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Obligations

OBLIGATIONS

OBLIGATIONS OF CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT BODIES

It is an obligation of an accredited conformity assessment body to enable ATS and its representatives to monitor compliance with the rules of accreditation and relevant accreditation criteria including, but not limited to:

-  access to all relevant areas of work of an accredited conformity assessment body including the necessary arrangements for evaluation of conformity with accreditation rules at all locations where accredited activities are performed;

-  make the documents and records pertaining to the conformity assessment activities under accreditation available at the request of ATS. This will aim at making the assessment process possible in order to confirm accreditation maintenance;

-  pay the accreditation fees within defined deadlines in accordance with the Charging Policy Document;

-  immediately inform ATS about all the changes affecting the accreditation status, such as:

  • changes in legal, ownership or organisational status;
  • changes in organisational, management and key staff structure;
  • new persons authorised to sign certificates of conformity where applicable;
  • changes in policies, resources and locations; 
  • changes in the certification scheme;
  • new members of the certification committee and other organs exerting influence of the parties interested in certification where applicable; and
  • other changes affecting fulfilment of the accreditation criteria.

After analysing possible effect on accreditation status arising from the changes made, ATS shall decide on the method of verification thereof, which may also involve extraordinary surveillance assessments.

Furthermore, an accredited conformity assessment body shall: 

  • not use the accreditation that was granted thereto in order to jeopardise the reputation of ATS by taking special care not to be misleading as regards the scope and subject of accreditation that was granted or make any statements about its accreditation that may, according to these Rules, be considered as misuse of granted accreditation; 
  • contact ATS to obtain authentic interpretation if it is in doubt as to whether it can use the accreditation that was granted;
  • not include in the contracts with its clients or certificates of conformity any provisions leading to a conclusion that products or services were approved by ATS by means of accreditation;
  • in case of accreditation suspension in full or for part of the scope of accreditation, immediately stop issuing certificates of conformity (including labels), and other documents containing the accreditation symbol or combined marks or reference to accreditation or ATS status as a signatory to the multilateral agreements in accordance with the Rules for the Use of the Accreditation Symbol, Reference to Accreditation and ATS Status as a Signatory to the ЕА MLA, ILAC MRA and IAF MLA and that pertains to the activities that led to accreditation suspension, and on the web page;
  • return, after the accreditation has been withdrawn, the accreditation certificate and scope of accreditation to ATS; after the expiry of the accreditation validity period or accreditation withdrawal, it shall immediately stop stating that it is still accredited and it shall stop distributing documents/items containing the accreditation symbol or combined marks or text reference to accreditation or ATS status as a signatory to the multilateral agreements in accordance with the ATS Rules for the Use of the Accreditation Symbol, Reference to Accreditation and ATS Status as a Signatory to the ЕА MLA, ILAC MRA and IAF MLA and this also implies their removal from the web page;
  • inform its clients in writing that accreditation was withdrawn and ask them to stop using the accreditation symbol if applicable and inform ATS thereof in writing.
  • ensure record keeping of the incidents pertaining to the safety of products falling within the scope of accreditation, and records made by clients or by third parties (e.g. judicial bodies records) and of data on the relevant corrective actions that were undertaken to rectify the incidents;
  • submit to ATS the details on the actions that judicial bodies undertook against it as regards the accreditation services rendered;
  • report, in case of bodies authorised/ designated by the competent authorities on the basis of accreditation, to ATS on a regular basis about their current authorised/designated status (when this status is to be granted or denied, etc.).

Every year an accredited certification body or body that applied Accreditation application is obliged to submit the following to ATS prior to a surveillance assessment/initial assessment/reassessment:

  • updated list of certified clients;
  • list of consultants recruited to put in place management systems for their certified clients;
  • updated list of auditors/assessors containing the following information: name and surname, qualifications, work experience, technical competence (e.g. ЕА code, field of certification) and the list of assessed clients;
  • list of countries into which accredited certificates are issued and the number of certificates issued in each country;
  • list of countries in which the certification body operates from fixed locations (permanent premises of the certification body where the certification activities are performed and / or managed for the conformiy assessment body, regardless of location and relationship with the certification body) that performs any certification activities;
  • list of countries in which the certification body has remote personnel (individuals who may be internal or external that perform certification activities for a conformity assessment body and do not work at a fixed office location) that perform any certification activities;
  • To indicate whichfixed office location/s is/are responsible for perfoming and/or managing key activities as defined in IAF/ILAC A5 or from where remote personnel performing key activities are managed; and
  • to present the conformity assessment body’s arrangements for managing all activities that are performed from a foreign fixed office locations abroad or by remote personnel.

