1.1 The Certification Group Limited Registered in the United Kingdom Registration Number 10104589 Reg Office: Archer House Business Centre, Britland Estate, Northbourne Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN22 8PW.
1.2 Unless otherwise agreed in writing all offers or services provided by The Certification Group Limited shall be governed by these General Terms and Conditions ("the Terms").
1.3 These Terms and, as applicable, the Proposal and the Application constitute the entire agreement (the "Contract") between the Client and The Certification Group Limited with respect to the subject matter hereof. Save as otherwise provided, no variation to the Contract shall be valid unless it is in writing and signed by the Client if an individual or by a director duly authorised on behalf of the Client and The Certification Group Limited.
1.4 Where a Certificate is issued to the Client, The Certification Group Limited will provide the Services using all reasonable care and skill.
"Application" means the request for services by a Client;
"Assessment" means an assessment of the Client’s management system or systems to ascertain the degree of conformity to the relevant Standard.
"Certificate" means the Certificate of registration issued by The Certification Group Limited.
"Client" means the client identified in the Quotation.
"Contract" means the agreement between the parties for The Certification Group Limited to carry out the Assessment and provide a Report in accordance with the Proposal.
"Engagement" means the action of signing The Certification Group Limited’s contract as confirmation of the Client’s desire to engage the services of The Certification Group Limited and confirmation that the Client agrees to The Certification Group Limited’s General Terms and Conditions.
"Proposal" refers to the Quotation and means the outline of services to be rendered by The Certification Group Limited to the Client.
"Report" means a report issued by The Certification Group Limited to the Client, when stipulated within the scope of the quotation.
"Standard" means the relevant ISO or proprietary standard.
“Initial certification audit” means the client shall be primarily assessed by the certification body.
“Stage 1 audit” is an assessment of the clients management system documentation and also includes location and site-specific conditions (where practical), identification of key performance or significant aspects, processes, objectives and operation of the management system, identify information regarding to the scope of the management system, processes and location(s) of the client and related statutory and regulatory aspects and compliance, to evaluate if the internal audits and management review are being planned and performed, and that the level of implementation of the management system substantiates that the client is ready for the stage 2 audit.
“Stage 2 audit” is an evaluation of the implementation, including effectiveness of the management system.
“Surveillance audit” means to monitor the client’s management system on a regular basis and take into account changes to its certified client and its management system. Representative areas and functions covered by the scope of the management system shall be assessed.
“Recertification” means that the client shall be assessed in order to evaluate the continued fulfillment of all the requirements of the relevant management system. The purpose of the recertification audit is to confirm the continued conformity and effectiveness of the management system as a whole, and its continued relevance and applicability for the scope of certification. Recertification considers the performance of the management system over the period of certification including the review of previous surveillance audits.
"Visit" means the relevant meeting or on-site audit (including annual surveillances) undertaken by The Certification Group Limited on the Client’s premises.
3.1 These General Conditions cover the following services ("the Services"):
(a) System assessment services: quality, environmental, OHSAS and information security
3.2 The decision to issue a Certificate is at the sole discretion of The Certification Group Limited.
3.3 The Client acknowledges that The Certification Group Limited, either by entering into the Contract or by providing the Services, neither takes the place of the Client or any third party, nor releases them from any of their obligations, nor otherwise assumes, abridges, abrogates or undertakes to discharge any duty of the Client to any third party or that of any third party to the Client.
3.4 Certification, suspension, withdrawal or cancellation of a Certificate shall be in accordance with the applicable Policies.
3.5 The Certification Group Limited may delegate the performance of all or part of the Services to an agent or a subcontractor and the Client authorises The Certification Group Limited to disclose all information necessary for such performance to the agent or subcontractor. The Certification Group Limited has a process in which it describes the conditions under which outsourcing may take place and this is in accordance to clause 7.5 of ISO 17021.
4.1 The Client shall ensure that all access, assistance, information, records, documentation and facilities are made available to The Certification Group Limited when required by The Certification Group Limited, including the assistance of properly qualified, briefed and authorised personnel of the Client. The Client shall in addition provide The Certification Group Limited free of charge suitable space for conducting meetings.
