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Complaint and Appeal Policy


1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to define the actions to be taken in the event that a complaint or appeal is received from candidates, certified persons, and other parties in regards to a certified person or decisions related to the certification process, as well as complaints for overall PECB operations for which appeals are not applicable. 

This policy excludes complaints related to alleged illegal, financial, or regulatory issues, which shall be handled by proper authorities. 

2. Scope

The policy covers two different scopes and types of complaints (defined by PECB) outlined as follows:

  1. The complaints and appeals addressed to PECB relating to a certified person or to the certification process, i.e., activities by which a certification body determines that a person fulfils certification requirements, including application, assessment, decision on certification, recertification and use of certificates and logos/marks, and the role of the Appeal Board in reaching a conclusive settlement on account of an appeal. This type of complaints is hereby referred as “Certification Complaint.
  2. The complaints addressed to PECB relating to overall operations of PECB, or in other words the expression of dissatisfaction, made to PECB products or services, procedures, policies, support, technology, representatives (including Resellers, Trainers, or employees), overall operations, or the complaint handling process itself, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected. This type of complaints is hereby referred as “Operations Complaint.

3. References

ISO/IEC 17024:2012, clauses 9.8 and 9.9 on Appeals and Complaints

4. Terms and definitions

Complainant: 

  • (ISO 10002:2018): “person, organization or their representative making a complaint.” 

Complaint: 

  • (ISO/IEC 17024:2012, 3.20):  “expression of dissatisfaction, other than appeal, by any individual or organization to a certification body [PECB], relating to the activities of that body or a certified person, where a response is expected.” This type of complaints are also referred as Certification Complaints within PECB, and exclude any operational complaints or complaints related to alleged illegal, financial, or regulatory issues, which shall be handled by proper authorities. 

Appeal: 

  • (ISO/IEC 17024:2012, 3.19): “request by applicant, candidate or certified person for reconsideration of any decision made by the certification body [PECB] related to her/his desired certification status.”

Certification process: 

  • (ISO/IEC 17024:2012, 3.1):  “activities by which a certification body [PECB] determines that a person fulfils certification requirements, including application, assessment, decision on certification, recertification and use of certificates and logos/marks.”

Operations complaint (PECB term): 

  • (Adapted from “Complaint” definition from ISO 10002:2018): “expression of dissatisfaction, made to an organization [PECB], related to its products, services, [procedures, policies, overall operations], or the complaint handling process itself, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected.” This type of complaints exclude complaints against decisions related to the certification process, certified individuals or complaints related to alleged legal, financial, or regulatory issues, which shall be handled by proper legal authorities. Appeals are not applicable to these type of complaints, as these complaints are not related to any certification decisions made by PECB. 

5. General rules for filing a complaint or an appeal

  1. By submitting a complaint or an appeal, any complainant commits to reporting facts completely and truthfully.
  2. Any complainant who provides any proven false statements will see their entire complaint or appeal terminated.
  3. Any unsubstantiated elements-not supported with real evidences- of a complaint or an appeal (hearsay, rumors, unproven accusations, etc.) will not be taken into considerations in any complaint or appeal.
  4. The Complaint and Appeal Policy does not deal with alleged illegal, financial, or regulatory issues. For any complaint or parts of a complaint related to alleged illegal, financial, or regulatory issues, PECB will respond by recommending that the complainant reaches the proper authorities and inform them that it will not deal with alleged illegal, financial, or regulatory issues. The only exception to this is if a complainant provides evidence that a legal decision has been rendered and asks PECB to deal with it (as an example, if a complainant provides evidence that a PECB affiliate or employee was the subject of a recent court decision). 
  5. The Complaint and Appeal Policy does not deal with issues for which the deadlines to submit complaints and/or an appeals have been reached.
  6. No complaint can be processed if it is done anonymously, as it must be done and linked to a real person.
  7. If applicable, all complaints need to be shown to the individuals being complained against so that they can have an opportunity to respond. If the complainant doesn’t give the authorization for the complaint to be shown to the person or function being complained against, the complaint cannot be processed.
  8. If individuals exhibit querulous behavior or persistent behavior (as defined in the 05000-PO3-Behavior Policy), i.e. if they exercise their right to complain in an excessive or unreasonable manner, e.g., excessive complaints and/or appeals within a short period, repetitive complaints and/or appeals using the same arguments for settled issues, PECB will not process the complaint and/or an appeal, with prior authorization from the Appeal Committee. 

