Impartiality Policy

Overview

Centre for Assessment (CFA) recognise that the aim of certification is to give confidence to all interested parties that a management system fulfils specified requirements, parties that can have an interest in certification include:

  • The clients of certification bodies;
  • The customers of an organisation whose management system are certified;
  • Government, legal and regulatory authorities (local, regional, national, international);
  • Consumers and members of the public;
  • Parent organisations, and managerial and non-managerial, temporary and permanent workers of a client organisation;
  • Suppliers, contractors and sub-contractors;
  • Workers’ organisations (trade unions) and employers’ organisations;
  • Owners, shareholders, clients, visitors, relatives of workers, local community and neighbours of the organization and the general public; customers, medical and other community services, media, academia, business
  • Associations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and
  • occupational health and safety organizations and occupational safety and health-care professionals (for example doctors and nurses).

CFA provide an objective and fair assessment and certification process. Impartiality is at the core of our business ethos. CFA has put in place procedures, practices and policies to safeguard the impartiality of its activities. We strive to deliver assessment certification services which provide the market place with confidence, while maintaining the professionalism and credibility of not only our own audit and certification processes, but those of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). Each of our employees and associates has responsibility for complying with our process and guidelines with regard to impartiality.

In order to provide a sounding board, and to ensure sufficient weight and importance is attached to the need for objectivity in all that it does, CFA has appointed a formal Impartiality Committee. The Committee has been appointed by the Directors to monitor all aspects of our business activity. All members of the Committee have extensive and value adding experience in the individual sectors which they represent; thus, enabling them to guarantee a wealth of knowledge, expertise and integrity to CFA. Any instance where an employee, associate or customer feel there is a threat to impartiality, you are welcome to contact our Managing Director, Stephen Burrows. Our Director has the authority to initiate a full investigation into your enquiry, in conjunction with the Chairman of the Impartiality Committee.

Threats to Impartiality

We recognise the following as threats to our impartiality:

  • Self-interest - threats that arise from a person or body acting in their own interest.
  • Self-review – threats that arise from a person or body reviewing their own work.
  • Familiarity - threats that arise from a person or body being too familiar with or trusting of another person or entity instead of seeking out objective audit evidence to back up conclusions.
  • Intimidation – threats that arise from a person or body having a perception of being coerced openly or secretively, such as threat to be replaced or displaced.

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest is any circumstance where the interest of CFA differs from those of an individual acting on our behalf. This may be in the form of an associate performing assessment activity for an entity they have a close business or personal relationship with. This kind of scenario must be eradicated to avoid any influence of the assessor’s judgement and lack of impartiality.

We recognise the following scenarios as a conflict of interest:

  • An individual auditing a system they have implemented or provided consultancy support to;
  • Auditing the system of a family member or friend;
  • Accepting, directly or indirectly, any kind of personal advantage offered by the organisation or individual to be audited;
  • Performing the role of compliance coordinator;
  • Internal performance monitoring and reporting,
  • Performing risk assessments;
  • Performing management system inspections and internal audits;
  • Communication with regulatory authorities on behalf of the client;
  • CFA or the consultant performing any consultancy or providing tools to clients even if not against the audited management system;
  • Accident and incident investigation.

Centre for Assessment’s top management confirm the following unambiguous commitments as part of its policy to ensure impartiality in the provision of its certification services.

Commitments

Centre for Assessment shall:

  • be responsible for, and retain authority for, all decisions relating to certification;
  • ensure that all personnel who could influence certification activities act impartially;
  • require all personnel to reveal any conflicts of interest as defined in this policy;
  • ensure its relationships with other bodies does not compromise impartiality;
  • ensure that activities are not marketed or offered as linked with the activities of a management system consultancy;
  • always act to respond to threats to its impartiality. Centre for Assessment shall not:
  • offer or provide management system consultancy as defined in this policy;
  • design, manufacture, install, distribute or maintain a product, process or service it has certified;
  • permit the involvement in the management of Centre for Assessment of any personnel of any separate legal entities producing a product that Centre for Assessment certifies;
  • offer or provide internal audits to its certified clients;
  • certify within two years a management system where there was consultancy from a body that has a relationship with Centre for Assessment;
  • outsource audits to a management system consultancy;
  • employ any personnel on assessments where that individual has provided management system consultancy, as defined in this policy, within the last two years
  • certify the quality management system of another certification body.

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