4.2 So far as it is permitted by law, the Client acknowledges that, it has not been induced to enter into the Contract in reliance upon, nor has it been given, any warranty, representation, statement, assurance, covenant, agreement, undertaking, indemnity or commitment of any nature whatsoever other than as are expressly set out in these General Terms and Conditions and to the extent that it has been it unconditionally and irrevocably waives any claims, rights or remedies which it might otherwise have had in relation thereto. Any conditions or stipulations issued by the Client which are inconsistent with or which purport to modify or add to these General Terms and Conditions shall have no effect unless expressly accepted in writing by The Certification Group Limited.
4.3 The Client shall take all necessary steps to eliminate or remedy any obstacles to or interruptions in the performance of the Services.
4.4 The Client accepts that the agreed date, time and place of the Visit shall be binding. Should the Client need to rearrange the Visit for any reason notice of Thirty (30) working days must be given to The Certification Group Limited in writing. If the Client fails to provide the required notice to The Certification Group Limited, then the Client accepts that The Certification Group Limited in its sole discretion may charge the Client a cancellation fee. Visits cancelled less than 30 working days prior to the agreed date will be charged at the full quoted rate + VAT. The Certification Group Limited reserves the right to waive these charges in exceptional circumstances. Any amounts relating to pre-booked travel and accommodation in relation to the cancelled appointment will be billed in all cases at cost
4.5 In order to allow The Certification Group Limited to comply with the applicable health and safety legislation the Client shall provide The Certification Group Limited with all available information regarding known or potential hazards likely to be encountered by The Certification Group Limited personnel during their visits. The Certification Group Limited shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that whilst on the Client’s premises, its personnel comply with all health and safety regulations of the Client, provided that the Client makes The Certification Group Limited aware of the same.
4.6 The Client may only reproduce or publish extracts of any report of The Certification Group Limited if the name of The Certification Group Limited does not appear in any way or the Client has obtained the prior written authorisation of The Certification Group Limited. The Certification Group Limited reserves its rights to lodge a complaint in case of disclosure in breach of this clause or disclosure which The Certification Group Limited considers in its sole discretion is inappropriate. The Client shall not publicise details of the way in which The Certification Group Limited performs, conducts or executes its operations.
4.7 The Client shall conform to the requirements of The Certification Group when making reference to its Certification status in communication media such as the internet, brochures or advertising, or other documents and shall not allow reference to its management system Certification to be used in such a way as to imply that the Certification body Certifies a product (including service) or process.
4.8 The Client shall not use or permit the use of a Certification document or any part thereof in a misleading manner.
4.9 The Client shall immediately inform The Certification Group Limited of any and all changes in the nature of their business methods of operation or premises in writing which may affect the basis of assessment; this includes management system, their service, their process or their skills. Any breach of this obligation to inform may lead to the withdrawal of the Certificate.
5.00 The Client, upon withdrawal of its Certification, shall discontinue its use of all advertising matter that contains a reference to Certification, as directed by The Certification Group.
5.1 The Client shall amend all advertising matter should the scope of Certification be reduced, and not imply that the Certification applies to activities and sites that are outside of the scope of Certification.
5.2 The Client must not use its Certification in such a manner that would bring the Certification body and/or Certification system into disrepute and lose public trust.
5.1 The fees quoted to the Client cover all stages leading to completion of the scope of proposal. Fees are based on the charge rate applicable at the time of submitting a Proposal. The Certification Group Limited may increase its fees if the Client’s instructions change or are found to be not in accordance with the initial details supplied to The Certification Group Limited prior to it providing the relevant fee quotation (e.g., more employees or increased number of sites). Clients will be notified of any increase in fees prior to invoicing for these fees.
5.2 Additional fees shall be charged for operations that are not included in the Quotation and for work required due to non-conformances being identified. These will include, without limitation, costs resulting from:
(a) Repeats of any part, or all, of the Assessment or operations due to the registration procedures and rules not being met
(b) Additional work due to suspension, withdrawal and/or reinstatement of a Certificate
(c) Reassessment due to changes in the management system or process or services; or
(d) Compliance with any subpoena for documents or testimony relating to work performed by The Certification Group Limited.
5.3 Without prejudice to clause 5.2, additional fees will be payable at The Certification Group Limited’s charging rates in force from time to time in respect of rush orders, cancellation or rescheduling of services or any partial or full repeats of the assessment programme or operations which are required by the client.
5.4 Unless otherwise stated all fees quoted include travelling and subsistence costs. All fees and additional charges are exclusive of any applicable Value Added Tax, Sales Tax or similar tax in the country concerned.