6. Certification Complaints

6.1 Procedure overview

All complaints relating to a certified person or to the certification process are reviewed by the Deputy CEO and/or a designated employee assigned by him or her.  The designated employee shall not be part of the staff involved in the assessment against which a certification complaint or appeal is being raised.

In the event that the individuals filing the certification complaint are not satisfied with the review and the decision made upon the complaint, they may consider filing an appeal.

Subsequently, PECB appoints an Appeal Board which is in charge of the appeal process and is accountable for safeguarding the impartiality with respect to the appeal.  

The Appeal Board is composed of at least three members with a majority of members being independent of PECB personnel. Upon request of the Appeal Board, the management will provide to the board all the necessary information, including the reasons for all significant decisions, actions, and the selection of persons responsible for particular activities, to enable PECB to ensure proper and impartial decision.

The Appeal Board is independent of management in their recommendations except as required by international or national law. If the recommendation of the board is not respected by the management, the board shall take appropriate measures, which may include informing the accreditation body.

6.2 Criteria for selecting the Appeal Board Members

The members of the Appeal Board are independent and impartial members assigned by PECB. In the event that a member or members of the Appeal Board have a conflict of interest, based upon the facts or circumstances of a specific appeal, including employment or other affiliations of the appellant, PECB management in conjunction with the Appeal Board shall select a substitute member or members to hear and decide upon that claim. PECB has the right to appoint its Impartiality Ethics and Appeals (IEA) Committee members as Appeal Board members if the criteria are met.

6.3 Operating procedure 

When candidates disagree with the decisions made by PECB related to their certification process, they must declare in writing, the reasons for disapproval to PECB, and ask for a re-evaluation, via email, within 30 days from receiving PECB’s initial decision. Re-evaluation requests received after 30 days will not be processed. Re-evaluation requests are not considered complaints.

6.3.1 Certification Complaint 

If candidates still do not agree with the re-evaluated decision from PECB, they shall submit a certification complaint, in writing through PECB ticketing system, no later than 30 days after receiving the re-evaluated decision. Certification complaints received after 30 days will not be processed. 

Certification complaints about a certified person can be raised anytime.

The certification complaint, besides the personal information (full name, address and other contact details) of the complainant, shall include the complainant’s personal opinion about the assessment, the reasons for disapproval of the decision reached during the initial decision and re-evaluation, as well as the settlement being sought. A notice of acknowledgment will be sent by PECB within 24 hours following the certification complaint reception. The reception of the complaint triggers its initial assessment.

Submission, investigation and decision on certification complaints shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the complainant.

Certification complaints will be reviewed by the Deputy CEO and/or a designated employee assigned by him or her. The designated employee shall not be part of the staff involved in the initial decision. The reviewer of the certification complaint should consider the complainant’s explanation and provide a written response, which includes:

  • A clear explanation, or a repeated explanation of the assessment decision following a re-evaluation of the evidence.

The reviewer of the certification complaint should reply within 30 working days after receiving a complaint. The complainant will receive an answer on the decision reached in writing (via email or the ticketing system).

If the Complainant agrees with the outcome at this stage then the certification complaint does not proceed to further stages. 

If Complainants are not satisfied with the outcome, then they may file an Appeal, within 30 days from receiving the reply from PECB (see 6.3.2 Appeals process).

If necessary, PECB will take appropriate correction and corrective actions. 

All certification complaints, including actions taken, will be tracked and recorded by PECB.

6.3.1.1 Instructions to file a certification complaint 
  1. Go to: www.pecb.com
  2. Click "Contact" from top menu then click “Contact Us” from the drop down menu that will appear
  3. Click “Contact us” just below the PECB Headquarters Contact Details
  4. From a drop down menu under “Help Topic” please choose “Make a Complaint”
  5. Please duly complete all the fields and submit the form (click "Submit Ticket")

Information to include in your certification complaint: 

Besides personal information (full name, email address, telephone), please write in the message box your opinion about the assessment and why you are not satisfied with the initial decision and re-evaluation.

6.3.2 Appeal process

Where Complainants disagree with the certification decisions of the re-evaluation stage and the certification complaint, then they may proceed to the appeal stage, explaining the reasons for disapproval.   

