Appeals and Complaint Management
We are committed to maintaining impartiality in our certification activities with clients and prospective clients. As an accredited certification body, this commitment is rooted in who we are and our obligation to uphold the integrity and credibility of our certifications to those users who rely on them.
Moss Adams Certifications has established procedures for acceptance and continuance of client relationships and engagements to help both our people and our firm maintain independence and identify and manage risks that could impair impartiality. Moss Adams Certifications does not perform consultancy services.
Moss Adams Certifications conforms to the requirements outlined within the current ISO/IEC 17021 standard to provide confidence in its delivery of audit services and in its certification decisions. Certification decisions are made by an independent committee charged with safeguarding impartiality and independence when making decisions.
These decisions are based on objective evidence of conformance to relevant ISO/IEC standards and are not improperly influenced by other interests or parties.
The below sections outline our processes for granting, refusing, maintaining, renewing, suspending, restoring, or withdrawing certification or expanding or reducing the scope of certifications.
Clients who wish to be certified apply for certification by submitting an application request to Moss Adams Certifications. After review, if Moss Adams Certifications accepts the application request, an agreement is signed with the client to perform the certification audit over the defined scope outlined in the application request.
Certification audits are performed in two stages, Stage 1 and Stage 2. Following successful completion of both stages of a certification audit, the audit team provides a recommendation to the certification committee for a certification decision. In making its decision, the certification committee reviews the audit report and recommendation from the audit team as well as the provided application request from the client and any management responses to identified nonconformities.
If appropriate, the certification committee grants certification to the client and a certificate is issued.
Clients who fail to complete both Stage 1 and Stage 2 of a certification audit will not be granted certification. Clients who complete both stages of the audit, but fail to adequately respond to identified nonconformities within the allotted time, will also not be granted certification.
Additionally, the certification committee may disagree with the recommendation of the audit team and refuse to grant certification. Whenever a certification is refused, an explanation for why the certification is refused is provided along with instructions on how to appeal the decision.
Certified clients must complete annual surveillance audits during the certification period to maintain certification. Surveillance audits are not full system audits and the scope of surveillance audits are agreed upon and communicated via the audit plan.
A member of the audit team will reach out to the certified client to coordinate surveillance audits in advance of their due dates to determine a mutually agreed upon time to complete the surveillance audit. Failure to complete surveillance audits may lead to a suspension or termination of certification.
Certified clients must complete a recertification audit prior to the expiration date of their certificate. Recertification audits are full system audits.
A member of the audit team will reach out to the certified client to coordinate the completion of the recertification audit well in advance of the expiration of the certification. Failure to complete the recertification audit may lead to a suspension or termination of certification.
Suspending & Restoring Certification
Clients who do not complete surveillance audits, recertification audits, or respond sufficiently to identified nonconformities may have their certification suspended.
Certified clients that are in a state of suspension can have their certification status restored if they complete the respective audit or address the identified nonconformity within the allotted time.
Clients who do not restore their certification or who violate the certification agreement with Moss Adams Certifications will have their certification withdrawn.
Clients that wish to restore certification after certification is withdrawn must restart the certification process with at least a Stage 2 Audit.
Expanding or Reducing Certification Scope
Certified clients who wish to have their certification scope amended may submit an updated application request to either expand or reduce the scope of their certification.
Moss Adams Certifications will review the application request and if approved, work with the certified client to perform the necessary audit procedures to amend the certification scope and issue an updated certificate.
Appeals and Complaint Management
Following the completion of an audit, clients who disagree with the conclusions made by the Moss Adams Certifications audit team or its certification committee may submit an appeal via the feedback page on this website.
Following receipt of an appeal, Moss Adams Certifications management validates the authenticity of the appeal and investigates the appeal to assess whether a change to the conclusion should be made.
To make that decision, Moss Adams Certifications management will:
- Convene a review committee made up of management not part of the certification process
- Review the details of the appeal
- Review audit records and documentation from the audit team and certification committee
- Meet with the audit team
- Review any prior appeals and actions taken
- Take identified corrective actions
After the necessary steps are completed, the review committee will communicate a formal response with its decision regarding the appeal to the appellant.
Regardless of the outcome of an appeal, no discriminatory actions will be taken against the appellant.
Moss Adams Certifications has established the following complaint management process. If a client has a complaint regarding any aspect of the audit, it’s initially handled by the audit team lead.
A client unable to satisfactorily resolve a complaint with the audit team lead can submit a formal complaint via the feedback page on this website. Following receipt of a complaint, Moss Adams Certifications management validates the authenticity of the complaint and investigates the complaint to assess whether corrective action needs to be taken.
To determine if a corrective action is required, Moss Adams Certifications management will:
- Assess whether the complaint impacts a certification issued by Moss Adams Certifications
- Assess whether Moss Adams Certifications should include the certified client in responding to the complaint
- Review the certification decision and audit records
- Meet with the audit team for the certified client
If corrective action is required, Moss Adams Certification will take the necessary steps.
After the necessary steps are taken, Moss Adams Certifications will follow up with the complainant on the results of the investigation if appropriate and any corrective actions taken. Details of the complaint will then be documented and the complaint closed.
Moss Adams Certifications takes any complaints it receives seriously and will ensure timely investigation and corrective action is taken in accordance with confidentiality requirements and any local or governing laws. Regardless of the outcome of an investigation, no discriminatory actions will be taken against the complainant.
Moss Adams Certifications maintains a listing of all its certifications and certified clients and their status and makes that information available to organizations and individuals.
To get the current status of a certified client or certificate, please use the Contact Us form and provide the specific client or certificate.
Moss Adams Certifications maintains control of the certification mark (the “Mark”) affixed to its certification documents (the “Issued Certificates”). Moss Adams Certifications does not permit the use of its Mark in any product marketing or other advertising materials by the client.
In addition, Moss Adams Certifications will not permit its Mark to be applied to laboratory tests, calibration, or inspection reports.
The Issued Certificates have a unique serial number directly traceable to individual audit clients.
Moss Adams Certifications grants permission to use its Mark solely as affixed to the Issued Certificates, and only to Moss Adams Certifications certified clients that have satisfied all applicable Moss Adams Certifications certification requirements and maintain their status as a certified client.
Each Moss Adams Certifications certified client is authorized to use the Mark only in connection with its use of the applicable Issued Certificate provided to such certified client, and the certified client may not remove or otherwise detach the Mark from the applicable Issued Certificate to which it is affixed.
Should a client choose to terminate its agreement with Moss Adams Certifications or fail to maintain certification, permission to use the Mark is revoked.