The Registrar Company

TRC Complaints & Appeals Process

Customer Complaints

  1. Purpose
    1. The purpose of this procedure is to outline the process and responsibility for the handling of customer complaints.
  2. Responsibility and Authority
    1. TRC retains responsibility for all decisions at all levels of the complaints-handling process.
    2. The President or delegate has the responsibility for ensuring that complaints are documented and processed in accordance with this procedure.
    3. The President or delegate has the responsibility for ensuring that the decision to be communicated to the complainant shall be made by, or reviewed and approved by, an individual not previously involved in the subject of the complaint.
  3. Procedure
    1. Any client or client customer may file a complaint to TRC regarding any matter related to: the certification process, TRC staff and/or management, TRC auditors, the client management system, and/or product related issues that may be a result of the system.
      1. If the complaint relates to a TRC certified client, then examination of the complaint shall consider the effectiveness of the certified management system.
      2. Clients who desire to complain about audit decisions, including appeal of findings shall be advised to submit their appeal in writing in accordance with TRC’s Appeals Process.
      3. Complaints against an auditor’s performance or conduct shall be maintained in the auditor’s file for inclusion in auditor evaluation/competency review.
    2. Complaints are accepted in writing, over the phone, via the OASIS database (for Aerospace related issues only), or on the TRC website (www.theregistrarco.com) and can be made anonymously.
    3. Any valid complaint about a certified client will be communicated by TRC to the certified client in question at an appropriate time. When informing the client about the complaint submitted (and in all instances during the process) confidentiality requirements shall be taken into consideration (See QSP 1-2-03).
    4. Submission of a complaint shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the complainant.
    5. Investigation/validation of complaints and required follow-up actions shall be documented and tracked by TRC.
    6. Unless otherwise noted closure of complaints including the provision of feedback (and actions to be taken) to the client is due 60 days from date of receipt.
    7. TRC shall determine, in consultation with the certified client and the complainant, whether the subject of the complaint and its resolution shall be made public, and if so, to what extent.
    8. Once the investigation has concluded, TRC management (or qualified delegate) shall review the outcome and determine if correction and corrective action are necessary.
      1. Corrective Action(s) shall be processed in accordance with QSP 15-01 – Corrective and Preventive Action.
    9. Complaints received through Customer Surveys
      1. TRC personnel shall review and analyze the contents of the Customer Survey for any ratings marked as a “1 – Strongly Disagree” or “2”, or for any adverse comments provided by the client.
      2. Where either exists, the President or delegate shall contact the client regarding the survey and/or comments
    10. Complaints/Feedback received through the OASIS Database (Aerospace only)
      1. TRC shall respond to all requests for corrective action within 30 calendar days; likewise, if any feedback is received (from oversight bodies, accreditation bodies, clients, etc.), it shall be reviewed and (if response is requested) responded to within 30 calendar days.
        1. When corrective action is needed, it shall include: containment activities, re-establishment of conformance to the applicable standard, root-cause analysis, corrective action that addresses the root-cause(s), and completion/implementation deadlines.
      2. In the case that a Special Surveillance or Short Notice Audit is necessary, it shall be conducted within 90 calendar days from receipt of the complaint.
  4. Records
    1. Records of complaints shall be maintained in accordance with Quality System Procedure 16-01.

Client Appeals

  1. Purpose
    1. To define the actions taken to process and adjudicate Client appeals.
  2. Responsibility and Authority
    1. Contract auditors are responsible for assisting in processing and adjudicating appeals made by clients.
    2. The VP of Accreditation or delegate is responsible for selecting members of the Appeals Group and chairing meetings.
    3. The VP of Accreditation or delegate is responsible for ensuring that the decision to be communicated to the appellant shall be made by, or reviewed and approved by, individual(s) not previously involved in the subject of the appeal (i.e. carried out the audit or made the certification decision, etc.).
    4. Members of the Appeals Group are responsible to remove themselves from the appeals process where a conflict of interest would prevent impartiality.
  3. Right to Appeal
    1. All clients have the right to appeal any decision made with regard to the certification or the audit process. The client must make an appeal to TRC in writing within thirty (30) days of being notified of an impending action, including but not limited to: suspension, withdrawal, reduction of scope, or audit nonconformities.
    2. Submission, investigation and decision on appeals shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the appellant.
  4. Instruction
    1. Appeals Group Action
      1. Upon receipt of an appeal by a client, the VP of Accreditation shall appoint three (3) contract auditors to serve on the Appeals Group. Members shall not have participated in the evaluation or registration under appeal. The VP of Accreditation shall serve as the fourth member of the group (non-voting) and act as Chair. Selection of members of the Appeals Group shall take into consideration representation of program or scheme for the appellant (i.e. aerospace, environmental, etc.).
      2. Following selection and acceptance of the group members, a record of the appeal and supporting documentation is to be forwarded to each group member, allowing sufficient time to complete review.
      3. The Appeals Group shall review all documentation for specific items that are under appeal and may interview any involved party to resolve any conflicting issues.
      4. The VP of Accreditation shall convene a meeting of the Appeals Group.
      5. After review the group shall vote upon the appeal. A majority vote is required to act upon an appeal. The vote shall include recommendation for actions to be taken by either TRC or the client in response to the appeal.
      6. After a majority vote on the appeal, the VP of Accreditation shall advise the client in writing of the result and advise the client of right to further appeal, as applicable.
    2. Further Appeals Action
      1. Upon receipt of the decision of the Appeals Group the client may contest the decision of the Appeals Group to the VP of Accreditation. The VP of Accreditation shall convene a second Appeals Group consisting of participants not involved in the first Appeals Group. The decision of the second Appeals Group is final.
      2. In cases involving organizations registered under an AQMS, TRC shall refer contested appeals to the AB for resolution in accordance with AS9104/1.
  5. Records
    1. Records of appeals shall be maintained in accordance with Quality System Procedure 16-01.