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Audit Process


1. Certification Audit
Audits are broke up between a stage one audit and stage two audit. Stage one is to ensure your system is ready for the stage two audit.  The stage two audit is an evaluation of the management system for compliance with the requirements and verification of sufficient implementation.

2. Audit Report Review, Certification Decision & Issuance
ACG Certification Department Review of Audit Report to ensure consistent interpretation of standards by audit team and provide independent certification decision.

3. Surveillance Audits
Abbreviated audits conducted at semi-annual or annual intervals to verify continued system compliance, effectiveness and improvement.

4. Recertification audit takes place at the end of each three year cycle.  The entire management system will be reviewed for compliance.

Certificate renewal after successful completion of the recertification audit.


Accreditation provides confidence that certification processes are consistently and impartially maintained by competent organizations and personnel. 


Impartiality encompasses both the actual and perceived presence of objectivity. It is essential to providing reliable certification services that promote confidence among stakeholders including ACG’s clients and customers of clients. 

ACG has a committee of interested parties that help to monitor certification processes, finances, relationships, and other potential conflicts of interest that might diminish actual or perceived impartiality. This committee helps to safeguard ACG, our clients, and other stakeholders by ensuring objectivity.

Openness (Requests for Information, Complaints, and Appeals)

ACG values input from certified clients, their customers, and other stakeholder groups. By maintaining principles of confidence, impartiality, and openness coupled with accessibility to our top management, ACG encourages communication with interested parties.

To maintain confidence in certifications, ACG provides appropriate access to, or disclosure of, non-confidential information to specific interested stakeholders. Access includes information about audit and certification processes and about the certification status of client organizations.

ACG maintains (through publications, electronic media or other means), and can make public, upon request, information about processes for granting, refusing, maintaining, renewing, suspending, restoring or withdrawing certification or expanding or reducing the scope of certification. 

Should any certification client or other interested stakeholder disagree with ACG’s certification decisions or have any complaint regarding processes or personnel, we want to be contacted. Appeals or complaints should be submitted in writing to ACG’s Director of Operations. Contact information

All communications will be held in confidence and investigated by personnel independent of the expressed concern. After investigation and evaluation, a written conclusion and resolution will be issued to the complainant.

Public Information​

ACG maintains and makes public through this website, information about audit processes; processes for granting, refusing, maintaining, renewing, suspending, restoring or withdrawing certification or expanding or reducing the scope of certification; types of management systems and certification schemes in which it operates; the use of the certification body’s name and certification mark or logo; processes for handling requests for information, complaints and appeals; policy on impartiality.

Gathering or Refusing a Certificate or Registration

Following a complete assessment of your conformance with requirements, and your lead auditor’s recommendation, an authorized ACG staff member shall review the recommendation for registration and supporting documentation. Upon successful completion of the review and a positive certification decision a Certificate of Registration shall be prepared. A copy of the Certificate of Registration shall be forwarded to you and an electronic copy shall be maintained in ACG’s files. If the recommendation and/or review of the assessment determines you are not in conformance with requirements, a negative certification decision will be documented, and you will be notified.

Modification of Scope

Modifications (expanding or reducing) of scope must be submitted to ACG in writing explaining the nature of the proposed modification for evaluation. The request shall be reviewed and a determination made as to what assessment activities might be warranted. The requested modification may require a full reassessment, a limited special assessment, or may be assessed during normal surveillance activities. When satisfactory evidence supporting the scope modification is documented and compliance with all requirements is verified, a new Certificate may be issued. When a modified Certificate is issued, it shall include the date of the original Certificate and the date of the modified Certificate.

Suspension; Withdrawal or Reinstatement of a Certificate of Registration

ACG retains the right to suspend, withdraw, or reduce a Certificate of Registration any time during the registration period. Conditions that might lead to suspension or withdrawal of a certificate include the following among others:

  • A written request from the registrant

  • Registrants failure to maintain compliance with the requirements of the International Standard

  • Registrants failure to implement timely corrective actions

  • Failure to have an audit performed in the designated year

  • Registrants failure to meet its financial obligations with ACG

  • Registrants misuse of ACG’s or ACG’s accreditation body Registration Marks

  • Other acts which might discredit the registrants or ACG’s reputation


Prior to suspending, withdrawing, or reducing the scope of a certification, the registrant shall be given written notice and ample opportunity to remedy any negative conditions.

  • Registrants failure to implement timely corrective actions

  • Registrants failure to meet its financial obligations with ACG

  • Registrants misuse of ACG’s or ACG’s accreditation body Registration Marks

  • Other acts which might discredit the registrants or ACG’s reputation


Reinstatements following withdrawal of a Certification will require a complete reassessment subject to all requirements of an initial registration.


Upon reinstatement of a Certification, a new Certificate of Registration will be issued and include in addition the date of the suspension or withdrawal and the reinstatement date, to clearly indicate the period of time during which the client was not certified.


When parties filing complaints or disputing ACG’s decisions are notified of disposition, the notification will include affirmation of their right to appeal any decision, corrective action, and/or disposition.

ACG clients have the right to appeal any decision, corrective action, and/or disposition.

Appeals shall be documented and forwarded to the Director of Operations or Director of Certification via email.  Use the Contact Use to receive a response on specific email addresses. The client will be expected to present documented evidence to prove the complaint or ACG audit decision is invalid.


An impartial individual(s) may assist in evaluating the appeal to determine disposition consistent with the requirements of ACG’s quality management system and written notification shall be forwarded to the party filing the complaint.

Use of Marks​

Issuance of a Certificate of Registration authorizes you to use ACG's Registration Mark in advertising and promotional materials subject to the following Use of Marks:


Client complaints involving certification activities shall automatically be authorized, initiated, and subject to the tracking, implementation, and verification of ACG corrective action procedures. The ACG Director of Operations will make available to the client the actions taken to resolve the complaint.


All legitimate requests for information can be sent through the contact us section of the site.  ACG will provide information or respond to:

a) geographical areas in which ACG operates;
b) the status of a given client certification;
c) the name, related normative document, scope and geographical location (city and country) for a specific certified client.

d)Complaints issued against a certified ACG client

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