Safeguarding impartiality, transparency, objectivity and independence of all SANAS’ operations and accreditation activities are paramount to instilling confidence and trust in the integrity of SANAS’ services to its clients and stakeholders. Top management of SANAS undertakes to uphold these values.
This shall be achieved by applying its policies and procedures in a manner that:
- is non-discriminatory, where its services are offered to all conformity assessment bodies (CABs) in a fair and equitable manner regardless of size, its membership to any association or groups, the number of organisations already accredited, whether from the public sector or private sector and provided that the application is within the scope of accreditation as offered;
- manages conflict of interest and any potential conflict of interest in our decision-making processes;
- ensures an impartial complaints and appeals procedure (P12) which is open to all stakeholders;
- avoids the provision of services that affects its impartiality, such as consultancy services or suggesting the use of consultants, nor to participate in or offer any conformity assessment services that conformity assessment bodies perform;
- avoids compromising its impartiality and status in training service delivery, by offering generic training courses which do not give specific advice for the development of an organization’s operations, and furthermore, not offering training courses as a precondition or guarantee of accreditation;
- only offers support, training and twinning opportunities to other developing accreditation bodies in terms of meeting the necessary criteria for obtaining international recognition; and
- ensures that the principles of impartiality and non-discrimination are upheld within our Committees to protect the integrity of the system, which shall as a minimum include:
- Ensuring the effective involvement of interested parties through balanced representation, so that no one party dominates the committee;
- Being impartial in terms of their affiliation(s);
- Having no conflict of interests, to minimise and control bias in advice and decision making; and
- Possessing the relevant competencies required.
SANAS is organized in such a manner as to ensure that impartiality requirements are met as a public entity, and the National Accreditation Body formally enacted through the promulgation of the Accreditation Act.
The SANAS Board of Directors, its personnel, committee members and contracted personnel commit to act objectively and declare any actual or potential commercial, financial, political or other pressures that could compromise the impartiality of the accreditation process, whenever it may arise, through the signing of the relevant confidentiality, impartiality and non-disclosure agreements.
SANAS shall continuously evaluate the risks to impartiality arising from its activities and from any conflicts arising from its or its personnel’s relationships and interactions with other organizations, through various mechanisms such as internal and external audits, management reviews, complaints and customer satisfaction surveys. SANAS shall analyse, evaluate, treat and monitor all identified risks, and shall determine whether any residual risks are within an acceptable level of risk. Accreditation shall not be provided in areas where an unacceptable level of risk is identified, and which cannot be mitigated to an acceptable level.
Procedures for the management of impartiality are defined in P 07 “Management of Impartiality”. We shall ensure the involvement of interested parties, such as our specialist technical committee members, assessors and accredited facilities in the safeguarding of impartiality through their contributions in the review of this document, and in the identification and any risks to impartiality.
SANAS Chief Executive Officer 5 December 2018