5.5 On Engagement (signed contract), The Certification Group Limited shall issue an invoice equal to the amount of the contract. This amount must be paid prior to the work commencing. Invoices for additional and further work, if applicable, will be issued prior to commencement of the relevant service(s). Annual surveillance assessments will be conducted for year 2 and year 3, one invoice per year shall be sent to the client and upon payment, the surveillance visit will be booked. The Client agrees that all invoices are to be paid within fourteen (14) days of the date of each invoice (the "Due Date") regardless of whether the Client’s system or systems qualify for certification, failing which interest will become due at a rate of 1.5% per month (or such other rate as may be established in the invoice) from the Due Date up to and including the date payment is actually received. PLEASE NOTE: The relevant Certificate will only be issued once full payment has been made, if warranted.
5.6 Any use by the Client of any Report or Certificate or the information contained therein is conditional upon the timely payment of all fees and charges. The Certification Group Limited reserve the right to cease or suspend all work and/or cause the suspension or withdrawal of any Certificate for a Client who fails duly to pay an invoice.
5.7 The Client shall not be entitled to retain or defer payment of any sums due to The Certification Group Limited on account of any dispute, counter claim or set off which may allege against The Certification Group Limited.
5.8 The Client shall pay all The Certification Group Limited collection costs including reasonable legal fees and related costs.
5.9 The contract is binding for the three-year period. Payment received from the client in accordance to the agreed contract is non-refundable under any circumstances.
Any document including but not limited to any Report or any Certificate provided by The Certification Group Limited and the copyright contained therein (except documents produced for the Client’s everyday use) shall be and remain the property of The Certification Group Limited and the Client shall not alter or misrepresent the contents of such documents in any way. The Client shall be entitled to make copies for its internal purposes only. Duplicates of Certificates are available upon request for external communication purposes at an additional cost.
7.1 The Client may promote its certification.
7.2 The client should inform The Certification Group Limited, in writing, immediately of any changes concerning the Scope of the Management System to which they operate. Changes must be notified to The Certification Group Limited ‘in writing’.
8.1 As used herein, "Confidential Information" shall mean any oral or written proprietary information that a party may acquire from the other party pursuant to the Contract or information as to the business of the other party provided, however, that Confidential Information shall not include any information which:
(1) is or hereafter becomes generally known to the public
(2) was available to the receiving party on a non-confidential basis prior to the time of its disclosure by the disclosing party
(3) is disclosed to a party by an independent third party with a right to make such disclosure.
8.2 Unless required by law or by a judicial, governmental or any other regulatory body, neither party nor their agents or subcontractors shall use Confidential Information other than for the purpose of Certificate Registration and the Contract nor disclose the other’s Confidential Information to any person or entity without the prior written approval of the other party except as expressly provided for herein.
9.1 Unless otherwise agreed, the Contract shall continue (subject to the termination rights set out in these General Terms and Conditions) for the term set forth in the contract (the "Initial Term").
9.2 The Certification Group Limited is entitled, at any time prior to the issue of documents or Certificates, to terminate the Contract if the Client is in material breach of its obligations and, following receipt of notice of such breach, the Client fails to remedy to the satisfaction of The Certification Group Limited such breach within 30 days.
9.3 Either Party shall be entitled to terminate immediately the provision of the Services in the event of any arrangement with creditors, bankruptcy, insolvency, receivership or cessation of business by the other Party.
9.4 Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the rights and obligations of the parties defined in clauses 8, 9, 12, 13 and 14 shall apply notwithstanding the completion of the Services or termination of the Contract.
9.5 In case the Client transfers its activities to another organisation, the transfer of Certificates is subject to The Certification Group Limited prior written consent. Where such consent is given, the use of the Certificate by such new organisation shall be governed by the Contract.
If The Certification Group Limited is prevented from performing or completing any service for which the Contract has been made by reason of any cause whatsoever outside The Certification Group Limited control, including but not limited to, acts of god, war, terrorist activity or industrial action; failure to obtain permits licenses or registrations; illness, death or resignation of personnel or failure by Client to comply with any of its obligations under the Contract, the Client will pay to The Certification Group Limited :
(a) the amount of all abortive expenditures actually made or incurred;
(b) a proportion of the agreed fees equal to the proportion (if any) of the service actually carried out.
