. SAAS ensures that its Policy Manual, Procedures, Guidelines, Forms, Letters or other Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 9 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 10. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 associated documents are accessible to its personnel and effectively implemented. These documents are maintained on a SAAS computer server available to all SAAS staff. 5.2.3 SAAS's Executive Director (See Annex 2), irrespective of other responsibilities, has the responsibility and authority, as appointed by the Board of Directors in the SAAS by-laws, that includes: a) ensuring that procedures needed for the management system are established, and b) reporting to the Board of Directors on the performance of the management system and any need for improvement. 5.3 Document control SAAS has established a procedure (Procedure 204) to control all documents (internal and external) that relate to its accreditation activities. This procedure defines the controls needed: a) to approve documents for adequacy prior to issue, b) to review and update as necessary and re-approve documents, c) to ensure that changes and the current revision status of documents are identified, d) to ensure that relevant versions of applicable documents are available to personnel, subcontractors, auditors and technical experts of SAAS, Standard Setting Organizations, and CBs at points of use, e) to ensure that documents remain legible and readily identifiable, f) to prevent the unintended use of obsolete documents, and to apply suitable identification to them if they are retained for any purpose, and g) to safeguard, where relevant, the confidentiality of documents. 5.4 Records SAAS has established a procedure (Procedure 205) for identification, collection, indexing, accessing, filing, storage, maintenance and disposal of its records. These records are retained for a period consistent with its contractual and legal obligations. Access to these records is consistent with the confidentiality arrangements. Records are kept per Table 1 in Procedure 205. Client files are kept for a minimum of the period of accreditation plus 3 years. Management review, internal audits, calibration and accreditation committee records are kept for 10 years. 5.5 Nonconformities and corrective actions SAAS has established a procedure (Procedure 208) for the identification and management of nonconformances in its operations. SAAS where necessary, undertakes actions to eliminate the causes of nonconformances in order to prevent recurrence. All corrective actions are appropriate to the impact of the problems encountered. The procedure for nonconformances and corrective actions covers but is not limited to the following: a) identifying nonconformances (e.g. from complaints, management reviews, and internal audits); b) determining the causes of nonconformances; c) correcting nonconformances; d) evaluating the need for actions to ensure that nonconformances do not recur; e) determining the actions needed and implementing them in a timely manner; f) recording the results of actions taken; g) reviewing the effectiveness of corrective actions. All nonconformances found from whatever source (e.g. internal audits, client complaints, and staff suggestions) are to be forwarded to the SAAS Executive Director for tracking and review. Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 10 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 11. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 5.6 Preventive actions SAAS has established a procedure (Procedure 208) to identify opportunities for improvement and to take preventive actions to eliminate the causes of potential nonconformances. The preventive actions taken are appropriate to the impact of the potential problems. The procedure for preventive actions defines requirements for: a) identifying potential nonconformances and their causes, b) determining and implementing the preventive actions needed, c) recording results of actions taken, and d) reviewing the effectiveness of the preventive actions taken. 5.7 Internal audits 5.7.1 SAAS has established a procedure (Procedure 206) for internal audits to verify that the management system defined in this policy manual conforms to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011:2004 Conformity assessment — General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies and relevant International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling (ISEAL) Alliance Guidance Documents and that the management system is implemented and maintained. 5.7.2 Internal quality system audits of SAAS are performed according to a schedule maintained by the Executive Director and are undertaken normally at least once a year. An audit program is planned, and takes into consideration the importance of the processes and areas to be audited, as well as the results of previous audits. 5.7.3 SAAS ensures that: a) internal audits are conducted by qualified personnel knowledgeable in accreditation, auditing and the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011:2004 Conformity assessment — General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies and relevant International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling (ISEAL) Alliance Guidance Documents; b) internal audits are conducted by personnel different from those who perform the activity to be audited; c) personnel responsible for the area audited are informed of the outcome of the audit and copies of all internal audit reports are sent to the Executive Director; d) actions are taken in a timely and appropriate manner, and e) any opportunities for improvement are identified. Internal audits are performed broadly in accordance with the guidelines for auditing set out ISO 19011: 2002: Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing 5.8 Management reviews 5.8.1 SAAS's top management have established a procedure (Procedure 207) to review its management system at planned intervals to ensure its continuing adequacy and effectiveness in satisfying the relevant requirements, including the ISO/IEC 17011:2004 Conformity assessment — General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies and relevant International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling (ISEAL) Alliance Guidance Documents and the stated policies and objectives. Management reviews are performed according to a schedule maintained by the Executive Director and are undertaken normally at least once per year. 5.8.2 Inputs to management reviews include, where available, current performance and improvement opportunities related to the following: a) results of internal audits; b) results of ISEAL peer evaluation where relevant; Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 11 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 12. