The circumstances under which a customer’s certificate may be suspended, withdrawn and/or cancelled include:
- The client’s certified management system has persistently or seriously failed to meet certification requirements, including requirements for the effectiveness of the management system;
- The certified client does not allow surveillance or recertification audits to be conducted at the required frequencies;
- The certified client has voluntarily requested a suspension;
- Misuse of certification marks/logos etc.;
- The customer’s circumstances change in such a way as to invalidate the scope of certification;
- The customer otherwise contravenes the terms and conditions of the certificate.
During surveillance, it may become apparent that the Auditee is not working to a compliant, documented, management system, or he/she may be misusing the marks, or otherwise contravening the terms of their certificate. In this case, the Auditee may be advised that their certificate is suspended pending meeting the terms of their certificate. This will usually involve the Auditee’s submitting a corrective action plan within 28 days setting out the corrective actions, including responsibilities and timescales that the customer intends to take to address the non-compliances/contraventions.
During suspension, the customer will not make any claims that the product/system is certified. The IMS logo / certification mark will not be used on any products during the period of suspension. The suspended status of the certification shall be made publically accessible via the website and IMS shall take any further measures deemed appropriate.
Any verification actions shall be carried out within six months of the suspension decision.
In the event that the customer does not complete the activities set out in the Corrective Action Plan, the Certificate will be withdrawn. With immediate effect, the customer will be required to return the certificate to IMS International, cease all further use of the IMS logo and certification marks, and will not make any claim to certification of systems, services or products. The withdrawal status of the certification shall be made publically accessible via the website and IMS shall take any further measures deemed appropriate.