Steps to be followed by the appellant: 

  1. The Appeal shall be submitted after receiving the certification complaint decision and no later than 30 days after receiving the complaint decision.
  2. The Appeal shall be submitted in writing via the ticketing system. 
  3. The Appeal shall include the Appeal Fees (if applicable).
  4. The Appeal, besides the personal information (full name, address and other contact details) of the Appellant, shall include the opinion about the assessment and why the Appellant is not satisfied with first decision, re-evaluation and PECB’s review done after the complaint.

Steps to be followed by PECB:

  1. PECB appoints an Appeal Board which is in charge of the appeal process, and is accountable for safeguarding impartiality with respect to the appeal.  
  2. The Appeal Board will respond to an appellant in writing (via email) within 60 days after receiving the appeal. It should be noted that this decision is absolute and final.
  3. Submission, investigation and decision on Appeals shall not result in any discriminatory actions against the Appellant.
  4. Appellants will be charged a fee of $200 per appeal. In case the appeal decision is in favor of the Appellant, this fee will be reimbursed.
  5. If necessary, PECB will take appropriate correction and corrective actions. 
  6. All Appeals, including actions taken, will be tracked and recorded by PECB.
6.3.2.1 Instructions to file an appeal:
  1. Go to: www.pecb.com
  2. Click "Contact" from top menu then click “Contact Us” from the drop down menu that will appear
  3. Click “Contact us” just below the PECB Headquarters Contact Details
  4. From a drop down menu under “Help Topic” please choose “File an Appeal”
  5. Please duly complete all the fields and submit the form (click "Submit Ticket")

Information to include in your appeal: 

Beside personal information (full name, email address, telephone), please write in a message box your opinion about the assessment and why you are not satisfied with the initial decision, re-evaluation and the review done by PECB after the certification complaint.

7. Operations Complaints

7.1 Procedure overview

Operations complaints and all their relevant information proceeds to, upon its reception, being recorded in the ticketing system. The person wishing to make operations complaints can do so directly through submitting a service ticket. Operations complaints received via email will be recorded in the ticketing system (alongside with the email) by the receiver of the complaint. Only written operations complaints will be recorded. Verbal operations complaints will have to be converted into written form. Note: When submitting a ticket, it’s important that the category “Complaint” is selected.

In order for the operations complaints to be handled effectively, the complaint record needs to contain all the information necessary, including the complainant’s full name, email, and phone number, the department and staff member involved in the complaint, the description of the complaint, and the date. Once recorded, the operations complaints are to be tracked through the whole complaint handling process until the final decision.

A notice of acknowledgment is sent by PECB within 24 hours following the complaint reception. An initial assessment is conducted between 24 and 48 hours following the complaint reception.

7.2 Operations complaint Level 1

All operations complaints initiated are considered Level 1 complaint and will be investigated and handled by the Head of Division (HoD) to whom the complaint has been addressed or the Head of Customer Service department. The person initially addressing the operations complaints will investigate the complaint and offer a response to the complainant within 5 working days the task assignment. 

7.3 Operations complaint Level 2

If the complainant is not satisfied with the response of the first-level investigation, the complainant has the right to file for a second level operations complaint. The complaint is assigned to the immediate supervisor of the HoD or Top Management to be investigated independently in coordination with the Internal Auditor or any other independent employee designated for the investigation. 

During second-level support, the person responsible will assess the operations complaints. Based on the assessment, they will offer a response to the complainant within 30 working days. The response shall be communicated in writing along with all evidence reviewed (if applicable). 

Once the response of the second-level investigation is received by the complainant, it is considered a final response from PECB, and at this stage, the complainant can only agree or disagree with the final response, but in either case, the process ends. In case there is a conflict of interest, real or implied, with the second-level support, e.g. between the HoD or Top Management or Internal Auditor and the complainant, an independent and external investigator, will be appointed to conduct the second-level investigation.

7.4 Operating Procedure 

All operations complaints must be submitted and communicated in writing via the PECB Ticket System following the steps below: 

  1. Go to: www.pecb.com
  2. Click "Contact" from top menu then click “Contact Us” from the drop down menu that will appear
  3. Click “Contact us” just below the PECB Headquarters Contact Details
  4. From a drop down menu under “Help Topic” please choose “Make a Complaint”
  5. Please duly complete all the fields and submit the form (click "Submit Ticket")

Information to include in your operations complaints:

Besides personal information (full name, email address, phone number), please write in the message box the description of the operations complaint, the department and staff member involved, if applicable, and the date.

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