These certification rules and conditions govern the contractual relationship between the Customer and the URS certification body on the basis of an accepted offer and closed contract, which specifies the subject, extent and price of the certification.
These rules and conditions are valid for URS certification services which fulfil the internationally recognized conditions of the DAkkS accreditation body.
Explanation of terms
Certification- the certification process which leads to the verification of the client’s established standard and the issue of a certificate, usually in a three-year cycle.
Certification audit - the certification process which leads to the verification of the client’s established standard and the issue of a certificate, usually in a three-year cycle.
Auditor – the person who performs the certification audit by visiting the client and writing a report about the audit.
Standard – required standard, whose requirements the client established in their firm.
Audit report – this is a report which is drawn up by the auditor and which contains findings from the performed visit.
Accreditation – this is a verification that the certification body performed the certification, and issues a certificate in accordance with the valid certification for the given standard.
Initial phase - this is the entry phase of the certification process, when the three-year certification process begins.
Monitoring audit – an annual repeat visit when the auditor performs an inspection of the given standard.
Re-certification –the subsequent cycle, usually three years long, which follows the previous cycle, usually also three years long
Rights and obligations of URS
URS is obliged to provide services as per the concluded contract, properly and on time, while expending the greatest possible professional care, in accordance with the legal regulations relating to the provided services.
URS is obliged to immediately inform the client, in writing, of all facts and circumstances which it discovered during the provision of services as per the concluded contract, and which may have an influence on the provision of the services.
URS shall regularly inform the client of all facts and procedures which it discovers while performing its activity, and which may influence the successful realization of the subject of the contract and a change in the client’s instructions. If, while arranging the certification, URS discovers obstacles which prevent the proper realization of services in the agreed manner, it shall immediately report this to the client, with whom it shall agree on the removal of these obstacles.
URS shall choose an auditor who is suitable for the given field of the client’s activity. However, URS reserves the right to change the auditor/auditors in order to ensure independence and impartiality, or if due to unforeseen circumstances it cannot ensure that the designated auditor is available.
After the performance of the approval audit by its auditor, URS reserves the right to invite another person with whom the client must be familiarized in advance, and URS must request this in writing (by e-mail).
URS is authorized to charge a fee, whose amount it shall determine with regard to incurred administrative expenses. The applicant undertakes to pay GMP+ INTERNATIONAL registration fees as per the price list valid for the relevant year.
URS has the right to measure their Customers’ satisfaction by queries in telephonic or electronic form, so that the Customer is not unduly bothered.
Customer’s rights and obligations
The Customer is obliged to supply URS with timely, complete, truthful and clear information, which is essential for the material fulfilment of this contract, unless its nature indicates that URS should secure it as part of its activity.
The Customer is obliged to create the proper conditions for URS’ activity, and to provide URS with all necessary co-operation during the fulfilment of the subject of the contract.
The Customer undertakes do designate a specific person who shall be present during the certification, and who shall be responsible for the client’s co-operation with the URS auditor.
The Customer is obliged to notify URS of all facts arising that may influence the certification, in such a way that it continues to fulfil the requirements of the norm(s) necessary for the certification or certification regulations. The notification must be made immediately and in written form, if the changes in the system are substantial. For example, if the changes relate to legal, commercial or bodyizational status or ownership; changes of key management workers; changes of contact addresses and premises; changes in the extent of the operational activities covered by the certified/registered management system; and significant changes in management and process systems. Apart from the afore-mentioned significant changes, other changes must be reported to representatives of URS during the next planned evaluation/inspection visit.
At URS’ request the Customer is obliged to allow URS access, during working hours, to the areas, workplaces, offices etc. in which the certification is performed, for the purpose of inspecting materials, procedures, processes, testing methods, records and systems, or ascertaining that the procedure for the termination of the validity of the certificate was performed, if this is necessary.
For the approval of the systems, the Customer shall designate a representative of management, and one or more representatives authorized to act in the event that the main appointee is absent (and if necessary also the replacement appointees) who shall be responsible for all matters in connection with the requirements of the certificate being reported to the appropriate representative of URS, and who, if required, shall sign a declaration during every visit by the URS representative, for the purpose of any changes in procedures and other information relevant for the conditions under which they hold the certificate, including complaints by the Customer.
The Customer shall allow the accreditation body, or if applicable the owner of the GMP+ INTERNATIONAL standard, to participate in the witness audit and/or parallel audit.
In the event of a change in the management system or bodyizational changes, the Customer is obliged to update their system documentation and inform the responsible URS manager of all significant changes in the company’s systems or structure. This mainly involves changes related to the subject of the certification, or changes which result in the appointment of a new representative for the certified area. The Customer must inform the auditors of all changes related to the certified activity and adopted since the last audit.
