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Method of management system and process certification

This page describes the standard procedure for management system certification* and process certification**. It explains the process from request for proposal through to certification. The procedure is slightly different for audits and product certification.

* As described in ISO 17021, including safety management systems

** As described in ISO 17065

Our approach

A certification procedure is made up of certain steps. By completing these steps carefully and consistently, we assure you of a diligent certification process. The image below visualizes the procedure (only available in Dutch).

DEKRA method for certification procedure

Explenation of the steps in the process

If you are interested in one or more of our services, you can request a proposal using the form on our website. Once we have received the completed form from you, we will issue a proposal. If we discover that we first need additional information from you, we will contact you. Along with proposal we also send you a certification agreement which includes details of both parties’ rights and responsibilities in relation to the certificate. To confirm the order, simply sign the certification agreement and return it to us.

The DEKRA planning department will contact you within 10 days of receiving the signed documentation to schedule an audit. When scheduling the audit, we consider the auditor’s qualifications and expertise, the audit location, the availability of you – as the customer – and the auditor, and any project sites that need to be visited. We comply with the accreditation guidelines at all times.

Phase 1

During this phase, we gather and validate the information provided by you and we draw up the audit plan. We determine whether you are ready for audit phase 2 by assessing a number of aspects: the management system documentation, the internal audit process and our own management review. The auditor prepares a report on this and discusses the results with you.

Phase 2

During this phase, DEKRA evaluates the implementation and effectiveness of the system in practice based on interviews with employees at all levels of your organization. This enables us to determine whether your organization actually puts into practice what it has documented (checked in Phase 1). Needless to say, this must also comply with the standard. Nonconformities can be identified during this phase.

Following the audit, the auditor writes a report. Various specialists then check the report and the process to assure you that everything has been done correctly. This report is then used as the basis for approval of the certification. If all the steps have been completed correctly, the certification will be approved.

However, there can be situations in which not all the certification criteria are met, such as if the auditor does not make a positive recommendation or if not all contractual requirements are met. In such cases, the certification management decides against awarding a certificate. It is possible to contest such a decision.

If the certification is approved, you receive the certificate. This is usually valid for three years, but the actual validity is always indicated on the certificate itself. You can display our DEKRA Seal to show your stakeholders that you are certified. For the options and terms & conditions of use, see the promo kit. Furthermore, your organization is added to the database on our website listing all certified organizations. In many cases, your certificate is also listed on the scheme owner’s website.

After certification, a follow-up audit is conducted at least once a year. The first follow-up audit takes place 9 months after the certificate is issued. During the follow-up audits, we recheck the functionality, effectiveness and performance of your business processes. These audits generally take one third of the time involved in the initial certification audit.

A recertification audit is conducted three years after initial certification. This entails a complete reassessment in line with the step-by-step procedure. The recertification audit takes place at least four months before the expiry date of the current certificate in order to allow enough time to resolve any nonconformities before the certificate ceases to be valid. DEKRA announces this audit approximately three months before it is due to take place. This audit generally takes two thirds of the time involved in the initial certification audit.

The procedure of the audit

Each audit consists of a number of fixed components. You can find these in the diagram below (only available in Dutch)

Procedure of DEKRA Audit

Procedure in case of deficiencies

DEKRA reports shortcomings in a factual report. If deficiencies have been identified, your organization must deal with these deficiencies.

Flexibility in the design of the process

On request, the process can be adapted to your specific situation, taking into account the rules that DEKRA must comply with as a certifying institution. In addition, deviating rules may be defined in certain standards, such as the periods within which deficiencies must be corrected. If you have any questions, you can of course always contact us.

Download the explanation as a PDF document

Do you have a question? Get in touch with one of our experts

DEKRA Audit Sales

Meander 1051

6825 MJ Arnhem

+31 88 96 83016
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