Complaints handling by Conformity Verification Bodies under the Canada Organic Regime
Date: March 10, 2014
To: Conformity Verification Bodies (CVB) designated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
Subject: Complaints Handling by Conformity Verification Bodies (CVB) under the Canada Organic Office (COR)
Section B.8 of the Canada Organic Regime (COR) Operating Manual and clause 5.9 of ISO/IEC 17011 require the CVB to establish procedures for dealing with complaints related to the CFIA-accredited Certification Bodies under their oversight.
CFIA-designated CVB are responsible for handling any complaints they receive from the COR and ensuring that they are closed in a timely manner. To ensure that all complaints under the COR are dealt with in a consistent manner, all CVB should observe the following when handling these complaints:
- The CVB will acknowledge receipt of any complaint within 5 business days.
- The CVB will begin the investigation of the complaint as per their own procedures, or forward the complaint to the appropriate CB for investigation if the complaint is on a certified organic product, producer or CB personnel.
- When passing complaints to the appropriate CB, the CVB will ensure that confidentiality of the complainant is maintained.
- Within 20 business days, the CVB will inform the COR of the following:
- The status of the complaint
- What actions have or will be taken to resolve the complaint
- The expected timeline for resolution of the complaint
- Requests for additional information as required.
- The CVB will endeavour to close all complaints received in a timely manner. Upon closure of the complaint the CVB will provide the COR with the following:
- Confirmation that the CVB considers the complaint adequately closed
- A summary of the actions the CVB/CB took to close the complaint
- Any important follow-up information (e.g. unannounced audit to verify, grounds for suspension, etc.).
- Once the COR has reviewed the information provided, and does not require additional information, they will inform the CVB that the complaint is considered closed.
Lead Auditor/ Vérificatrice principale
Canada Organic Regime/ Régime Bio-Canada
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