All accredited management systems certification bodies (CBs) shall ensure they are providing SCC with audit information within a timely manner, as per the Accreditation Program Overview, mandatory program guidance documents, as well as the SCC Accreditation License Agreement.
Certification bodies who are accredited under ISO/IEC 17021-1.
The minimum witness audit requirement is one (1) witness audit per standard per year. When determining each CB’s specifc witness audit requirements, SCC will consider the volume of certifications issued under SCC accreditation, certification body sector scheme qualification(s), complexity, and number of the accredited scopes and economies within which the certification body is operating as well as other additional factors outlined in program specific documentation.
For initial accreditation in each MS scheme, SCC will witness both stage 1 and stage 2 audits, for at least one of the CB's clients. If the CB does not have any new clients, SCC will allow the witnessing of one renewal or two surveillance audits which cover the key processes.
For those certification bodies accredited to the industry sector Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Program, the following are the witness audit requirements:
- One Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) witness audit per year, ensuring that all parts of the SFI scope are covered in the accreditation cycle.
- For Fibre Sourcing, this should be sampled both in a combined SFM and Chain of Custody (CofC) audit. Additionally, the Trademark standard is applicable to all SFI participants and should be included in a CofC witness audit.
SCC requires full and timely cooperation to collect relevant audit information from certification bodies in order to schedule and effectively conduct required witness audits. Should the requested information not be provided to SCC within the requested time, a nonconformity will be issued at the next assessment and the witness audit may be cancelled at the expense of the CB.
IAF MD 17:2019
2.4.1 When requested, the CAB shall promptly provide the AB the complete and updated schedule of confirmed and planned audits (dates, location, audit team composition, audit type and scope, etc.), in order to allow the AB to schedule or update the program for the coverage of the scope of accreditation.
The CBs shall provide a list of all upcoming (planned or scheduled) audits to the applicable technical or sector codes occurring in the next six months within two weeks of the SCC request. Failure to provide this information without valid reason within the two week period shall result in a nonconformity being issued at the next assessment, and may result in suspension or scope reduction for the applicable technical or sector codes in question.
2.4.4 Pre-witness activities shall ensure that the AB has the CAB’s audit plan, previous audit reports if applicable, audit team competence records and the justification for the calculation of audit time.
Once a witness audit has been selected and confirmed, this information shall be provided at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to the audit. Delays in providing such information, or providing incomplete information, shall result in a nonconformity being issued. If no pre-audit information is provided at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the witness audit, the witness audit will be cancelled with cancellation fees levied. If SCC is unable to conduct the witness audit, other remediation, such as a scope reduction, may apply.
2.4.12 When relevant to the objective and scope of the witnessing, the AB’s assessors shall get and review the CAB’s own audit report (and any additional information required).
The CB should also provide the audit report to the SCC assessor(s) within fifteen (15) calendar days of the completion of the witness audit. This period may be extended when the CB is operating in a foreign language, to make provisions for translation, or when the witness audit is part of a larger multi-site audit with a lengthy audit plan (i.e. forestry audits occurring over several months). Failure to provide the audit report within the defined time frame shall result in a nonconformity being issued.
Accreditation Licence Agreement
2.4 The CAB shall:
a) accommodate and cooperate as is necessary to enable SCC to verify fulfilment of requirements for accreditation. This applies to all premises considered as fixed office locations or from where critical activities take place;
b) provide access to information, documents and records as necessary for the assessment and maintenance of the accreditation;
Appendix C, C.5 Cancellation Fees:
If an on-site assessment or audit activity is cancelled by the CB for reasons other than acts of nature, or if the CB fails to provide the appropriate documentation in sufficient time before the scheduled activity, SCC will cancel the activity and levy cancellation fees
Please contact Abdel Kassou, Manager, Compliance and Assessment Services, at email@example.com or +1 613 238 3222 ext. 443 for more information.