Should a client wish to make a complaint against the service offered by URS, they should, in the first instance, write to URS email addresses email@example.com
All complaints shall be duly recorded and reviewed, any corrective action thought necessary shall be communicated to the complainant, within a reasonable time-frame. Should the action not be considered sufficient, the complainant should write to email firstname.lastname@example.org for the attention of the Independent Certification Board (ICB).
Following the ICBs review of the matter, any actions considered necessary shall, once again be communicated to the complainant. If the above action is still not considered satisfactory, the complainant should address his/her concerns to the Accreditation Body DAkkS https://www.dakks.de
Place of fulfilment
The facts necessary for the performance of the certification audit shall be assessed and ascertained by URS:
Certification and monitoring audits
For the purpose of a certification or monitoring audit, URS shall send a representative to the Customer in accordance with the agreed audit plan, of which URS shall inform the client. These visits usually take place once or twice per year with the purpose of verifying whether the obligations imposed by the certification are complied with. In the case of the first monitoring audit, the visit must not take place later than 12 months from the date of the certificate decision. URS shall not share any information relating to the client which is confidential, with the exception of information which is publicly available.
If the certified bodyization repeatedly fails to comply with the regulations, URS may suspend or withdraw its certificate or reduce its content, or refuse to issue or renew a certificate or expand its content. These decisions, and the reasons for them, shall be communicated to the client in writing. Reasons for suspension or withdrawal include: failure to comply with these regulations in areas to which they bound themselves within the scope of the certified standard (ISO 50001, GMP+FSA, ISO 28000 and others); a permanent or gross breach of the certification requirements, including the requirement to preserve the efficiency of the certified management system; prevention of the monitoring audit or re-certification audit in the required frequency or at the client’s request. A failure to solve the problems leading to the suspension or emphasized during the audit/visit, by the agreed deadline for rectification (which shall not exceed 6 months) or a failure to pay fees which may result in the withdrawal or restriction of the extent of the certification.
In the event that the certified bodyization or applicant for certification wish to lodge an appeal against any decision by a URS representative, they may do so to an independent certification council within 21 calendar days of the time they were officially informed of this decision. The appeal may be lodged in the form of a written notification. The session of the appeal committee established in accordance with the regulations shall take place within 30 calendar days from the receipt of this notification, and the appellant shall be informed of the time and location of this session at least 7 calendar days in advance.
If the auditors, evaluators or contractors visit the Customer for the purpose of fulfilling their obligations, the client must provide the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and provide the appropriate training and instructions before work commences. The client is also obliged to ensure that the auditor, inspector or evaluator does not manipulate the equipment without the client’s explicit supervision and instructions.
URS is not responsible for findings during audits and recommendations, which must be rectified by the Customer comparison with the norm whose audit is being performed. URS shall also not be responsible for the implementation of the afore-mentioned discovered rectifying measures. Decisions which the client makes to rectify the findings are exclusively within the client’s competency.
If the URS is not able to verify the implementation of corrections and corrective actions of any major nonconformity within 6 months after the last day of stage 2, the certification body shall conduct another stage 2 prior to recommending certification.
The Customer explicitly agrees that the invoice issued by URS shall be sent to them either in written or in electronic form. Electronic form is understood to be primarily electronic post, e-mail, fax or a public data network. The Customer also undertakes to provide URS with a contact e-mail to which the issued invoice shall be sent in electronic form.
Audit report and certificate
As per the concluded contract, after the end of the certification process URS shall prepare an audit report which it shall present to the client. The audit report shall be sent of the client, in electronic form, to their contact e-mail.
In accordance with this contract, after the presentation of the audit report and payment of the invoice by the Customer, URS shall issue the Customer with a certificate/certificates, valid for three years commencing on the day of issue. The client’s name/business title shall be displayed on the URS website for the duration of the validity of the certificate/certificates.
Duration and termination of the certification service
The contract for the certification services is always concluded for a definite period, being a period of three years commencing on the day the contract becomes effective. The contract is automatically extended for a further three years, unless one of the contractual parties delivers written disagreement with the extension of the contract to the other contractual party, within 120 days of the termination of the contract.
In the event that there is a change in the conditions of this contract, the change must be made in written form.
URS and the Customer are entitled to withdraw from the concluded contract if one of the parties breaches the contract in a fundamental manner. In such a case, the other party may withdraw from the contract without undue delay. Fundamental means a breach of conditions of which the party breaching the contract was aware before concluding the contract, or where it must have known that the other party would not conclude the contract if it had foreseen this breach. In other cases, the breach shall not be considered to be fundamental. This does not affect entitlement to the payment of a contractual fine.
Withdrawal from the contract must be in writing, otherwise it is invalid. The withdrawal is effective from the day on which it is delivered to the other contractual party. A withdrawal from the contract abolishes the commitment from the beginning.
All of the provided information shall be dealt with as strictly confidential and, with the exception of the certification body, or if applicable the accreditation body or owner of the GMP+ INTERNATIONAL standard, it shall not be disclosed to any other party without the Customer’s consent.
