Complaints and Appeals Procedure

Handling of Complaints and Appeals Procedure

The following process applies to complaints relating to HCO’s certification services, and complaints against certified clients made to HCO.

Definition

Complaints: Expressions of dissatisfaction made to HCO with regards to its certification/auditing services or its certified/audited clients (as it relates to the implementation of the clients’ management systems), where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected.

– identifying nonconformities (e.g. from complaints and internal audits);

– determining the causes of non-conformity;

– correcting non-conformities;

– evaluating the need for actions to ensure that nonconformities do not recur;

– determining and implementing the actions needed in a timely manner;

– recording the results of actions taken;

– reviewing the effectiveness of corrective actions.

Appeals: A request by a client, his authorised representative or a responsible party, to the Certification Body for re-consideration of a decision it has made related to the verification, validation or certification of that client is termed an Appeal.

Criteria for Selection of Members

– Presence of one Sharia expert in all meetings, who is independent and has no link with HCO
– Two other academic members, with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and/or minimum of 5 years of academic (University) background.
– Another member with a strong knowledge and understanding of GSO 2055.2, GSO 2055.1, and GSO 993.
– All members should be totally independent and not have any links with the complaints/appeal.

Process of Complaint

– Any party wishing to submit a complaint shall contact the HCO office via telephone, email, or other type of communication or by sending an Email at: info@hcoltd.co.uk
– The complaint handling process is subject to the requirements for confidentiality.
– Upon receipt of a complaint, HCO will log and acknowledge the complaint within 10 working days of receipt (typically via email). Once validated, it will be assigned to designated personnel for investigation and resolution.
– HCO will take any necessary corrective actions related to the complaint, whether against HCO certification/auditing activities or against the certified/audited client.
– When the complaint is against a certified/audited client, the subject of the complaint is usually not to be made public. HCO will also notify the client of the receipt of a complaint against their certified/audited system at an appropriate time.

Process of Appeal

– The certification body shall have a documented process to receive, evaluate and make
decisions on appeals.
– The certification body shall be responsible for all decisions at all levels of the appeals-handling
process. The certification body shall ensure that the persons engaged in the appeals-handling process are different from those who carried out the audits and made the certification decisions.
– Submission, investigation and decision on appeals shall not result in any discriminatory actions
against the appellant.
– The appeals-handling process shall include at least the following elements and methods:
-an outline of the process for receiving, validating and investigating the appeal, and for deciding what actions need to be taken in response to it, taking into account the results of previous similar appeals;
-tracking and recording appeals, including actions undertaken to resolve them;
-ensuring that any appropriate correction and corrective action are taken.
– The certification body receiving the appeal shall be responsible for gathering and verifying all
necessary information to validate the appeal.
– The certification body shall acknowledge receipt of the appeal and shall provide the appellant
with progress reports and the result of the appeal.
– The decision to be communicated to the appellant shall be made by, or reviewed and approved by, individual(s) not previously involved in the subject of the appeal.
– The certification body shall give formal notice to the appellant of the end of the appeals handling process.

Complaint Review

– Complaints are resolved through an investigation and validation process with decisions made by HCO. HCO has the responsibility of gathering and verifying all necessary information to validate the complaint.
– Investigation of complaints related to certified/audited clients typically include an examination of the certified/audited client’s management system effectiveness or may necessitate a special audit and may lead to the suspension of the certification if the complaint is related to a certified client.
– Whenever appropriate, HCO will provide the complainant with the outcome of the investigation, and a formal notice of the end of the process.

Complaints Committee

Consisting of one member of impartiality committee, management team, sharia board and technical manager will review relevant complaint. The decision resolving the complaint or appeal shall be made by, or reviewed and approved by, person(s) not involved in the certification activities related to the complaint or appeal.

ACCREDITATION AND COLLABORATION