ASC Programme Centre Beta

Feed CAR

1.1. Part B sets out requirements for CABs to use when auditing Clients and their UoCs against ASC Requirements, from the application phase, until the certification decision, throughout the certificate lifetime. It also covers additional procedures such as transfer of certificates.

2.1. The documents in Part A also apply to Part B

3.1. All definitions are published in the ASC Vocabulary Portal.

4.1. The CAB’s application form shall, as a minimum, request the following information from the applicant:

  1. Applicant legal entity name
  2. Contact information
  3. Site(s) address(es) and geographical coordinates (WGS 84 i.e 52.082478, 5.117676)
  4. Applicable version of the ASC standard
  5. Activities included in the scope of the applicant´s UoC such as, production, storage, transport, or packing
  6. List of species for which they are producing feed
  7. Whether non-aquafeed products (e.g., livestock or poultry feed) are manufactured at the same UoC
  8. Which Production Model is intended to be used: Segregation Production Model, Mass Balance Production Model or Both
  9. Confirmation that the applicant has implemented an Ingredient Accounting System (IAS) and if it is a Shared Ingredient Accounting System
  10. Date of the most recent Internal Audit against the ASC Feed Standard and Feed RUoC
  11. Whether or not the applicant outsources any activities to third parties (e.g., subcontractors for storage, transport or other activities)
  12. Declaration of open court cases related to environmental or social compliance violations or any allegations of fraud in connection with the Applicant´s UoC and the ASC Requirements
  13. Declaration of any charge for, or admission to, cases in (l) within the last 36 months
  14. Declaration where in the last 12 months the UoC has had a withdrawal of their ASC certificate, or an ASC failed initial audit where certification has not been awarded
  15. Declaration of any open cases or successful prosecution in the last twenty-four (24) months related to:
    • Carrying out fraudulent activities confirmed by the statutory authority
    • Use or involvement of Child labour, slavery, human trafficking or forced labour
  16. For Multi-sites, organisational structure and relationships between the applicant and sites.

4.2. The CAB shall send to applicants the documents or the respective ASC website links for:

  1. The most recent version of the ASC Feed Standard
  2. The most recent version of the Certification Requirements for the Unit of Certification (RUoC)
  3. Links to the ASC Variance Request & Interpretation Platform to access relevant Q&A or Variance Requests
  4. Information about the use of the ASC logo and the Logo License Agreement
  5. A brief explanation of the certification process and related timelines.

4.3. The CAB shall maintain a record identifying the document(s), including the version(s), sent to each applicant and Certificate Holder.

4.4. In cases where documents are translated for the convenience of the Client, the original version will prevail, where any differences exist between original documents and translated versions.

5.1. The CAB shall conduct an application review once a complete application form has been submitted by the client.

5.1.1. The CAB shall not accept the application if a certificate was withdrawn in the last 12 months with any CAB.

5.1.2. The CAB shall not accept the application if the applicant has failed an initial audit conducted by a different CAB and it has been less than 12 months since that previous CAB audit was categorised as failed.

5.1.3. The CAB shall not accept the application from applicants that have been successfully prosecuted in the last 24 months for any of the following situations:

  1. Carrying out fraudulent activities confirmed by the statutory authority
  2. Use or involvement of Child labour, slavery, human trafficking or forced labour.

6.1. The CAB shall define the scope of certification taking into account:

  1. Applicable certification type (i.e., Single site, Multi-site)
  2. Activities and facilities under the scope of the UoC before the product changes ownership. This includes, but is not limited to, production, storage & transport
  3. Production Model in use i.e., Mass Balance Production Model / Segregation Production Model or both.

6.2. The CAB shall define the certification type as either:

6.2.1. Single site certification which shall have all of the following elements:

  1. The UoC is formed by one (1) production site and any associated facilities which has defined location(s) and area
  2. The Client is capable of signing a binding contract that is legally enforceable
  3. The Client is the owner of the ASC product
  4. The Client is the only entity authorised to sell ASC product.

6.2.2. Multi-site certification which shall have all the following elements:

  1. The UoC consists of more than one site
  2. The Client has an identified central function in charge of assuring the compliance against the ASC Requirements of all sites within the UoC and sites are either owned or subcontracted by the Client.
  3. The Client is capable of signing a binding contract that is legally enforceable
  4. The Client is responsible for compliance to ASC Requirements at all sites
  5. The Client is the only entity authorised to sell ASC products from all sites
  6. All sites are located within the same country.

6.2.2.1. Under Multi-site certification, in every routine audit the CAB shall audit all individual sites and any associated facilities and evaluate the applicable requirements in Annex E of this document.

7.1. The CAB shall have a written contract with the Client representing the UoC seeking certification.

7.2. Prior to signing a contract, the CAB shall verify:

7.2.1. That the applicant UoC is not already certified.

  1. If the applicant UoC is currently certified, the CAB shall follow the certificate transfer requirements in Section 30

7.3. The contract shall be signed by the CAB and Client prior to the announcement of the audit.

7.4. The contract shall include a copy of the CAB complaints procedure that includes information on when and how the ASC appointed accreditation body and the ASC may be engaged in case the complaint process escalates beyond the CAB authority.

7.5. The contract shall specify:

7.5.1. The certification timeline, including reporting timeline as specified in the Annex C, that the CAB will meet.

7.5.2. That ASC retains the right to change the ASC Requirements and certification is conditional on conforming to new or revised ASC Requirements within the timeframes established by the ASC.

