GCS have a mechanism in place for clients to lodge appeals. An appeal may be submitted if a client objects to the result of a certification audit. The appeals process is transparent and disclosed publicly to ensure all clients (and other stakeholders) understand their rights. The procedure below outlines how appeals are handled – further explanation is provided on the following pages:
Receive appeal and acknowledge receipt: Appeals can be submitted via post or email, using an appeal form template that is available at the end of this document. Once an appeal has been received, GCS will acknowledge receipt to the client within five business days.
Validate appeal: The appeal is initially reviewed by GCS’s Administration Manager. This review is conducted to check the validity of the appeal (i.e. whether it has come from a legitimate source, contains sufficient information, etc.). If the appeal is not deemed valid by the Administration Manager, the appellant is contacted to communicate its status.
Seek further information from appeal appellant: If the appeal is judged to be valid, a new Appeal record is created by the Administration Manager. If further information is needed to support the appeal, the appellant is contacted to gather more input.
Review appeal: Once sufficient information has been gathered, the Administration Manager will review the appeal in detail to evaluate whether it warrants a review of the certification decision. Grounds for re-assessment are subject to the judgment of the Administration Manager. Potentially valid reasons for an appeal may include:
- Extenuating or unanticipated circumstances on the day of the audit;
- Inappropriate auditor conduct/behaviour;
- Insufficient auditor performance against the Audit Plan, and;
- Breach of confidentiality.
Note: Clients are provided with an opportunity to provide feedback at a number of separate stages during the audit. Therefore, if a client submits an appeal on grounds that could have been reported at these opportunities, the Administration Manager will take this into account as potentially negating a subsequent decision to appeal.
The Appeal record is updated with the findings of the review. If the appeal is judged not to warrant reassessment, the result of the appeal will be communicated to the appellant, with a full explanation for the decision.
Submit Appeal to certification decision-making procedure: If, following review, the appeal is judged to merit a re-assessment, the Administration Manager submits the Appeal record (and any supporting information) to the next scheduled certification decision-making committee. The certification decision-making procedure will objectively re-evaluate the outcome.
Communicate result to appellant: Once the appeal has been processed, the appellant will be informed of the outcome. NB: if an appeal is successfully resubmitted to the certification decision making process, this will represent the end-point of the procedure.
This form can be used to lodge an appeal. Kindly complete all sections in full on this form
|Name of Contact Person|
|Date of Audit:|
|Certification Decision + Reason:|
|Reason for Appeal (Please provide full details and all supporting evidence. This will form the basis of re-assessment).
|Use additional pages if necessary|
Please print, scan and send all completed forms and evidence to firstname.lastname@example.org
177 Devana Road,
Leicester, LE2 1PN