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 c) participation in international activities, where relevant; d) feedback from interested parties; e) new areas of accreditation; f) trends in nonconformities; g) status of preventive and corrective actions; h) follow-up actions from earlier management reviews; i) fulfillment of objectives; j) changes that could affect the management system; k) appeals; l) analysis of complaints. 5.8.3 The outputs from the management review include actions related to: a) improvement of the management system and its processes, b) improvement of services and accreditation process in conformity with the relevant standards and expectations of interested parties, c) need for resources, and d) defining or redefining of policies, goals and objectives. 5.9 Complaints SAAS has established a procedure (Procedure 202) for dealing with complaints and appeals. SAAS: a) decides on the validity of the complaint, b) where appropriate, ensures that a complaint concerning an accredited CB is first addressed by the CB, c) takes appropriate actions and assess their effectiveness, d) records all complaints and actions taken on Forms 421 and 422, and e) responds to the complainant. 6: Human resources 6.1 Personnel associated with SAAS 6.1.1 SAAS has sufficient number of competent personnel (internal, external, contracted, temporary, or permanent, full time or part time) having the education, training, technical knowledge, skills and experience necessary for handling the type, range and volume of work performed. Resource requirements are reviewed in management reviews to ensure that proper staffing is maintained. Individual job descriptions are maintained detailing the requirements for each position. SAAS maintains personnel files which include the qualifications and experience of each staff person. 6.1.2 SAAS has access to a sufficient number of auditors, including lead auditors, and experts to cover all of its activities. SAAS may contract with technical experts and with auditors to conduct assessments from time to time. When SAAS contracts for services, Procedure 424 is used. This procedure covers all arrangements, including confidentiality, conflict of interest and commercial arrangements. While utilizing contractors, SAAS takes full responsibility for the performance of its accreditation obligations, and shall always obtain the consent of the Applicant or certification body before using any such person. 6.1.3 SAAS has made it clear to each person concerned the extent and the limits of their duties, responsibilities and authorities through SAAS procedures, job assignments and associated job descriptions. Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 12 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 13. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 6.1.4 SAAS requires all personnel to commit themselves formally by a signature or equivalent to comply with the rules defined by SAAS. The commitment addresses aspects relating to confidentiality and to independence from commercial and other interests, and any existing or prior association with CBs to be assessed. 6.2 Personnel involved in the accreditation process 6.2.1 SAAS has described for each activity involved in the accreditation process: a) the qualifications, experience and competence required, and b) initial and ongoing training required. It is essential that all SAAS staff have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and authority, and those of other staff. To achieve this objective, SAAS has set out these responsibilities and authorities in each person’s Job Description, a copy of which may be found in each person’s personnel file. To ensure that all staff have access to these, a full set of job descriptions is kept in the SAAS office and all employees are able to access it through the computer server. New employees will receive instruction in staff members’ responsibilities and authority as part of their induction training. 6.2.2 SAAS has established a procedure (Procedure 203) for selecting, training and formally approving auditors and experts used in the assessment process. This procedure also details the methods of assessing, recording and monitoring the performance of these auditors and experts. SAAS has also established a procedure (Procedure 303) for the Accreditation Review Panel. 6.2.3 SAAS identifies the specific scopes and level in which each auditor and expert has demonstrated competence to assess. The specific requirements are detailed in Procedure 203 and each auditor’s scope and level is identified in their personnel file. 6.2.4 SAAS ensures that auditors and, where relevant, experts: a) are familiar with SAAS accreditation procedures, accreditation criteria and other relevant requirements, b) have undergone relevant accreditation auditor training as set out in Procedure 203, c) have a thorough knowledge of the relevant assessment methods, d) are able to communicate effectively, both in writing and orally, in the required languages, and e) have appropriate personal attributes. Regular calibration/training meetings are held as part of the continuing professional development of auditors and technical experts. Participation in such activities is noted in the individual personnel files for each auditor. 