PQAL’s reputation for excellence is maintained by an independent Impartiality Committee, who have been appointed by the directors to monitor all aspects of our business activity. The PQAL Impartiality Committee all have many years of direct experience in the individual sectors which they represent; thus, enabling them to guarantee a wealth of knowledge and integrity for PQAL.
PQAL shall not accept applications for certification of organizations who report directly to a person or group who also have any type of operational responsibility for PQAL.
PQAL Offices shall not enter into any partnerships to provide consultancy. However, PQAL may provide auditor training when contracted by another body to do so, but such contractual agreement may not be advertised in any manner without prior review and approval of the PQAL Accredited Office.
The following seven controls are communicated to all audit and certification staff (through signed agreements held on file). These shall be implemented and complied with by all audit and certification staff to ensure that this impartiality policy is maintained throughout the audit process:
Auditors/Technical Experts are prohibited from participating in the Audit of any organisation where they have provided consultancy or training (except where this has been professionally registered auditor training), or of any organisation where they have any financial or commercial interest, for a minimum period of two years prior to the date of the organisation’s Certification Application
Auditors/Technical Experts shall not disclose or discuss any detail, before or after an Audit, to any member of staff other than their direct Management or other members of the team, as required by their Secrecy and Non-Disclosure agreement signed on commencement of employment
Subcontracted Auditors/Technical Experts shall sign a Subcontractor Agreement and a Secrecy and Non-Disclosure Agreement and shall be included on the Office Potential Conflict Listing
PQAL’s directly employed Management and Staff are prohibited from engaging in consultancy activities, which involve the active design, generation or implementation of a Management System
PQAL’s directly employed Management and Staff are required to declare any financial interests or business activities on commencement of, and during, the period of employment. The details of which shall be recorded on the Office Potential Conflict Listing
PQAL’s Management, Staff and Subcontracted Auditors/Technical Experts shall neither suggest nor imply that certification would be simpler, easier or less expensive if specific consultancy or training services were used. PQAL’s Management, Staff and Subcontracted Auditors/Technical Experts shall not offer consultancy or training services to PQAL’s clients to whom they have been assigned an audit; either during or after the audit has been completed
Certification of organisations supplying a service to PQAL is not deemed to be an unacceptable threat to conflict of interest. However, certification of a company with whom in partnership PQAL provides a direct service is deemed to be an unacceptable threat to impartiality. If such a situation develops, an alternative Accredited Certification Body shall be sourced to allow the continuation of the existing Certification.