Westcoast Certification is committed to maintaining the impartiality and objectivity of our Management System Certification activities. Impartiality and objectivity are of vital importance to the professional and ethical provision of our services to our clients as well as to the interests of the wider community.
We have identified, analysed and documented all potential threats to the impartial and objective provision of our services to our clients. Where necessary to control threats or potential threats to our impartiality we have identified control measures. We will regularly review the identified threats and will continue to identify new threats or potential threats to impartiality if and when they occur.
In cases where threats to our impartiality exist, appear to exist or may be perceived to exist, Westcoast Certification will take appropriate action immediately.
All staff, external service providers, Independent Advisory Board members and any other party that may play a role in our Certification processes must be inducted before conducting any activities. Induction includes the contents of this policy.
To ensure impartial and objective provision of our services to our clients, we will:
- not provide Certification services where this is considered to pose an unacceptable threat to our impartiality;
- not certify another Certification Body for its management system certification activities;
- not offer or provide Management System consultancy or services to our clients or to any other parties;
- not offer or provide internal audit services to our clients;
- not provide Certification services to clients to who we have provided consultancy services or internal audit services in the previous 2 years;
- not provide Certification services to any client that has received Management System consultancy or Internal audit services from a consultant that we have a relationship with that could pose a threat to the impartiality and objectivity of our services;
- not outsource any audit activities to Management System consultancies;
- not market, promote or offer our services linked with those of an organisation that provides Management System consultancy services;
- take action to correct inappropriate claims by any consultancy organization stating or implying that certification would be simpler, easier, faster or less expensive if the certification body were used;
- not state or imply that certification would be simpler, easier, faster or less expensive if a specified consultancy organization were used;
- not use personnel or external service providers who have provided management system consultancy, including those acting in a managerial capacity, to take part in an audit or other certification activities if they have been involved in management system consultancy towards that client within two years following the end of the consultancy; and
- take action against any threats to its impartiality arising from actions of other persons, bodies or organisations that we become or are aware of.
All our personnel, management, external service providers and Independent Advisory Board members shall act impartially and shall not allow personal, commercial, financial or other pressures to compromise impartiality ever. They are contractually and legally obliged to make known to us without undue delay any threats or potential threats to impartiality that they are or become aware of at any point in time regardless whether this is prior to, during or after the provision of services to any client that this threat to impartiality would relate to. Whenever such a (potential) threat becomes known to us and where the situation is deemed to threaten the impartiality of the person involved, that person will not be assigned any responsibility related to the client.
In cases that relate to Westcoast Certification in general or where the threat to impartiality cannot be resolved or reduced to an acceptable level, no services can and will be provided by Westcoast Certification.
Whenever we become aware of a (potential) threat after the provision of services by the involved person, the situation will be assessed and where necessary the audit or any other affected part of the certification process including the certification decision, appeal or complaint handling will be renewed by other personnel. Records of identified threats to impartiality will be maintained.
Action may be taken against any person or organisation found to be in breach of their impartiality responsibilities, regardless of whether the relation between that person/ organisation and Westcoast Certification still exists or not. The type and extent of this action will reflect the nature and consequences of the breach of our impartiality requirements and could include instant dismissal, termination of contract or legal action.