6.3 Monitoring 6.3.1 SAAS is committed to recruiting, developing and retaining the best staff available to carry out its duties. As such, it has a detailed personnel manual and requirements for verification and maintenance of records of staff qualifications, training, experience and performance appraisal. SAAS also ensures the satisfactory performance of the assessment by establishing a procedure (Procedure 203) for monitoring the performance and competence of the personnel involved. In particular, SAAS reviews the performance and competence of its personnel in order to identify training needs. Additionally, SAAS maintains a procedure for monitoring the accreditation decision-making process set out in Procedure 303. 6.3.2 SAAS conducts monitoring (e.g. by on-site observations, or by using other techniques such as review of assessment reports, feedback from CBs and peer monitoring of auditors) to evaluate an auditor’s performance and to recommend appropriate follow-up actions to improve performance. Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 13 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 14. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 6.4 Personnel records 6.4.1 SAAS maintains records of relevant qualifications, training, experience and competence of each person involved in the accreditation process as defined in section 5.4. Records of training, experience and monitoring shall be kept up to date and may be found in the relevant personnel files held by the SAAS staff. 6.4.2 SAAS maintains up-to-date records on auditors and experts consisting of at least the following: a) name and address; b) position held and for external auditors and experts, the position held in their own organization; c) educational qualifications and professional status; d) work experience; e) training in management systems, audit and conformity audit activities and the specific Standard which is being assessed; f) competence for specific audit tasks; g) experience in audit and results of their regular monitoring. 7: Accreditation process 7.1 Accreditation criteria and information 7.1.1 SAAS’s general criteria for accreditation of CBs is set out in the relevant normative documents such as International Standards and Guides for the operation of CBs (ISO/IEC 17021:2006) and in SAAS Procedure 200. SAAS has also established a procedure for oversight of the Certification Bodies (Procedure 201). 7.1.2 SAAS makes publicly available upon request and via its website, www.SAASaccreditation.org, and updates at adequate intervals, the following: a) detailed information about its assessment and accreditation processes, including arrangements for granting, maintaining, extending, reducing, suspending and withdrawing accreditation; b) reference documents containing the requirements for accreditation (SAAS Procedures 200 and 201); c) general information about the fees relating to the accreditation (SAAS Form 406); d) a description of the rights and obligations of CBs; e) information on the accredited CBs, including the name and address of each CB, the dates of granting accreditation and expiry dates, and information on CB suspensions, scope of accreditation, etc.; f) information on procedures for lodging and handling complaints and appeals (SAAS Procedure 304); g) information about the authority under which the accreditation program operates; h) a description of its rights and duties; i) general information about the means by which it obtains financial support; j) information about its activities and stated limitations under which it operates; k) information about the related bodies. SAAS’s Accreditation Program contains a series of detailed procedures (Procedures 200-213) for implementing the accreditation process. These procedures include but are not limited to: ♦ Managing the application for accreditation (Procedure 201) ♦ Resource review, subcontracting the assessment, preparation for assessment, document and record review, on-site assessment, analysis of findings, and decision-making (Procedure 201) ♦ The conditions for issue, retention and withdrawal of accreditation documents and maintenance of records on CBs (Procedure 201 and 204-205); ♦ Checks on the use and application of documents used in the accreditation (Procedure 201); ♦ Procedures to be followed for assessing and accrediting applicants (Procedure 201); Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 14 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 15. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 ♦ Procedures for surveillance and re-assessment of accredited organizations (Procedure 201); ♦ Managing complaints and appeals (Procedure 202); ♦ Extending, suspending, withdrawing or reducing accreditation (Procedures 201 and 210). SAAS confines its requirements, assessments and decisions on accreditation to those matters specifically related to the scope of accreditation being considered. 