An accredited CAB or any other complainant may communicate a complaint to SA when:

  • they are dissatisfied with the work of SA,
  • they are dissatisfied with the work of CABs holding SA’s or some other accreditation service’s accreditation,
  • they establish that a non-accredited CABis making direct or indirect reference to SA’s or some other accreditation body’s accreditation.

What is the procedure for lodging and addressing a complaint?

  1. The complainant must send the complaint to SA in written form. In the complaint, the reason for each particular complaint must be clearly stated, i.e. that the complaint refers to: the work of SA; the work of an accredited CAB; or unjustified reference of a non-accredited CAB to accreditation. When the reason is not clearly stated, SA will ask the complainant to provide additional information, which they must provide within a defined time limit, if they wish the complaint to be addressed by SA.
  2. The decision as to the merits of the complaint will be made by the SA Director upon the proposal of the Quality Manager, and a written answer will be sent to the complainant including an explanation of the decisionand, when appropriate, a description of the actions taken and anticipated. SA will manage the complaint handling procedures in such a way as to ensure that they are resolved in the shortest possible timeso that the complainant may expect a decision on the merits of the complaint within one month’s time; should SA expect the decision-making to take longer, it will notify the complainant in writing to that effect.

In which case and how does SA resolve complaints against the work of other CABs?

Complaints against the work of accredited CABs will normally only be addressed by SA when the complainant makes it clear that he has already lodged a complaint with the accredited CAB in question, but does not agree with the manner or the outcome of handling his complaint. When it is not clear from the complaint that it was previously sent to the relevant accredited CAB, SA will refer the complainant to that accredited CAB. When SA estimates that previously addressing a complaint to an accredited CAB would not be appropriate or make sense in a given situation, SA may decide to address such complaint, but will include the accredited CAB in question in the procedure. When the complaint relates to a CAB accredited by a foreign accreditation service, SA will send the complaint to that accreditation service and participate in addressing the complaint, when requested.

When undue reference to accreditation by a non-accredited CAB is the object of complaint, SA will first send a written warning to the infringer as to his infringement of the rules, and request of him evidence of stopping the undue reference; afterwards SA can use legal means.

Read more on the procedure of lodging and addressing complaints in the documents S03, Rules of accreditation, and D06-01, Complaint handling procedure.