ACLASS Complaints Procedure
ACLASS has a procedure to ensure that complaints are handled in
a fair and equitable manner, regardless of who makes the appeal or
complaint. The procedure is described in ACLASS Document
3 and summarized here. Any party with an interest
in an action, decision, or report can file a complaint.
Complaints are an expression of dissatisfaction with any aspect
of ACLASS and its operations. Any party, including users of
services provided by ACLASS customers, can make a complaint.
ACLASS requires that a complainant who alleges nonconformance of
an accredited customer with the accreditation requirements and
scope of accreditation first file a complaint directly with the
customer and allow the customer's complaint process to be
completed. If the complainant finds the results of that process
unacceptable, the complainant may submit Form 26 - Complaint
Form to the Vice President of ACLASS and ACLASS
will carry out an investigation. ACLASS will inform the complainant
and customer of the results of the investigation.
If the complaint is deemed valid, any cost of the investigation
may be charged to the offending ACLASS customer. If the complaint
is determined to be unfounded, the customer will not be charged for
If the complaint is from a competitor of an ACLASS customer,
ACLASS may require the complainant to pay for the ACLASS
investigation in the event that the allegation cannot be
substantiated. This is to prevent competitors from initiating
Upon receipt of a complaint, ACLASS will determine the validity
of the complaint; take steps to ensure that if the complaint
affects an ACLASS customer, it is first addressed by the customer;
take any necessary action and assess the effectiveness of it;
record the compliant; and respond in a timely manner to
Upon receipt of a valid complaint, the Vice President will
establish a plan of action, which will be recorded using Form 26. Any decision regarding
the complaint and any action taken to address the complaint will
also be recorded. The Vice President will inform the complainant
and customer in writing of any action taken and the decision.
ACLASS may require the customer to undergo an on-site visit, in
which case ACLASS will outline expectations prior to the visit. If
the customer does not meet those expectations, ACLASS will
intervene and facilitate the direction of the visit and the
assessor(s) may pursue assessment trails of the organization's
system. Costs associated with the visit are the responsibility of
the customer. If such a visit is required, the visit will not count
as the annual surveillance and/or reassessment visit. The outcome
of the visit will be made known to both the complainant and the
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