Appeals and Complaints

1. Objective
To describe measures that CAPL certification has implemented as an organization the way appeals are evaluated and the decision is made and the process of receiving, investigating complaints and initiating appropriate corrective and preventive actions.

2. Scope
This procedure shall be applicable to all appeals and complaints received by CAPL in relation to the certification and related services offered by CAPL in all its operating regions within its accredited and non-accredited scopes of certification.

3. References
ISO 17021-1:2015; Clause 9.7 & 9.8 requirements

Definitions Appeal: An appeal is a plea/request preferred by a client of CAPL to the highest decision-making committee seeking a resolution on decisions made while handling of a complaint or dispute or a plea on a certification decision made by CAPL.

4. Complaint: A complaint means where a client or other interested/affected parties, either in written and or verbal, identifying an unsatisfactory service and conduct of CAPL auditor(s). A complaint also means where an affected party, client or other interested party has either in writing or verbally identified an unsatisfactory service of CAPL or conduct of CAPL auditor(s).

5. Responsibility Recording Appeals & compliant – Admin Manger Analysis of appeals and complaints – Appeals & Complaints Handling Committee Decision Making – Quality Manager Monitoring of CAR – Quality Manager Management Review – Director

6. Procedure6.1 Appeals
a) CAPL shall provide certification services as per documented procedures, meeting the requirements of accreditation criteria with a focus on impartiality, competence, responsibility, openness, and confidentiality during all stages of service delivery.
b) However, appeals received from interested parties against decisions taken by CAPL during its certification services delivery and associated processes shall be handled in a non-discriminatory manner by an independent committee. CAPL shall be responsible for decisions at all levels of the appeal handling process. Submission, investigation, and decision on appeals shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the appellant.
c) Appeals and complaints handling committee of CAPL shall comprise the Director & Quality Manager, and a member of the Committee of Impartiality. CAPL may associate with a Technical Expert and or a legal advisor who can be a member of the committee if required. Quality Manager shall be the coordinator for the appeals committee.
d) No member of the appeals committee shall be a member of the audit team or working as a technical team for a specific client for which appeal has been registered such that the appeals handling process of CAPL is independent of its certification process of the specific client.
e) The appellant must have provided complete information giving substantial grounds for appeal within the specified time scales. Provided these criteria are met, the appeals are recorded.
f) Both the appellant and the relevant CAPL personnel shall be entitled to be heard in confidence.
g) Appeals shall be registered by the Admin Manager with all details and acknowledgment will be sent to the appellant within 7 working days. The register shall be updated with the action undertaken to resolve appeal upon completion of all the activities.
h) The appeals committee shall review the appeal and discuss the circumstances necessitating the client to appeal and conclude the findings based on the merit of each appeal and previous similar appeal.
i) A predetermined date shall be decided for the hearing and the appellant’s representative informed of the hearing date to enable them to nominate a representative. The appellant’s representative shall be provided an opportunity to present their details.
j) After providing opportunities to all concerned parties, a decision shall be given by the committee, which is binding on all concerned.
k) The CAPL Admin Manager shall write to the appellant informing them of the appeal panel decision, within 7 days of the decision. During the appeal handling process, a progress report is made available upon request of the appellant. If the appellant does not accept the decision they may revoke the conditions of contract i.e., arbitration.
l) The decision of the appeals committee shall be reviewed by CAPL Quality Manager and necessary corrective action taken to prevent the recurrence of similar appeals and prevent the occurrence of potential appeals in the future.
6.2 Complaints a) CAPL Admin Manager shall register all the written or verbal complaints within the scope of services provided in the Corrective action request form. Once the complaint is registered, an acknowledgment/ the receipt is sent to the complainant within 2 working days. CAPL may also inform the progress of the resolution of the complaint, if required, in case of any delay in resolution. CAPL shall be responsible for decisions at all levels of the compliant handling process. Submission, investigation, and decision on complaints shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the complainant.
b) CAPL Admin Manager shall review the complaint whether it relates to certification activities that CAPL is responsible or whether a complaint relates to a certified client, which may require consideration of the effectiveness of a certified management system. Any complaint about a certified client shall also be referred by CAPL to relevant clients under consideration.
c) CAPL shall be responsible to gather all the information about the complaint and verify its validity.
d) Analyze the root cause and identify the corrective actions needed within 15 days. Additional time may be considered for a specific complaint with justification if required.
30 days is the maximum time frame after the first hearing or as decided in the first hearing as the target date for closure of the complaint.
e) If the complainant is not satisfied with the solution or if the time frame is exceeded the complainant may complain to the accreditation body.
f) The decision of the complaint shall be reviewed and approved by CAPL Quality Manager or The decision of the complaint shall be reviewed and approved by CAPL Quality Manager or by Director who not involved in the subject of the complaint.
g) CAPL Admin Manager Inform the client of the action taken and the resolution within 7 days of the completion of the action.
h) CAPL Quality Manager shall monitor the effectiveness of corrective action and shall revise Quality System documents as required.
i) CAPL shall determine along with the client and complainant, the extent of subject complaint and resolution which can be made public.
j) Log of appeals and customer complaints shall be maintained by CAPL. Terms of Reference
The Appeal and Complaints handling committee is authorized by the CAPL Certification Manager to investigate any appeal or complaints within its terms of reference. It is authorized to seek any relevant information it requires from any member of staff of CAPL or any relevant third parties, and all members of CAPL are directed to co-operate with any reasonable request made by the Committee. The Committee must adhere to the relevant standards, accreditation criteria, and ISO 17021-1:2015 and CAPL procedures. The Committee is authorized by the Quality Manager to obtain guidance, if it considers it appropriate, to obtain legal or other independent professional advice and, if it considers necessary, to secure the advice or attendance of those with relevant experience. The role of the CAPL Appeals and Complaints handling committee is to, • Address all complaints and appeals received by CAPL impartially.
• To be independent in resolving any Appeals and Complaints and shall uphold integrity.
• Counteract any tendency on the part of CAPL to allow commercial or other considerations to prevent the consistent objectives in handling complaints and appeals received by CAPL,
• Decisions on Appeals and Complaints
• Resolve all appeals and complaints within the specified time
• Report to CAPL management on the statuses of appeals and complaints made to CAPL.
The committee members shall be selection shall be determined by CB’s top management. NEWS & UPDATES