3. What is the process of obtaining an ASA certificate (step-by-step)?
The Agrément Certification process takes the form of 5 steps as described below:
Application a. Client completes application form and submits to Agrément for processing (this phase is where the entity scrutinizes the subject for which Agrément certification is sought for appropriateness i.e., whether the product/system is a subject for Agrément approval).
Evaluation Offer a. Upon acceptance of the application by ASA, the entity will prepare an evaluation/assessment offer stipulating various condition of certification. b. The offer details information such as the scope of the evaluation programme, uses for which the subject is intended (as per SAN 10400), the certification process, conditions of certification, quality management system requirements, time estimate for the evaluation and related costs.
Assessment Process a. The assessment/evaluation process commences once ASA has a contractual agreement between themselves and a client. b. Upon acceptance of the evaluation offer, a client is required to have paid the assessment fee stipulated in the offer. c. The assessment process is undertaken in line with the aspects of performance described in the offer.
Award of certificate a. Once the assessment process is completed in terms of all aspects of performance and positive test reports have been received, an Agrément certificate is drafted. b. The draft certificate and supporting test reports are then presented to the Technical Committee of ASA for approval and the Board of ASA for ratification. c. The Board ratified certificate is then gazetted, and a final certificate awarded to the client.
Post-quality monitoring a. ASA certificate holders are required to partake in the entity’s quality monitoring activities wherein an annual quality inspection is undertaken in relation to the certified subject, with the possibility of random audits in a given year. b. Other post-quality monitoring requirements are detailed in Agrément’s Guidelines for preparation of a quality management system. Other useful information concerning the ASA certification process is obtainable under the “Certification” tab on the ASA website: https://agrement.co.za/certification-process/