The Certification Process
The Certification Process is straightforward and designed to be efficient and reliable
Step 1: The Application Review
To ensure that organisations only engage in certification processes which have a reasonable chance of success, ETHIC Intelligence® carries out a remote preliminary analysis that definess an audit perimeter and/or selects an appropriate certification programme, based on the elements you have provided in your application. This review is designed to make sure that everything is in place to start the next step and that you are not entering a certification process with no chance to succeed. As this step is done offline and remotely, it is quick and easy to implement.
ETHIC Intelligence® might also suggest that you complete a preliminary ETHIC Intelligence® Readiness Assessment® or a conduct a pre-audit to maximise your readiness for the full certification. While these steps may add time and cost to your certification process, they will add value to its effectiveness overall.
Step 2: The Kick-Off
We will hold a call at least three weeks prior to the on-site audit, to go over the audit plan, make sure that all of the general documented information is available for the Lead Auditor prior to the on-site audit.
We will also make sure that all staff identified for an interview are available and that all audit logistics are locked down and agreed.
Step 3: Document Review (Stage 1 audit)
The formal audit process starts with a full review of all your documented procedures which form your anti-bribery management system. This review can be either done off-site or on-site, and will eventually lead the auditor to confirm whether the level of implementation of your management system substantiates that you are ready for the next stage of the certification process
Step 4: In-Situ Audit (Stage 2)
The audit starts with a certification opening meeting to validate the audit plan and sort out organizational issues. It continues with on-site interviews, document review and ends with a closing meeting, during which auditors summarize any of their findings and respond to queries. During the audit you are constantly informed by the auditor of any concerns that could end-up being raised as a non-conformance.
With respect to certification audits, ETHIC Intelligence® uses a publicly available table which indicates the average amount of days that should be devoted to the process. If your scope of certification is covering several sites, we will audit your central functions in the Head Office and also select a sample of sites to be audited, according to accreditation rules.
Step 5: Report and certification
The auditor describes and analyses the anti-bribery management system in a report, which is in turn examined by the Certification Committee. The result and findings of the certification process are then communicated to the organisation.
In the event of major non-conformities, the Certificate is awarded only if such major non-conformities are remediated while in the event of minor non-conformities a remediation plan will only be accepted by the Certification Committee.
ETHIC Intelligence® abides by the rules of ISO 17021-1 applicable to certification bodies for the issue of a certificate. The Certificate is awarded by the Certification Committee upon review of the recommendation formulated by the audit team.
Step 6: Surveillance Audit and Monitoring
For a three-year certification process, a surveillance audit is organised every year. These are on-site audits, which are shorter than the Initial audit and therefore are not necessarily full system audits, however they cover enough elements for us to maintain confidence your system continues to fulfil the management system requirements. Surveillance audits will also address any findings identified in the initial certification report and check they have been closed effectively.
Step 7: Re-certification
After three years a certificate can be renewed. It requires a new certification cycle: re-certification audit and two surveillance audits.
The re-certification audit is a full system audit, similar to the initial certification audit.