Oct 17, 2018 Last Updated 3:22 PM, Oct 3, 2018

Procedure for Handling Complaints and Appeals.

1.0 Purpose & Scope

The purpose of this procedure is to clearly outline the steps related to the handling of complaints against JANAAC or one of its accredited CABs, and appeals from Conformity Assessment Bodies against an accreditation decision taken by JANAAC.

This procedure covers the activities from the receipt of a verbal or written complaint or appeal, to the submission of a report to the Management Review Committee of the accreditation body.

2.0 Definitions & Abbreviations

For the purposes of this document, the terms and definitions given in ISO/IEC 17000, ISO/IEC 17011, ISO 9000 and the following apply.

  • Complainant - any party that is making a complaint.
  • Appellant - any Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) which is making an appeal against an adverse decision made by the accreditation body related to its desired accreditation status.
  • Dispute - a verbal or written disagreement with a decision made, after pursuing the appeal process.
  • Appeals Committee - the Appeals Committee is a sub-committee of the Accreditation Council with a minimum of 5 members.  This is not a standing committee in membership but its members are appointed by the Chairman of Accreditation Council ensuring that persons are competent and independent of the subject of appeal.

3.0 Action

3.1 Complaints

Upon receipt of a verbal complaint, the officer receiving the complaint documents this in the Enquiry Book and instructs the complainant to send his complaint in writing to JANAAC. On receipt of the written complaint This is used to complete the relevant sections of a Complaint Form, attaching the correspondence from the complainant.

If the complainant does not choose to confirm the complaint in writing but the complaint can be regarded as justified, the relevant officer shall recommend to the CEO, the formulation of a proposal for improvement if such a proposal would be beneficial to JANAAC.

The receiving Officer assigns the appropriate reference number to the complaint according to the Procedure for Control of Management System Documents.

Where the complaint relates to the activities of a CAB accredited by JANAAC, the complainant is asked if he has been through the CAB’s complaints procedure.  If this has not been done, the complainant is advised to pursue that course of action first.

The CEO or his/her designate, within five (5) working days, investigates the documented complaint through discussions or correspondence with all parties concerned and makes a decision concerning the complaint.

On conclusion of the investigation, the CEO takes immediate steps to ensure that the particular problem is resolved.  If the complaint identifies a nonconformity, it is handled according to the Procedure for the Identification and Management of Nonconformities and Corrective Action.

The CEO or his/her designate, informs the complainant in writing, of the decision(s) made and requests in writing the complainant’s to submit writtenconfirmation of their acceptance.  

The CEO or his/her designate files all the related documents with theComplaint Form.  A report is submitted to JANAAC’s Review Committee.

3.2 Monitoring and measuring customer satisfaction

JANAAC recognizes that it needs to get feedback, both positive and negative from its customers.  As a result, JANAAC monitors and measures customer satisfaction by:

  1. identifying customer expectations;
  2. gathering customer satisfaction data;
  3. analyzing customer satisfaction data;
  4. providing feedback for improvement of customer satisfaction;
  5. monitoring customer satisfaction on an ongoing basis.

JANAAC also uses existing (indirect) sources of information on customer satisfaction.  These include:

  1. Frequency or trends in customer complaints, calls for assistance and customer compliments;
  2. Results from evaluation of training exercises.

Direct sources of information include conducting Qualitative or Quantitative surveys.

3.3 Appeal

On receipt of the indication of intention of a CAB to lodge an appeal against a decision made by JANAAC, the appellant is instructed to lodge his written appeal and comprehensive report to the Chairman of the Accreditation Council, and to submit a copy to the CEO.  The CEO attaches the appellant’s report to the company’s file.

The Accreditation Council considers the validity of the appeal and determines the next course of action.  Where the Council considers the appeal to be valid, an Appeals Committee is constituted ensuring that impartiality is maintained in the selection of the members as described in the committee’s Terms of Reference

Upon receipt of an invitation from the Chairman of the Appeals Committee, the CEO makes an oral and written presentation to the Committee, on behalf of the accreditation body.  This is done in the presence of the appellant, and any other parties relevant to the case as agreed by the Committee.

The Chairman of the Appeals Committee advises the appellant of the final decision(s)/ruling on the case.

The CEO secures a copy of:

  1. the Appeals Committee’s ruling on the case;
  2. any additional presentations made by the appellant and any other relevant party;
  3. the appellant’s signed statement of acceptance re the ruling. These are attached to a report and submitted to JANAAC’s management review committee.

The CEO makes checks to verify the appellant's compliance with the ruling, documents the findings and places them on the relevant company’s file.

All documents, which arise from the appeal process, are attached to a report/update prepared by the CEO and submitted to JANAAC’s Management Review Committee.

Where the appellant expresses non-acceptance of the ruling given by the Appeals Committee, the CEO obtains this in writing from the appellant and places a copy on the company’s file.

The CEO submits a copy of the Appeals Committee’s ruling on the case, along with the appellant's non-acceptance documents to the Accreditation Council, to make representation in court, if necessary.

Any additional documents, which arise from the case of dispute, are attached to a report/update prepared by the CEO and submitted to the Management Review Committee.

3.4 Management Review

After submission of a complaint, appeal or dispute report to the accreditation body’s Management Review Committee, the CEO retrieves the decision(s) made with respect to the report and places a copy on file.  The review is carried out as outlined in the Procedure for Conducting Management Review  

If any decision(s) made by the accreditation body’s Management Review Committee results in the need for a modification of any part of the management system and its processes/procedures, the change(s) are supervised by the Technical Manager.

Notice of Transition to
ISO/IEC 17025:2017

JANAAC, in keeping with an ISO/ILAC 17025:2017 transition communique, requires all testing and calibration laboratories to make the transition to the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard by November 2020. During this transition period, ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and ISO/IEC 17025:2017 are equally valid. Testing and calibration laboratories may continue to submit applications for accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 up to December 31, 2018. After December 31, 2018, however, JANAAC will no longer be accepting applications for ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation. Re-assessment or surveillance visits, however, done after December 31, 2018 will be done using the new standard. Please contact JANAAC for further information or clarifications.

Notice of Transition to
ISO/IEC 17011:2017

JANAAC is currently in transition to the new ISO/IEC 17011:2017 standard. As such, all our accredited CABs and new applications will be informed in a timely manner of any accreditation requirements which may be affected. Please contact JANAAC for further information or clarifications.