Certification Process

Certification Process

Certification Process

Why Certification is required:
Getting certification of your management system demonstrates your commitment to comply with the requirement of any internationally recognized management system. A third-party assessment from RICI’s team of experienced and qualified auditors will help you in ensuring this objective. It will help you to maintain a sustainable business performance in the domain of the management system, as well as independently assess compliance with the applicable requirements. RICI’s auditors follow a risk-based approach, which is reflected in all the audit processes.

Is my organization ready for Certification?
Before approaching RICI, the organization needs to ensure they understand their business requirements and have selected and implemented a suitable management system. A management system based on international standards for quality, environment, occupational health and safety etc. as appropriate must be implemented in most cases for a period of 3 months to ensure its effective implementation.

The key steps in a certification process for any organization are as below:

  1. Initial Inquiry

In order to have a clear understanding of the needs and requirements, RICI will require information with regards to your organization. The information required includes the name of the organization, address(s), location(s), number of employees, the scope of certification, applicable standard etc.

The RICI Initial Inquiry Form 02-1 can be used to communicate all key information and to get a proposal. The form is available on request and the organization can use the online general inquiry option.

Based on the information in the Initial Inquiry our Sales and Marketing team will get back to you with a proposal and, if mutually agreed, to sign a formal contract.

  1. Documentation review (Optional)

The organization may be offered, in the certification proposal, a desktop or off-location review of its management system documentation. A documentation review report is provided in this case which summarizes any findings from this process.

  1. Stage I Audit

As per an agreed plan, RICI auditor(s) will conduct a stage I audit to review the management system documentation comprising of manuals, procedures etc., as well as to check on some key implementation areas. The objective is to assess the readiness for the Stage II or Certification audit. This also helps in confirming the scope of the audit and effective planning for the stage II audit. The stage I report is provided to the organization which summarizes the key areas including any development points. The organization is given time to implement the findings before processing for the Stage II audit.

  1. Stage II Audit

Stage II is the certification or implementation checking audit in which RICI auditor(s) will assess your management system’s degree of compliance against the requirements of the selected standard(s) and documented management system etc. The audit will be done using techniques like interviews, review of relevant documentation, examinations, observations of the system in operation etc.

Findings, including non-conformities as well as conclusions, are presented at the end of the audit in a closing meeting. A recommendation is given by the Team Leader based on the audit findings and  is included in the audit report. If there are any non-conformities, they need to be closed within an agreed timeline using suitable verification method as appropriate like onsite or remote.



  1. Certification decision and issuance of the certificate

After close out of any outstanding audit findings, the RICI audit Team Leader will submit the audit package for the certification decision. The audit findings are reviewed independently for quality and impartiality by RICI and, upon

successful review, a certificate is issued. The certificate issued is sent to the organization or concerned county office with a week to 10 days from the certification decision.

  1. Surveillance audits

Each issued certificate has a three-year life cycle. Life cycle means the certified organization will go through two annual surveillance audits if they opted for annual certification. From the date of stage II audit, the first surveillance must be completed by the end of year 01 and the second surveillance at the end of year 02. These audits are planned audits and the objective is to ensure ongoing compliance as well as look for performance improvement areas.

  1. Re-certification audit

After the completion of the three-year cycle, or before, the certification will be renewed through a re-certification audit for which you will be asked to sign a new contract. Re-certification audit is similar to the stage II audit with added objectives to access system maturity and improvements. A new certification cycle will start, thereafter.

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