Certification Steps

1. Application

The client completes & returns the enquiry form to provide SQCC with the information required to commence quotation/certification process. The client is assigned to the relevant group head. The completed enquiry form is reviewed by appropriate divisions for adequacy. Application/Contract review process shall ensure the following:

a) General organizational information including Contact person

b) The scope of certification sought for and how this scope is to appear on the certificate (NOTE: SQCC does not accommodate changes to scope after certification except in formal cases of amendment or expansion of scope in accordance with terms & conditions) and EA codes – Necessary for assigning Auditor &competence management

c) The information about the applicant organization regarding the premises, staff, shifts, capacity and outsourced activities

d) Status of existing Management system

e) SQCC has the resource,

f) Endorsement of the completed form (signifying that the Client has accepted the Contract Terms and Conditions) of the Certification,

g) Specific issues to be considered (Legislations, Locality etc.)

h) Determine multisite issues Competence requirements of Client services are as stipulated in Job description.


2. Certification audit

Certification audits are done in two stages; i.e., stage one and two.

Stage one audit

This stage one audit is done to:

  • Review the client’s management system documented information against the normative document requirements.
  • Evaluate the client’s site-specific conditions and to undertake discussions with the client’s personnel to determine the preparedness for stage 2
  • Review the client’s status and understanding regarding requirements of the standard, in particular with respect to the identification of key performance or significant aspects, processes, objectives and operation of the management system;
  • Review the allocation of resources for stage 2 and agree the details of stage 2 with the client
  • Evaluate if the client’s internal audit and management reviews are being planned and performed and if they are effective
  • Provide focus for the stage 2 audit and agree with the client on the details for the stage two audit
  • To confirm information given in CER/F/1 and collect information regarding the scope of the audit


For the initial certification audit, part of the stage one audit may be conducted at the client’s premises and a documented conclusion on the fulfilment of stage 1 objectives and readiness for stage two including identification of any areas of concern that could be classified as nonconformities during stage 2 will be send to the client.

The time period between the stage one and the stage two audit is dependent on the gaps identified during the stage one audit and is mutually agreed between the SQCC and the client. In any case this time period shall not be more than six months. If the six Steps to Management Systems Certification (SQCC) 3/4 months lapse before the stage 2 audit is done, another stage 1 audit must be performed. If a client’s management system is found, after the stage 1 audit, not to be ready for stage two, another stage 1 audit shall be performed at the appropriate time at the cost of the client.

Stage two audit

The stage two audit is done on site and its main objective is to evaluate the implementation well as the effectiveness of the client’s management system. The audit includes an examination of at least the following:

  • Information and evidence about conformity to all requirements of the applicable management system standard or other normative document
  • Performance monitoring, measuring, reporting and reviewing against key performance objectives and targets (consistent with the expectations in the applicable management system standard or other normative document)
  • The client’s management system and performance as regards legal compliance
  • Operational control of the client’s processes
  • Internal auditing and management review processes
  • Management responsibility for the client’s policies
  • Links between the normative requirements, policy, performance objectives and targets (consistent with the expectations in the applicable management system standard or other normative document), any applicable legal requirements, responsibilities, competence of personnel, operations, procedures, performance data and internal audit findings and conclusions.


During this audit if non-conformities are found they shall be recorded and classified as either major or minor, and for the purpose of FSSC 22000, category ‘critical’ applies.

Corrective action plans must be submitted for all nonconformities. The time for submitting of Corrective Action Plan (CAP) by the auditee/client is a maximum of 2 weeks and the auditor/CB must indicate acceptance of the plan before the client undertakes the actions therein.

For minor nonconformities the recommendation for certification can be made based on an acceptable Corrective Action Plan and the effectiveness of the corrective action shall then be evaluated at the next audit. The time for carrying out of the corrective action shall therefore be determined by the auditee/client and submitted as part of the corrective action plan.

When major nonconformities are raised, the process of certification decision making shall not begin until the corrective actions have been undertaken by the client and effectiveness thereof been evaluated and found to be effective within a maximum of sixty days.



3. Certification decision

After the follow-up audit, during which time the corrective action plan from the stage two audit are confirmed to have been carried out, the audit findings and conclusions are evaluated by a peer audit and the certification officer who then makes recommendations to the certification committee. The committee makes the certification decision. Once certified, the certificate is valid for 2 years

The decision of the Certification Committee is timely communicated to the Client for information or action, as appropriate, and in case of a grant of certification on the management System of the Client, the certificate and the mark/logo of the SQCC shall be used as per the provisions outlined in the contract. An invoice for single certificates or multiple certificates is made available to the Client for payment before the certificate is issued to the Client for use. It should be noted that the certificate remains the property of the SQCC and can be revoked anytime depending on conditions stipulated in the contract.

4. Surveillance

For the contract period, surveillance audits are carried at every six months except in recertification years

  • Each Surveillance audit includes systemic assessment around the following:
  • Internal audits and management review;
  • a review of actions taken on nonconformities identified during the previous audit;
  • Complaints handling.
  • Effectiveness of the management system with regard to achieving the certified client’s objectives and the intended results of the respective management system (s);
  • Progress of planned activities aimed at continual improvement;
  • Continuing operational control;
  • Review of any changes
  • Use of marks and/or any other reference to certification.

5. Recertification

Recertification audit shall be conducted at least two months before the expiry of the certification contract.

The SQCC undertakes a re-certification audit timely as per the agreed audit Programme in order to allow for timely re-certification decision by the Certification Committee;

A re-certification audit is conducted in a similar manner in terms of scope and intensity like the 1st Stage Audit in order to obtain sufficient objective evidence for appropriate decision-making by the Certification Committee


Sample contract agreement for certification

Policy on use of certification marks

Policy on impartiality

Handling of enquiries, compliments, complaints and appeals

Frequently asked questions on certification


E-mail: standers.sqcc@sldgov.org
Telephone: 525729

Application For Certification Procedure