Procedure for Complaint Handling
  All clients are made aware of the AQSR complaints/ disputes procedure by reference to the AQSR Rules and Regulations
  Recording of Complaints/Disputes
  On receipt of a formal written complaint / dispute the recipient shall complete the Complaints/Disputes form F40 confirming whether the complaint relates to certification activities or if it is related to a certified client, then the effectiveness of the certified management system may be considered and the form is forwarded to the Certification Manager within 2 working days.
The Certification Manager shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint/dispute to the complainant/disputer within a further 5 working days using the acknowledgement letter. In the absence of the Certification Manager this may be issued by a Governing Board member.
The Certification Manager shall update the complaints/disputes log, and in the case of complaints/disputes against the Certification Manager forward the complaints/disputes form to the Chairman of the Governing Board. 
All complaints shall be subjected to requirements for confidentiality.
Investigation of Complaints/Disputes
With the exception of complaints/disputes against the Certification Manager or management representative , which are investigated by the Governing Board, the Certification Manager shall allocate a responsible person to investigate the complaint/dispute.
  The investigation shall determine the following:
The validity of the complaint/dispute;
Whether AQSR procedures have been followed;
Whether AQSR procedures are deficient;
Whether an invoice credit is recommended.
The investigation of complaints/disputes shall be completed within 1 month of receipt, and shall be recorded in section 2 of the complaints/disputes form.
Communication of the Outcome of a Complaint/Dispute
The outcome of the investigation of the complaint/dispute shall be forwarded to the Certification Manager by copy of the complaints/disputes from.
The Certification Manager shall update the complaints/disputes log with the details of the findings of the investigations, and shall communicate these to the client together with any credit that may have been agreed.
Corrective Action
Where corrective action is required this shall be agreed by the Certification Manager and those members of staff affected by the corrective actions and shall be recorded in the complaints/disputes form.
The Certification Manager shall then ensure that the required corrective action is effectively implemented and where this involves changes to controlled documentation that the Control of Documents procedure is followed.
Corrective Action Verification
The Internal Auditor shall review the effectiveness of all corrective actions during the audits of this procedure.
Subject to the satisfactory completion of the corrective actions the Internal Auditor shall sign the complaints/disputes form and shall record details of the objective evidence which has been used to confirm that the corrective actions have been effective. The completed copy of the complaints/disputes form shall be forwarded to the Certification Manager at the end of the audit.
Where it is not possible to confirm that the corrective actions have been effectively carried out the Governing Board shall be informed by the Internal Auditor by copy of the complaints/disputes form.
Review of Complaints/Disputes
  The Certification Manager shall review the complaints/disputes log every 6 months to ensure the following :
That all complaints/disputes are recorded;
That all complaints/disputes are investigated;
That the results of the investigation of the complaints/disputes are communicated to the client;
That complaints/disputes are closed out at internal audit.
  The Certification Manager shall, prior to each Governing Board meeting, prepare a summary of all customer complaints/disputes received within the previous period for presentation at the Governing Board meeting.

When a complaint/dispute is received against a registered firm from a user of their products or services, it shall be forwarded to the Certification Manager who shall record it on the complaints/disputes against a registered firm log.

The Certification Manager shall contact the registered firm in question at an appropriate time.

The complaint/dispute shall be investigated by the Certification Manager to determine if it is valid and to determine what further actions are required.

The Certification Manager shall produce a report on the complaint/dispute and the client shall be informed of the outcome of the investigation.

Where the registered firm is found to be non-conforming against AQSR rules and regulations or the requirements of the standard to which they are assessed a non-conformance note shall be raised and sentenced by the Certification Manager.

This shall be forwarded to the registered firm for corrective action.

AQSR shall acknowledge receipt and provide the complainant with progress reports and the outcome of the complaint after investigation.

Final decision shall be recorded and also intimated to the complainant through formal notice. The decision forwarded to the complainant shall be made by or reviewed by and approved by individual not previously involved in the subject of the complaint.

AQSR shall determine, together with the client and the complainant, whether and, if so to what extent, the subject of the complaint and its resolution shall be made public.
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