Impartiality, Independence and Integrity
Our employees who evaluate products or management systems for certification purposes must not engage in consultation or technical advice for these. Accreditation standards apply strict prohibitions, e.g. in case that products are tested by bodies (Clients or agents representing Clients) who have been involved with design, manufacturing or sale of the products.
In order to safeguard our professional reputation as the TÜV Rheinland Group, we expect our employees and external personnel to act ethically and impartially in the longterm interest of our company and society. We require personnel, internal and external, to reveal any situation known to them that may expose them or our company to a conflict of interests. Our certification bodies shall use this information to identify threats to impartiality raised by the activities of such personnel or by the organizations that employ them. We shall not use personnel, internal or external, or buy products/services from direct Clients, until we can demonstrate that the risks or threats to impartiality (see below) are reduced to an acceptable level.
TÜV Rheinland Japan Ltd.,
(quoted from ISO/IEC 17021-1 for management system services; applicable in principle to all our services)
4.2.1 Being impartial, and being perceived to be impartial, is necessary for a certification body to deliver certification that provides confidence. It is important that all internal and external personnel are aware of the need for impartiality.
4.2.2 It is recognized that the source of revenue for a certification body is its client paying for certification, and that this is a potential threat to impartiality.
4.2.3 To obtain and maintain confidence, it is essential that a certification body’s decisions be based on objective evidence of conformity (or nonconformity) obtained by the certification body, and that its decisions are not influenced by other interests or by other parties.
4.2.4 Threats to impartiality may include but are not limited to the following.
a) Self-interest: threats that arise from a person or body acting in their own interest. A concern related to certification, as a threat to impartiality, is financial self-interest.
b) Self-review: threats that arise from a person or body reviewing the work done by themselves. Auditing the management systems of a client to whom the certification body provided management systems consultancy would be a self-review threat.
c) Familiarity (or trust): threats that arise from a person or body being too familiar with or trusting of another person instead of seeking audit evidence.
d) Intimidation: threats that arise from a person or body having a perception of being coerced openly or secretively, such as a threat to be replaced or reported to a supervisor.
5.2.9 The certification body's activities shall not be marketed or offered as linked with the activities of an organization that provides management system consultancy. The certification body shall take action to correct inappropriate links or statements by any consultancy organization stating or implying that certification would be simpler, easier, faster or less expensive if the certification body were used. A certification body shall not state or imply that certification would be simpler, easier, faster or less expensive if a specified consultancy organization were used.