8: Responsibilities of SAAS and the CB 8.1 Obligations of the CB 8.1.1 SAAS has procedures (200-213) in place to ensure that each CB conforms to the following: a) The CB shall commit to fulfill continually the requirements for accreditation set by SAAS for the areas where accreditation is sought or granted. This includes agreement to adapt to changes in the requirements for accreditation (Procedure 200 and 201). b) When requested, the CB shall afford such accommodation and cooperation as is necessary to enable SAAS to verify fulfillment of requirements for accreditation. This applies to all premises where the conformity audit services take place. c) The CB shall provide access to information, documents and records as necessary for the assessment and maintenance of the accreditation. d) The CB shall provide access to those documents that provide insight into the level of independence and impartiality of the CB from its related bodies, where applicable. e) The CB shall arrange the witnessing of CB services when requested by SAAS, the sampling of which is detailed in SAAS Procedure 201 Annex A. f) The CB shall claim accreditation only with respect to the scope for which it has been granted accreditation. g) The CB shall not use its accreditation in such a manner as to bring SAAS or the Standard Setting Organizations which it accredits for into disrepute. h) The CB shall pay fees as determined by SAAS. 8.1.2 SAAS requires that it be informed by the accredited CB, without delay, of significant changes relevant to its accreditation, in any aspect of its status or operation relating to: a) its legal, commercial, ownership or organizational status, b) the organization, top management and key personnel, c) main policies, d) resources and premises, e) scope of accreditation, and f) other such matters that may affect the ability of the CB to fulfill requirements for accreditation. 8.2 Obligations of SAAS 8.2.1 SAAS makes publicly available via its website and also at www.SAASaccreditation.org, information about the current status of the accreditations that it has granted to CBs. This information is updated regularly and includes the following: a) name and address of each accredited CB; b) dates of granting accreditation and expiry dates; c) scopes of accreditation in full. 8.2.2 SAAS has established procedures (200-213) to ensure that it meets its obligations to CB’s. 8.2.3 SAAS, where applicable, provides information about international arrangements in which it is involved, for example, its participation in ISEAL. Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 15 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 16. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: July 1, 2008 8.2.4 SAAS gives due notice of any changes to its requirements for accreditation and takes into account views expressed by interested parties before deciding on the precise form and effective date of the changes. Following a decision on, and publication of, the changed requirements, SAAS verifies that each accredited body carries out any necessary adjustments, as detailed in Procedure 201, 21.5. 8.3 Reference to accreditation and use of symbols 8.3.1 SAAS, as creator and owner of the accreditation symbol, known as the SAAS accreditation mark for SA8000, has established a procedure (Procedure 426) detailing its protection and use. 8.3.2 SAAS takes effective measures through required surveillance audits (as set out in SAAS Procedure 200 and 201 and SAAS Procedure 426) to ensure that each accredited CB: a) fully conforms with the requirements of SAAS for claiming accreditation status, when making reference to its accreditation in communication media such as the Internet, documents, brochures, or advertising, b) only uses the accreditation mark for premises of the CB that are specifically included in their accreditation, c) does not make any statement regarding its accreditation that SAAS may consider misleading or unauthorized, d) takes due care that no report or certificate nor any part thereof is used in a misleading manner, e) upon suspension or withdrawal of its accreditation (however determined), discontinues its use of all advertising matter that contains any reference to an accredited status, and f) does not allow the fact of its accreditation to be used to imply that a product, process, system or person is approved by SAAS. 8.3.3 SAAS takes action to deal with incorrect references to accreditation status, or misleading use of accreditation symbols found in advertisements, catalogues, etc. as defined in Procedure 426. Such action may include CARs, suspension, or withdrawal of accreditation certificate as set out in SAAS Procedure 200 and 210. Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 16 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 17. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: ANNEX 1: QUALITY POLICY QUALITY POLICY SAAS's mission is to recognize (or accredit) and monitor qualified organizations to audit and certify socially accountable organizations. We will achieve this mission by offering an internationally recognized accreditation program. The Accreditation System exists to: ♦ Accredit and oversee firms seeking to act as monitors of compliance with social standards and codes; ♦ Offer accreditation services to certification firms; ♦ Determine the qualifications of such firms to perform full, reliable, and impartial audits of organizations against specified social standards; ♦ Provide confidence to all stakeholders in SAAS accreditation decisions and in the decisions of its accredited CBs; ♦ Continually improve the SAAS accreditation function, activities and systems, in compliance with ISO 17011 and ISEAL Code of Good Practice; ♦ Be impartial and fair to all applicant and accredited certification bodies. Our objectives are: • To gain international recognition of the accreditation program and its value to society; • To expeditiously resolve any complaints and address their root causes; • To improve, each year, the reliability and quality of accredited certifications through our accreditation activities; • To deliver all our services in a professional and timely manner that furthers the mission of social standards. To achieve these objectives, we will operate a quality system consistent with the requirements of ISO/IEC Guide 17011 and undergo regular review and peer review by ISEAL. Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 17 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08
  • 18. Author: L. Bernstein Social Accountability Accreditation Services Issue: 4 Approval: R. Zaid SAAS Global Procedure 101 Effective: ANNEX 2: SAAS Organization Chart Board of Directors Executive Director Accreditation Review Panel Advisory Committee Program Manager Client Coordinator Accreditation Auditors Procedure 101: Version: July 2008 © Page 18 of 18 Last printed 7/11/08