Impartiality Policy

 Impartiality Policy Public Statement 

 

African Certification and Testing, its Managing Director, Managers, Staff and others involved in the Certification of Persons fully understand the importance of impartiality in undertaking its Product certification activities. 

African Certification and Testing will therefore ensure that in its dealings with Clients or potential Clients, all employees or other personnel involved in Product certification activities are, and will remain, impartial. 

To ensure that impartiality is both maintained and can be demonstrated, African Certification and Testing has identified and risk assessed all relationships which may result in a conflict of interest or pose a threat to impartiality.

 

 Impartiality Policy Statement

 

 African Certification and Testing is the legal entity responsible for product certification activities; reference to African Certification and Testing in this Policy and Public Statement refers to these legal entities. 

African Certification and Testing its Managing Director, Staff and Sub–contractors fully understands the importance of impartiality in undertaking its Product certification activities. African Certification and Testing will therefore ensure that in all its dealings with Clients or potential Clients all employees or other personnel are and will remain impartial. To ensure that impartiality is both maintained and can be demonstrated the following principals have been established. 

  • African Certification and Testing Certificates are only issued following a review by an independent authorised and competent member of the management team (who has not been involved in the evaluation) to ensure that no interest shall predominate 
  • African Certification and Testing does not offer (and has never offered) inspection and testing related to product certification or any other form of consultancy to client. 
  • African Certification and Testing does not offer (and has never offered) an internal evaluation service to its certified clients. 
  • African Certification and Testing does not own or have any interest (financial or otherwise) in any other company that offers certification or inspection and testing related to product certification services. 
  • African Certification and Testing does not have (and will not form) any relationships with companies who offer consultancy or inspection and testing or other services that can be construed as having an impact on the certification services provided by African Certification and Testing Any proposed relationship between African Certification and Testing and any other company will undergo a risk assessment by the Committee for Impartiality prior to that relationship being formalised. Any current relationships with companies, organisations and individuals will be risk assessed on a regular basis to ensure that the relationship does not impact upon the impartiality of the product certification process. 
  •  Individuals employed by or otherwise contracted to African Certification and Testing are required to document and record their current and past relationships with all companies. Any situation past or present which may present a potential conflict of interest is required by African Certification and Testing to be declared. African Certification and Testing 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. 
  • African Certification and Testing will not allocate a member of staff or sub–contractor to a management system evaluation where any past relationship has existed. Exceptionally and at the discretion of the Certification Manager or Managing Director an individual or sub–contractor may be allocated to a management system evaluation where a past relationship has existed but there has been no relationship for a minimum of 2 years. 
  • African Certification and Testing does not and will not offer any commission, (‘finders fees’ or other inducements) to any individual or company in respect of referrals of Clients unless: 
  • 1. The terms and conditions of any such referral are clearly established and can be demonstrated and it can also be demonstrated that the fee is for a referral and the fact that a commission has been paid will in no way effect the outcome of an evaluation. 
  • 2. A risk assessment (to establish the potential for an unacceptable threat to impartiality) has been carried–out on the process through which any such payment is made to an individual or 

    organisation (normally an inspection and testing laboratory) requesting the commission for referrals. 

    3. All such payments are documented, recorded, and traceable and accompanied by a purchase order and invoice. 

    African Certification and Testing does not offer specific inspection and testing to any company in respect of implementing a particular standard for that company. Any inspection and testing offered by African Certification and Testing is general in nature and available to all clients, who wish to attend. 

    African Certification and Testing will ensure that it is not linked or marketed in any way which links it with the activities of an inspection and testing related to product certification and will take appropriate action should any such link be identified. 

     Evaluators 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 evaluation. 

    African Certification and Testing’s Impartiality Norms: 

    •  No outsourcing of Evaluations to Inspection and testing laboratories. 
    •  No Referral Fees to be paid to Inspection and testing laboratories. 
    •  Facts based communication to Clients / Inspection and testing laboratories. 
    •  Adherence to all Accreditation and other African Certification and Testing Policies. 
    • African Certification and Testing shall not carry–out any other conflicting services other than its core business of Certification. 
    • African Certification and Testing shall not employ any professional conflicting its ethical policies. 
    • African Certification and Testing shall not allow any of its Evaluators to market the services and conduct the evaluations for the same client. 
    • African Certification and Testing shall not allow any of its Evaluators to carry out financial transactions with Clients / Inspection and testing laboratories. 
    • African Certification and Testing shall not carry–out business with any Inspection and testing laboratories inducing pressures to compromise impartiality. 
    •  All employees of African Certification and Testing shall disclose any situation impairing the business ethics. 
    • African Certification and Testing shall not allow any of the Evaluators to carry out evaluations for the customer at least for 2 years from the date of relinquishment from their services for the client. 
    • African Certification and Testing shall not allow any Evaluators to compromise on the evaluation timing as required as per the accreditation / African Certification and Testing norms. 
    • African Certification and Testing shall not allow any Evaluators to conduct the evaluation for the customer for which it has not been approved for. 
    • African Certification and Testing shall maintain transparency with regard to all information. 
    •  No Evaluators shall divulge any confidential information of the customer to any third party without written consent from the customer and approval by Managing Director 
    •  No Evaluators shall carry any customer information with them after the usage period. All customer information shall be returned after usage. 
    •  Utmost care / verification to be carried out for granting the right scope of certification. 
    •  Any unethical practice observed should be notified to the management at the earliest. 
    • African Certification and Testing shall not allow any of its Evaluators to accept any gifts. 
    • African Certification and Testing shall not allow any Evaluators to conduct evaluation for the organization where any of its family members / close relatives are involved at a decision making position. 
    •  Disciplinary actions for non–adhering to impartiality policies shall be taken by the Management in consultation with Impartiality Committee.