Certification Process

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CERTIFICATION PROCESS

APOF Organic Certification Process

STEPS FOR CERTIFICATION:

 

Application

Application: An operator can fill up the application in prescribed format and send it to Operational office address of AOCA along with Registration format and Organic System Management plan. The application packet containing templates of Application, Registration form, Organic System management plan, copy of standards is sent to the operator who contacts AOCA on phone, email, fax or any other communication method.

Review & Quotation

Review & Quotation: A review of application is carried out to know the operators activities, the inspection program, Scope, location, language, schedule and other technical details and a Quotation is prepared as per the Tariff structure. A complete application and the responsiveness of the operator for additional information request will shorten the time of application review. It is checked that an operator who has previously applied to another certification agency and received a notification of noncompliance or denial of certification, has submitted documentation to support the correction of any noncompliance(s) identified by the notification of noncompliance or denial of certification.

Invoicing and payment of fees

Invoicing and payment of fees: An invoice for payment is sent to the operator for payment after the acceptance of the Quote. Inspection is undertaken only after the payment of 70% fees as mentioned in the invoice. The balance payment has to be made by the operator before the issuance of the certificate.

Signing of Contract

Signing of Contract: A contract is signed by the Operator with AOCA confirming that

  • Adherence to Applicable Organic production standards
  • Cooperate in on-site inspection visits, announced or unannounced, of organic production sites (farm, storage, office, manufacturing unit etc.) and if applicable conventional production sites.
  • Sampling for residue analysis.
  • To provide access to all production sites relevant to inspection, book-keeping, other supporting documents and related records.
  • To be responsible for any possible additional inspection requested by the Certification Committee following serious non-compliance with organic standards.
  • This contract provides AOCA and the operator an opportunity to clearly define, document and understand the requirements for certification, and to resolve any differences in understanding between AOCA and the operator prior to the assignment of the initial inspection.

Inspection

 

Submission of Inspection report to Certification department

Submission of Inspection report to Certification department: The Inspection report along with the necessary evidences and supporting documents are submitted to the Certification department by the inspector.

Evaluation

Evaluation: The Evaluator under instruction from the Certifier evaluates the documents, assessments and inspection report submitted by the inspector to verify the compliance and sufficiency of the evidence in order to assist the Certifier to arrive at a certification decision.
Resolution of Noncompliance: In response to a Notice of Noncompliance, the operator or client may:
Correct the noncompliance(s) and submit a description of the corrective actions taken with supporting documentation to AOCA.
Submit written information to AOCA to rebut the noncompliance described in the Notification of Noncompliance. Once the corrective actions are received back from the operator, AOCA will evaluate the corrective actions taken and supporting documentation submitted and conduct an on-site inspection if necessary. The Evaluation will be completed in 8 working days of submission of the report by the inspector.

Certification decision

Certification decision: The Certification committee takes a certification decision based on the evaluation findings for the inspection and is communicated to the operator in writing. The conclusion regarding the deviations, conformity and improvement measures are clearly stated in the certification decision which is then sent to the client along with the inspection report. AOCA may at any time of the certification decision process make request(s) for more information to determine compliance with relevant standards. When the corrective action is sufficient for the operator to qualify for certification, AOCA will issue the operator an approval of certification.

Certificate issuance

Certificate issuance: The Certificate of conformity to the Standards is issued to the operator after the Certification decision. The Certification decision and Scope issuance is done in 8 working days of the evaluation.

Issue of Transaction certificate for Traded product

Issue of Transaction certificate for Traded product: After certification, the operator can apply for the Transaction certificate along with all the required documents. The Transaction certificates (Provisional/ Final) will be issued after complete verification of the data, source, quantity, and status of the traded product. AOCA issues Transaction certificates for domestic sale and export as per the equivalency agreements.

Disputes, Appeals and Complaints: AOCA handles all Disputes, Appeals and Complaints as per Quality policy and procedures in the Quality manual.