An accredited certification body for the certification of the management systemis also obliged to submit, other than the stated lists,  the following data to ATS each year by the end of January every year ( according to the country and according to the standard for which it performs certification): number of accredited certificates valid at the end of December, the number of auditors / assessors, the number of transfers accepted, number of overdue audits, and the number of auditor days delivered, on the basis of the instructions that will be provided by ATS on that occasion.

Certification or inspection bodies shall, before applying for accreditation, perform at least one certification or inspection for each certification scheme or field of inspection they applied for.

Accreditation can be granted to a certification body providing certification of management systems only by means of ЕА codes/food chain/technical area categories for which the certification body made decisions on certification - granted certification.

If accreditation is a prerequisite for designation/authorisation, it can also be granted by witnessing the work of conformity assessment bodies under simulated conditions. A designated/authorised accredited conformity assessment body is obliged to inform ATS about its first conformity assessment so that ATS can witness the work thereof under real conditions. If witnessing is not performed before the first regular surveillance assessment, ATS shall reduce or withdraw the accreditation that was granted.

An accredited conformity assessment body shall, at least once every two years, perform conformity assessment activities it was accredited for. If not, ATS shall reduce or withdraw the granted accreditation for conformity assessment activities that have not been performed for more than two years.

The certification body certifying management systems under accreditation must not offer and provide management system certification services in accordance with standards ATS uses for the accreditation of the conformity assessment bodies (eg ISO / IEC 17025, ISO 15189 etc.).

The details as regards the reference to accreditation status and use of accreditation symbol are set forth in the rules for the use of accreditation symbol and reference to accreditation. ATS will, in case of incorrect reference to accreditation and use of the accreditation symbol, undertake actions that may include a request to undertake corrective actions, extraordinary surveillance assessments, suspension or withdrawal of accreditation.

A conformity assessment body is obliged to adhere to the Rules of Cross-frontier Accreditation (ATS-PA05), which are publicly available at www.ats.rs, in the cases of its own accredited activities abroad and existence of locations of the conformity assessment body in other countries.

In case of need for witnessing ATS performance by EA or other international accreditation organizations that ATS has signed multilateral arrangements on mutual recognition with, a conformity assessment body is obliged to host, during assessment by ATS, members of assessment team from EA or other international accreditation organizations, which will monitor and observe the work of ATS assessment team

The details as regards the reference to accreditation status and use of accreditation symbol are set forth in the Rules for the Use of the Accreditation Symbol, Reference to Accreditation and ATS Status as a Signatory to the ЕА MLA, ILAC MRA and IAF MLA. ATS will, in case of incorrect reference to accreditation and use of the accreditation symbol, undertake actions that may include a request to undertake corrective actions, extraordinary surveillance assessments, or accreditation suspension or withdrawal.

OBLIGATIONS OF ATS

ATS shall:

  • limit assessment procedures to the assessment of conformance with the accreditation criteria;
  • provide participation of competent, independent and impartial staff in the accreditation procedure;
  • ensure confidentiality of data and information obtained during the accreditation procedure;
  • provide public access to up-to-date information about the accreditations that were granted;
  • inform about changes in accreditation criteria on time having in mind, if need be, opinions of the interested parties, and about methods to be used to verify whether each accredited conformity assessment body made the necessary adjustments;
  • provide information relating to the provision of acceptable traceability of measurement;
  • provide information relating to PT schemes recommended by EA, and
  • provide information relating to international arrangements it is involved in.

Obligations towards international organizations for accreditation

As a signatory to multilateral arrangements on mutuall recognition (EA MLA, ILAC MRA and IAF MLA) АТS abides all relevant and binding guidelines of ЕА, ILAC referring to accreditation procedure or accreditation bodies and conformity assessment bodies.   

The list of mandatory and informative documents issued by international organizations for accreditations is presented in EA-INF/01, the valid edition of which is available at http://www.european-accreditation.org.

As a signatory to ЕА MLA, ATS abides requirements from the ЕА-1/06 that contains criteria for signing and maintaining ЕА MLA.