In order to comply with the requirements set forth by UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17021 “Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audits and certification of management systems”, by UNI CEN EN ISO/IEC 17024:2012, by UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17065:2012 and by EN ISO/IEC 17020:2012, a Committee for Protecting Impartiality (CI) has been set up, which includes representatives of users (customers, either individual or grouped in organisations whose management systems are certified), of industrialists’ and trade associations, of control governmental bodies or other governmental entities, of non governmental organisations, of consumers’ organisations, in order to best reflect the parties concerned in certification activities and offer the best guarantees of impartiality of certification activities.
The composition of the CI Committee must be such as to represent in a balanced manner the main parties concerned in certification activities, therefore members may be chosen at least, but not only, from the following categories:
The members of CI are selected by the Chairman from:
- Associations of industrialists, trade, services, and agriculture operating in the sectors covered by the activities of ICIM or in areas related to them, and representative of ICIM clients as well as clients of Organisations having ICIM certification;
- Governmental control bodies or other governmental bodies;
- NGOs (non-governmental organisations) (e.g. consumer associations);
- Regulation, control and supervision bodies, research and development bodies, professional orders whose interests are not in contrast with the purposes of ICIM and who operate using rules and carry out activities relating to those of ICIM.
CI’s structure is such as to guarantee a balance of represented interests so that no single interest is predominant.
Each member of the Committee remains in their post for a period of 3 (three) years. If their ability to represent is still valid at the end of said period, the post may be renewed.
After taking office of the CI, the Chairman may appoint additional members, who are either new or replacing those withdrawing from among the members in office, and whose term will expire simultaneously with other members already present.
AS set forth by the aforementioned regulations, the responsibilities and authority of the Committee for Protecting Impartiality (CI) are as follows:
- support ICIM to develop policies regarding impartiality of its certification activities;
- oppose any tendency by ICIM to permit commercial or any other aspects from preventing a consistent and objective execution of certification activities;
- provide recommendations regarding aspects that can affect confidence in the certification, including transparency and public perception;
- carry out a review at least once a year regarding ICIM’s audits, certifications and decision-making processes;
- review and approve the analysis document of threats to impartiality.
CI has the function of direction and supervision of ICIM certification processes, assuring impartiality.
It ensures compliance of ICIM certification schemes to principles of impartiality set out in the regulatory references and applicable laws by:
- verification of guidelines, addresses and approval of the basic regulations of the certification process with regard to aspects related to impartiality;
- advisory reference of any situations/interpretations;
- review and assessment of any actions of companies related to their certification;
- review and approval of the analysis document of threats to impartiality;
- monitoring activities regarding audit, certification and decision-making processes.
Furthermore, the following operative activities are conducted during the year based on responsibilities:
- conducting periodic meetings (normally twice a year);
- performing management audit activities (min. once a year).
CI meetings normally take place twice a year. The agenda is defined in detail before the meeting. Below is an indicative list of topics to be alternatively dealt with:
- relazione e presentazione dei risultati finanziari;
- report and presentation of financial results;
- presentation of budget and fees;
- presentation and discussion of the outcomes of audits conducted by Accreditation Bodies and of internal audits;
- presentation of trends in internal and external complaints;
- presentation of customer satisfaction outcomes;
- presentation and discussion of the audits conducted by CI members;
- analysis of activities concerning certification procedures of the period, possibly reported as critical, with special reference to responsibilities entailed for the reference standard committee;
- presentation of new activated certification schemes and new accreditation obtained;
- evolution in regulations;
- any specific technical topics to be assessed according to need;
- planning activities for the following year;
The CI, through its Chairman, may convene extraordinary meetings when needed.
The Committee is convened by the Governance Function Coordinator, in writing, at least one week before the date set for the session. For the session to be valid, at least half plus one of the Committee’s members must be attending.
ICIM Spa guarantees access to all the information required to allow the CI to perform its functions.