Complaints & Appeals
Are you unhappy about the service we have provided you with? Please let us know.
Westcoast Certification is a professional Certification Body that assesses organisations on their compliance with requirements, operational control and proper implementation of their systems.
Unfortunately this does not automatically mean that we always get everything right ourselves!
However, we are keen to learn where our services could have been better and we kindly invite you to inform us of anything that we could improve on or need to rectify.
To enable us to fully understand what has (or hasn’t) happened, please explain the issue as detailed as possible and at least include the following details:
- What has or hasn’t happened?
- Who were involved (Westcoast Certification personnel and others)?
- When and where did it happen?
- How would you like to see it resolved or what action do you think we need to take?
Complaints about others
As the Certifier of many different organisations we take complaints about our certified clients seriously, especially where it concerns issues that might have a relation to their Certification and/or the implementation of their certified Management System.
When reporting such issues to us, please be as specific as you can about what has happened, where, when and also how this, in your opinion, relates to their Certification.
On receipt of a complaint, we will investigate the situation. It is important to understand that that may include discussion of the complaint with the certified client the complaint relates to. As a result, due to the specifics of the complaint, the client may become aware of your identity. If you do not want this to happen but still want us to take action, please contact our Certification Manager for a confidential discussion about the matter before you lodge your complaint.
We strive to inform you about the outcome of our investigations and the subsequent actions taken. Please note however that our Confidentiality Policy may prevent us from disclosing specific information about the outcome of our investigation or the actions taken.
We notify our clients of every Certification Decision that we make, including granting or not-granting of Certification, temporary suspension of Certification and termination of Certification.
With this notification you will be informed about your right to appeal the Certification Decision and about the process for doing so.
Appealing a Certification Decision is a formal step in the Certification process and is treated in a more formal manner than a complaint. An explanation of the process is provided below.
Any client who wants to appeal a Certification Decision made by the independent Certification Approval Panel has the right to do so provided the appeal is based on one or more of the following grounds:
- the Certification decision is incorrect
- the Certification decision is not based on all available evidence (at the time of the audit)
- the correct procedure for evidence gathering has not been followed
- there are special circumstances that should have been taken into consideration during assessment or decision making.
Clients can appeal decisions within 6 weeks of being informed about the certification decision and must lodge their appeal in writing. Appeal forms can be obtained from our office either in electronic or hard copy format.
Within 2 weeks after receipt of an appeal a formal appeal review meeting will be held. All members involved in the review of the appeal must be independent and must not have played a role in the assessment process or the certification decision.
During the appeal, if there is any reason to question the legitimacy of the appealed certification decision, the appeal shall be GRANTED and a new certification decision will be made by the Certification Approval Panel (please note that this does not automatically mean that the new certification decision will be different from the appealed decision).
If the appeal review does not reveal any reason to question the legitimacy of the appealed certification decision, the appeal will be denied and the certification decision will remain unchanged.
The client will be informed of the outcome of the appeal process in writing.