The confidentiality obligation does not relate to information which is already owned by the disclosing party, or is publicly accessible, or was obtained independently of the parties participating in the commitment relationships regarding the subject of this contract, or was obtained from a third party without any restrictions.
Regardless of the afore-mentioned provisions, information not considered confidential is information which:
URS will publish on website information about certified clients under public access.
When the certification body is required by law or authorized by contractual arrangements (such as with the accreditation body) to release confidential information, the client or individual concerned shall, unless prohibited by law, URS will these information provided.
Certification logo; public use of the certificate and certification logo by its holder/the Customer
The Customer is entitled to inform the public that the product, process, service or company underwent an audit/evaluation by URS, and they are also entitled to use the conformity symbol on promotional materials to which the certificate relates.
The Customer must ensure that the information set forth in the promotional and advertising materials is sufficiently clear, and that it makes clear what product process and/or service is certified, and which, on the contrary, is not.
The Customer must not present a claim on the basis of which buyers may mistakenly believe that the product, process, workplace or company is certified when in fact it is not.
Companies certified as per GMP+ are entitled to use the GMP+ logo of the body GMP+ INTERNATIONAL. Companies certified in accordance with GMP+ are obliged to observe the conditions stipulated by the body GMP+ INTERNATIONAL.
The Customer shall be detailed with the detailed rules, and the options of correctly using the certification logo, during the entry audit and during the awarding of the certificate.
After the end of the validity of the certificate (for any reason) the client shall cease to use the relevant logo and all advertising materials which contain the logo or any link to it. All other materials or documents in the client’s possession, which are necessary for the certificate to be issued, shall be destroyed if the independent certification council requests it.
URS is entitled to adopt appropriate measures associated with the correct use of its certificates. Cases of incorrectly stated links to certificates, or certificates used in a misleading manner for advertising purposes, in brochures etc., shall be dealt with in the appropriate manner, including legal or rectifying steps, or the publication of the given offence. Customers may inform URS of cases of incorrect use of the URS symbols, accreditation symbols or GMP+ symbols that come to their attention. Their notification shall be regarded as confidential.
Early Warning System for GMP+ certification
In the end of a failure to comply with the stipulated level of a contaminating substance, the Customer is obliged to report this and send a EWS report within 12 hours of the confirmation of the contamination to its certification body, the appropriate authorities and GMP+ INTERNATIONAL.
If the Customer wishes to lodge an appeal regarding the services offered by URS, they may do so by e-mail, in writing or by telephone. The contact addresses can be found on the URS website at the address www.urs.holdings. All complaints shall be properly recorded and investigated, and all rectifying measures that are considered necessary shall be communicated to the complainer within an appropriate time horizon.
A notification of a failure to fulfil certification requirements is issued, among others, for the reasons below:
The Customer may appeal any decision by URS.
The appeal must be presented by the company in writing, to the attention of the responsible URS manager, within 14 days of the receipt of the notification of the failure to fulfil certification requirements.
All appeals are referred to ICB (the Independent Committee Board). The responsible manager must familiarize the ICB committee with the evidence supporting their decision to issue a notification of the failure to fulfil certification requirements.
The Customer may make an objection against the participation of specific members of the ICB committee in solving the given complaint, in the event that the company/bodyization believes that the committee member is not impartial. The party submitting the appeal may also report its case personally, at its own expense.
The ICB Committee’s decision is final and binding, for both the company and for URS. The decision of the GMP+ committee cannot be appealed. A decision on the appeal shall be made within 4 months of the receipt of the appeal.
The reimbursement of expenses connected with a successful appeals, leading to the granting of a certificate or the renewal of its validity, shall be decided on by the ICB committee.
The contractual relationship between the contractual parties becomes valid and effective at the time of signing by both contractual parties. On this day URS and the Customer are bound by the expressions of their wills. The Customer shall send the signed contract to URS’ e-mail address.
URS and the Customer explicitly declare that they have familiarized themselves with the content of the concluded contract, that all the provisions contained therein correspond with their earnest and free will, and that the contract was not concluded under duress, inexperience, intellectual weakness, anxiety or carelessness, or under coercion or evidently disadvantageous conditions.
URS provides its services on the international market, and is represented in various regions by authorized regional representatives.
A regional representative may be a natural or legal person which mediates communication between the URS scheme office and the Customer, helps to bodyize the course of the certification audit, and collects fees on behalf of URS connected with the certification audit and the GMP+ registration, on its own account.
URS GmbH is responsible for the certification of client and decision of certification audit, according to the accreditation conditions. URS GmbH shall not delegate this responsibility to a third party.
The provisions of these rules and conditions relate, within the scope of URS, to all workers who participate in the certification process, including regional representatives.
Legal disputes are dealt with in accordance with the Legal Code of the EU (European Union).