11.1 The Certification Group Limited undertakes to exercise reasonable care and skill in the performance of the Services and accepts responsibility only in cases of proven negligence.
11.2 Nothing in these General Terms and Conditions shall exclude or limit The Certification Group Limited’s liability to the Client for death or personal injury or for fraud or any other matter resulting from The Certification Group Limited negligence for which it would be illegal to exclude or limit its liability.
11.3 Subject to clause 11.2, the total liability of The Certification Group Limited to the Client in respect of any claim for loss, damage or expense of any nature and howsoever arising shall be limited, in respect of any one event or series of connected events, to an amount equal to the fees paid to The Certification Group Limited under the Contract (excluding Value Added Tax thereon).
11.4 Subject to clause 11.2, The Certification Group Limited shall have no liability to the Client for claim for loss, damage or expense unless arbitral proceedings are commenced within one year after the date of the performance by The Certification Group Limited of the service which gives rise to the claim or in the event of any alleged non-performance within one year of the date when such service should have been completed.
11.5 Subject to clause 11.2, The Certification Group Limited shall not be liable to the Client nor to any third party:
(a) for any loss, damage or expense arising from (i) a failure by the Client to comply with any of its obligations herein; (ii) any actions taken or not taken on the basis of the Reports or Certificates; and (iii) any incorrect results, Reports or Certificates arising from unclear, erroneous, incomplete, misleading or false information provided to The Certification Group Limited.
(b) for loss of profits, loss of production, loss of business or costs incurred from business interruption, loss of revenue, loss of opportunity, loss of contracts, loss of expectation, loss of use, loss of goodwill or damage to reputation, loss of anticipated savings, cost or expenses incurred in relation to making product recall, cost or expenses incurred in mitigating loss and loss or damage arising from the claims of any third party (including without limitation product liability claims) that may be suffered by the Client; and
(c) any indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind (whether or not falling within the types of loss or damage identified in (b) above).
11.6 Except for cases of proven negligence or fraud by The Certification Group Limited , the Client further agrees to hold harmless and indemnify The Certification Group Limited and its officers, employees, agents or subcontractors against all claims (actual or threatened) by any third party for loss, damage or expense of whatsoever nature including all legal expenses and related costs and howsoever arising (i) relating to the performance, purported performance or non-performance of the Services or (ii) out of or in connection with the Client's product, process or service the subject of the certification (including, without limitation, product liability claims).
11.7 Each party shall take out adequate insurance to cover its liabilities under the Contract.
12.1 If any one or more provisions of these General Terms and Conditions are found to be illegal or unenforceable in any respect, the validity, legality, and enforceability of the remaining provisions shall not in any way be affected or impaired thereby.
12.2 Except as expressly provided for herein, the Client may not assign or transfer any of its rights hereunder without The Certification Group Limited prior written consent.
12.3 Neither party shall assign the Contract without the prior written consent of the other Party such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld. Any assignment shall not relieve the assignor from any liability or obligation under the Contract.
12.4 The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 shall not apply to these General Terms and Conditions or the Contract.
12.5 A Party giving notice under these General Terms and Conditions must do so in writing with such notice being hand delivered or sent by prepaid, first-class post or facsimile to the address for the other Party as set out in the Application. A notice will be deemed received by the other Party:
(a) if hand delivered, on the date of delivery
(b) if sent by first class post, three days after the date of posting
(c) if sent by facsimile, the time indicated on the sending Party's facsimile transmission confirmation message.
12.6 The Parties acknowledge that The Certification Group Limited provides the Services to the Client as an independent contractor and that the Contract does not create any partnership, agency, employment, or fiduciary relationship between The Certification Group Limited and the Client.
12.7 Any failure by The Certification Group Limited to require the Client to perform any of its obligations under these General Terms and Conditions or the Contract shall not constitute a waiver of its right to require performance of that or any other obligation.
Unless specifically agreed otherwise, all disputes arising out or in connection with these General Terms and Conditions or the Contract shall be governed by the laws of England in accordance with the Arbitration Act 1996 and by a single arbitrator appointed between the parties.
It is the policy of The Certification Group Limited to give each Application a fair and consistent Assessment. If a client becomes dissatisfied with any aspect of the Assessment, they may appeal by giving notice in writing to the Directors within 21 days of the Assessment date.