Being impartial is important to the implementation of all phases of the certification process. This ensures confidence that SSI operates within the requirements of the certification accreditation. SSI maintains the credibility of the certification program and that all audits performed are completed in a professional manner. Impartiality is built into the system of performing audits so that all audits are comprehensive and uniformly applied and not subject to the bias of SSI. SSI acts as an independent organization separate from all aspects of the program being audited. SSI will not certify any organizations that are affiliated with SSI or SSI staff. SSI will not enter into a contract with another ISO certification body to perform audits or any consultancy activities.
The following controls shall be complied to ensure this impartiality policy is maintained throughout the audit process. All procedures shall be completed with verbatim compliance.
- Auditors are prohibited from participating in the audit of any organization to which they have given assistance, contractually consulted (other than advioe for the text in the QMS) or provided training. If text, training, or advisory condition exists, the work cannot be used for any advertisement of services. Auditors are prohibited where they have financial or commercial interest with the organization applying for certification.
- Auditors are prohibited from contracting with clients to include but not limited to the design or implementation of a client’s QMS.
- Auditors shall not disclose or discuss any detail of audit results except to SSI Executive Management or as required by the Confidentiality agreement.
- All auditors are required to sign an employee agreement (QP111-1)
- Subcontracted auditors used to support ISO 9001 certification activities shall sign a subcontractor agreement (QP-72-2) and employee agreement (QP111-1). Subcontracted auditors shall identify any potential conflict of interest with the clients they will be auditing.
SSI recognizes that the clinet paying for certification and that this is a potential threat to impartiality. Therefore, SSI is an independent company and follows the verification process outlined in ISO 17021 to ensure that impartiality is retained. To obtain and maintain impartiality, it is essential that SSI certification decisions are based on objective evidence of conformity and nonconformity, and that any decisions made are not influenced. Certification decisions are made by competent members of the Certification Decision Committee (CDC) who were not a member of the audit team.
SSI recognizes that the threats ti impartiality include the following:
- Threats of conflicts with Petra Seismic Design (CO-owned) preparing equipment certification. This must be completed by total separate contracts and personnel and cannot be auditors.
- Threats of conflicts with Petra Seismic Design (CO-owned) preparing QMS documentation. This must be completed by total separate contracts and personnel and cannot be auditors.
- Threats from a person acting on their own interest.
- Threats from a person reviewing the work that they have conducted themselves.
- Threats arising from a person becoming too close or trusting, instead of seeking audit evidence.
- Intimidation from a person or company having a perception of being coerced and shall be reported.