Complaints handling process

A complaint is a formal record of a dissatisfaction by any user affected by a certified management system as verified by the certification body. Complaints can be received in various forms, including, but not limited to, formal submissions, written form by mail, email communication, and verbal notification.

If Coalfire Certification is in receipt of a complaint for a certification client regardless of its current status of conformity for any management system(s) under review by the certification body, the Coalfire Certification management team will digest all inbound information during the development of the initial case set up. The Coalfire Certification management team will serve as the authority on all inbound complaints and follow up handling processes. Additionally, the Coalfire Certification management team will remove any individuals that are considered part of the audit team composition supporting the Client Organization from providing input into the activities workflow.

In some cases, the Coalfire Certification management team may determine that a complaint is actually an inquiry to certificate status for a certified management system maintained by the certification body, where public look-up was not accessible or functioning appropriately via the Coalfire Certification Certificate Directory. If the submission conforms to this definition for an inquiry, the complaints-handling process is terminated upon response provided to the requesting party.

Where a certified client is the subject of a complaint, a representative of the Coalfire Certification management team will promptly communicate these actions to the certified client within an appropriate timeframe while maintaining the integrity of any ongoing investigations.

Where inbound information received for a complaint is insufficient for the certification body to evaluate via further inspection, a representative from the Coalfire Certification management team will follow up with the complainant to retrieve additional information or clarification, where appropriate.

In extenuating circumstances where the result of a complaint leads to the modification of a conformity decision for a management system, a member of the Coalfire Certification management team may determine the need to publicize these actions. In these cases, the certification body will seek input from both the certified client and affected complainant, as appropriate, prior to disseminating information on the basis of confidentiality and local laws governing public disclosure of events.

Once the decision regarding a complaint has been made, no counterclaim by either party in dispute can be executed to amend or change this decision unless additional relevant supporting documentation is provided for review. Where similar complaints are received, the Coalfire Certification management team will consider the results of historical cases that have determined precedents when handling particular matters.

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