The main task for EA regarding complaints concerning NABs and accredited CABs is to monitor that EA-Member National Accreditation Bodies (NAB) are handling complaints in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the NABs. These procedures shall be based on the requirements in international standards, which the NAB has to comply with.
EA may receive complaints from National Accreditation Bodies (NAB), accredited CABs or third parties, which have been dealt with by the NAB but where the complainant is requesting that EA investigate the issue.
When EA receives a complaint, it is dealt with according to the procedure described in Supplement 3 to EA-1/17 EA Procedure for the investigation and resolution of Complaints and Appeals, part 2.3.
The main objective for EA is to examine whether the NAB has handled the complaint according to its procedure. If the complaint has not been presented to the NAB, then EA’s response to the complainant will be that the complaint should be presented to the relevant NAB.
If EA decides to handle the complaint according to the procedure in Supplement 3 to EA-1/17 then:
- The complainant will be informed that EA has requested that the NAB provide a report on its handling of the complaint and that the complainant will be informed of the result of the investigation initiated by EA.
- The relevant NAB will be requested to provide a report on how the subject of the complaint has been dealt with and the outcome of the complaint handling process.
When the report from the NAB is received, EA will decide if the complaint has been handled by the NAB in accordance with the applicable requirements in the standards and EA documents.
If the NAB has handled the complaint correctly, the complainant will be informed that the NAB has followed its procedure and that the complaint handling process is in line with the criteria that the NAB must meet and that EA has no means to interfere further in the issue.
If the NAB’s complaint handling process does not meet the requirements in the standards and EA documents, the decision of EA will be to recommend that the NAB reconsiders the complaint and to invite the complainant to request that the NAB reopens the complaint. The EA Executive Committee may further request that the EA MAC Council impose specific peer-evaluation activities on the NAB or focus specifically on the complaint handling process during the regular peer evaluation of the NAB.
In cases where Members do not meet the requirements in the standard, EA has to ensure that the NAB provides documentation for complying with the membership criteria within a set time frame and if not, inform the member of the consequences of continued violation of the membership criteria.
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