The Quality Assurance (QA) process ensures that all audit reports (i.e. certification, recertification and surveillance) meet the stated requirements in the ASC Certification and Accreditation Requirements (CAR) and are understandable to stakeholders. This review is currently being done for both the completeness (Level 1 check – L1) and the content related issues (Level 2 check – L2).
This does not replace the responsibility of the Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) to perform their technical review of the audit reports. Periodic analysis of QA work per CAB is shared with the ASI for their oversight.
Every draft report of initial and re-certification audits undergoes the L1 check and is only published when complete. If a report is not complete the Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) has to amend the report accordingly. The ASC publishes complete draft reports within five working days on the ASC website.
Stakeholders and interested parties, including the ASC, are invited to comment on the report for fifteen working days. During this public comment period a sample of reports undergo a detailed content check (L2) against defined criteria, with a focus on the quality of audit evidence and the conclusions drawn from this. The sample is selected based on risk factors including audit species, country and historic CAB performance. Once L2 is completed, a QA Report is sent to the CAB for their consideration as part of the stakeholder consultation.
The CAB has to address all stakeholder comments in the final audit report. All reviews are compiled and periodically analysed to promote continuous quality improvement.