Complaints and Appeals Procedure

The details below describe the policies of harvardcert in respect to ensuring internal and supplier non-conformance, including client complaints are received, identified, logged and auctioned to ensure an effective response takes place, also to ensure that the necessary corrective action is taken and that preventative action is instigated so as to prevent further recurrence.

The procedure also details how client appeals and complaints are handled and addressed. Where the scheme owner require specific systems for handling such issues then these requirements shall be maintained in addition to the those detailed in this procedure.



Where a complaint or appeal is made against an audit or technical review decision made by the Principal Director or Technical Team then the complaint or appeal will be handled by a nominated member from the Board of Governors. Where this occurs then all of the requirements of this procedure will apply. In such instances where the procedure states the “Principal Director or Technical Team” then these positions shall be substituted by the Nominated Member from the Board of Governors.

All members of staff within harvadcert are responsible for the identification of non-conforming service or documentation. Where issues are identified or raised then the Technical Team shall be informed of the issue, and at that stage will decide on whether the issue needs to be addressed by using the Discrepancy Reporting System


Where a client indicates that he wishes to appeal against a decision, either by the auditor / assessor, or due to a certification decision taken by harvadcert, then the Client shall be requested to forward his appeal in writing.

The Technical Team shall bring to the attention of the Principle Director, the details of the appeal together with any supporting evidence. The Technical Team shall then raise a discrepancy report.

The Technical Team shall investigate the details of the appeal and formally document all the findings, comprehensive records shall be maintained at all times.

Once the Technical Team has sufficient information, he shall establish a comprehensive report, this report will then be passed to the Principal Director for review. Where the Principal Director decides that the appeal is of such a nature that it requires to be passed to an independent arbitrator, then the Principal Director shall identify such a person based on experience and knowledge. The independent arbitrator shall be chosen from the harvardcert board of governors.

The independent arbitrator shall review all the details supplied and if required shall consult with the client for further clarification. The arbitrator will then make a decision on the way forward and indicate his decision to the Principal Director in writing.

Once a decision has been made then the Technical Team will be responsible for contacting the client to provide dialogue and also the official feedback from the review.