LEAD AUDITOR (IRCA) FROM 23 February 2019.  

Certification Process

Regardless of the type of program selected TQCSI has an established method of assessing management system to formal third party certification.

TQCSI applies simple, effective auditing and interpretation within the following framework

Contact with the TQCSI office will provide the opportunity for a discussion where the proposed system requirements and condition of certification will be explained in detail.

You will be provided with a clear understanding of what is required and be given plenty of opportunity to ask for clarification until fully aware of the responsibility of both parties.

TQCSI applies simple, effective applications and interpretations within the following framework.

Certification Process Explained

1 - Introduction Interview

Contact with the TQCSI Office will provide the opportunity for a discussion where the proposed system requirements and conditions of certification will be explained in detail. You will be provided with a clear understanding of what is required and be given plenty of opportunity to ask for clarification until completely aware of the responsibilities of both parties.

For large companies, or those with diverse operations, it may be desirable at this stage for TQCSI to visit and view your Company's operations and services.

Once the necessary information has been solicited, you will be given a firm quotation for the certification services with all costs explained and no hidden charges to worry about. Quotations may also be requested via our web site: Quotations will normally be forwarded by mail with an Information Pack which will include the Rules of Certification and an Application Form.

A proposed time frame for the certification will then be agreed upon.return to TOP

2 - Application

Once you decide to accept TQCSI for certification, you should complete the simple Application Form and forward it to the TQCSI Office.

On receipt of the application, you will receive an acknowledgment which, in itself, may be used to demonstrate to customers that you have made a firm commitment to proceed to third party certification. You may then contact TQCSI, at any stage, to discuss any issues regarding our services and the certification process. return to TOP

3 - Document Review

When your Policy Manual has been completed, you should contact the TQCSI Office to arrange for a Document Review. The Review will determine the Manual's conformance with the formal Standard and it may reveal discrepancies that require correction before the Pre-Audit and/or System Audit can be conducted. This Document Review is normally conducted at TQCSI office but may be completed at your premises. The Review prepares your documentation for ultimate assessment. For Food Safety Programs, the HACCP Plan will also be required for the Document Review.

Following the Document Review you will be provided with a written report detailing any areas requiring attention. return to TOP

4 - Pre-Audit

As an optional service, you may undertake a Pre-Audit to preview your Company's preparedness for the System Audit. While this service will not review every function of the system it will, in most cases, be sufficient to provide a realistic measurement of the system's development. It should be conducted within one to two months of the System Audit and many companies have found it beneficial in highlighting any major discrepancies prior to the more formal assessment. The Pre-Audit will also allow the Auditor to accurately forecast what resources will be required to conduct the formal assessment. return to TOP

5 - System Audit


When you believe the system is operating as documented, continued effective operation within the system has developed a viable history of performance, and you have addressed issues identified by the Document Review or Pre-Audit, the formal System Audit can be arranged.

The System Audit will ensure that .......

'you have written what you are doing and you are doing what you have written'

...... and all operations are in conformance with the requirements of the Standard and your System documentation..

If minor nonconformances are found during the System Audit you will be required to provide an Action Plan to address the relevant issues. On receipt of a satisfactory Action Plan detailing the target dates for rectification, the Auditor will recommend the certification to proceed.

If major nonconformances are found during the System Audit you will be required to take appropriate action to rectify the problems and then have the relevant issues re-audited. Successful rectification will then allow the certification procedure to continue.

The process is somewhat different for Environmental Management System certification. Initial site visits are conducted prior to the issuing of a quotation. The Pre-Audit (also referred to as Stage 1 Assessment) which is mandatory for EMS, is usually combined with a Document Review. The System Audit (also known as the Stage 2 Assessment) is conducted when action items identified at Stage 1 have been addressed. return to TOP

6 - Certification

Providing the System Audit demonstrates compliance to the Standard and recognised nonconformances have been corrected, or there is an agreed Action Plan in place, your Company will be recommended for certification. The recommendation will then be submitted to the TQCSI Certification Approval Panel for ratification.

You will be asked to sign a Licence Agreement, which explains your responsibilities and the responsibilities of TQCSI to ensure your system remains compliant following certification. It will specify the scope and any limitations to, or exclusions from, the certification. Your Company will then be listed in the TQCSI List of Certified organizations and, for Quality Management System (QMS) and Environmental Management System (EMS) certification, on the JAS-ANZ Register. You will then be forwarded your Certificate of Registration.

You may then use the TQCSI Certification Marks and other approved marks for promotional and identification purposes. The TQCSI Certification Mark highlights your commitment to continuously improving your Company's operations in accordance with International and/or industry specific standards. TQCSI Rules of Certification contain the guidelines for the use of these marks. return to TOP

7 - Surveillance Audits

Normally once or twice per year (depending on the size of your Company), the TQCSI Auditor will visit and check your system to ensure it is continuing to conform with the Standard. The frequency and length of these Surveillance Audits is determined by international guidelines. Should nonconformances be recognised during these audits you will be required to correct the relevant issue within a time frame determined by you and the Auditor. Continued failure to correct the nonconformances as requested may result in suspension of the certification. return to TOP

8 - Triennial Assessment

On the third anniversary of your original certification, you will be required to undergo a reassessment similar to that of the initial System Audit. This requirement is designed to ensure that the entire system is continuing to be applied in conformance with the Standard. On completion of the Triennial Assessment a new Licence Agreement will be signed and the three year cycle will re-commence in the normal manner. A new Certificate of Registration will then be issued. return to TOP</