7.5.3. That the ASC shall have full access to all audit products including audit evidence, audit findings and audit reports, including confidential annexes.

7.5.4. That the Client shall submit to the ASC, accurate production and sale data using the form and in the manner specified by the ASC.

7.5.5. That the Client shall allow the ASC to process and publish, excluding confidential annexes, data and information collected from the certification process for the purpose of transparency, as an integral part of the ASC certification programme.

7.5.6. That ASC and the ASC appointed accreditation body shall have the right to observe audits conducted by the CAB.

7.5.7. That ASC, ASC designated agents and ASC appointed accreditation body shall have the right to visit the Client’s site(s) and any associated facilities within the scope of certification. This includes visits without prior notice for the purpose of verification of the integrity of ASC certification.

7.5.8. That upon request, the CAB Auditor, ASC and the ASC appointed accreditation body shall have unrestricted access to data (except financial) in the Ingredient Accounting System

7.5.9. That the ASC appointed accreditation body shall have the right to conduct audits of the Certificate Holder, including unannounced audits, for the purpose of monitoring CAB conformity.

7.5.10. That ASC, ASC designated agent, ASC appointed accreditation body and the CAB, shall have the right to collect product samples or other supporting samples (e.g., raw material ingredients) to evaluate the Clients compliance, including products stored at subcontractor facilities, if applicable.

7.5.10.1. This sampling may be conducted unannounced during ASC audits or at any other time.

7.5.10.2. Costs incurred in testing shall be covered by the Client, for samples taken and decided by the CAB during ASC audits.

7.5.11. That the CAB shall have access to all audit products of the latest third-party social audit, if any. This includes, but is not limited to, audit reports, non-conformity reports, evidence of closure of non-conformities, and relevant confidential information.

7.5.12. That the Client has the right to raise their concerns or object to any of the proposed audit team members.

7.5.13. That the Client has the responsibility to inform the CAB, within fourteen (14) days of any changes made to the UoC, that may require oversight from the CAB. This can include, but is not limited to:

  1. Inclusion of new products which introduce a significant new risk to the facility (e.g., addition of non-aquaculture feed i.e., livestock and poultry feed)
  2. Addition of new products under the Segregation Production Model, including the distinct feed name
  3. Changes in the number of sites (if a Multi-site Client).

7.5.14. That the Client has the responsibility to inform the CAB within fourteen (14) days of the occurrence of any of the following situation(s):

  1. Fatal workplace accidents
  2. Legal compliance violations confirmed by the statutory authority on issues related to the scope of ASC standard and Requirements
  3. Recall of non-conforming ASC products due to incorrect ingredient formulation (e.g., non-permitted substances, use of non-eligible or non-permitted ingredients in an ASC product produced under the Segregation Production Model or, non-permitted ingredients used in a product produced under the Mass Balance Production Model).

8.1. The CAB shall not conduct an on-site audit until the Client has submitted all required information and documentation and the CAB has completed the Desk Review (See 11.1).

8.2. The CAB shall conduct an initial on-site audit only when the Client has confirmed all of the following prerequisites:

8.2.1. They have been in operation no less than six (6) months.

8.2.2. They have a functioning Ingredient Accounting System (IAS) in place.

8.2.3. They have conducted at least one accounting system balancing exercise resulting in accurate calculation. Records of the exercise shall be maintained.

8.2.3.1. This also applies where the Shared Ingredient Accounting System is in operation

8.2.4. Implementation of Code of Conduct requirements.

8.2.5. Implementation of Due Diligence processes.

8.2.6. Calculation of its Majority Sustainability Level (MSL) Entry Level.

8.2.7. They have conducted at least one internal audit in the last 6 months against the ASC Requirements.

8.3. The CAB shall schedule audits only when the facilities are in operation and where possible, producing ASC product.

8.4. Multi-site UoC initial audits shall include all of the conditions specified in 8.2, 8.3 and Annex E for Multi-site UoC’s.

8.5. When production is witnessed during the audit, the CAB shall:

  1. Witness production intended for sale (i.e., no trial or mock production), and
  2. Where possible, witness loading activities including subcontractors under the control of the UoC.

8.5.1. Where ASC products other than those witnessed at audit are included in the scope of the certificate, the CAB shall sample evidence of conformance for other ASC products to be added to the certificate, including, if applicable, conformance with traceability requirements for products produced under the Segregation Production Model.

9.1. The CAB shall upload the Audit Announcement for initial, surveillance and re-certification audits to the ASC database for planned audit dates no less than forty-two (42) days prior to the audit. This includes scope extension audits adding a site to a Multi-site certification.

9.1.1. For unannounced audits, the Audit Announcement may be uploaded to the ASC database less than forty-two (42) days prior to the audit.

9.1.2. The ASC shall not publish Audit Announcements prior to an unannounced audit.

9.1.3. The CAB shall upload one Audit Announcement to the ASC Database for each UoC.

9.2. The CAB shall upload updates to the Audit Announcement within seven (7) days of any changes to the information.

9.2.1. If the changes are to occur before a planned audit, the changes shall be no less than fourteen (14) days before the audit is scheduled to begin.

9.2.2. All changes will be clearly identified on the revised Audit Announcement.

9.3. The ASC should publish a public notice of the planned audit within five (5) days of receipt of the Audit Announcement.

9.4. The notice shall be in the local language(s) and English.

9.5. Before announcing a new audit for the same UoC, the CAB shall have submitted all required documentation related to the previous audit within the prescribed timelines in Annex C.

10.1. The CAB shall maintain an up-to-date list of all relevant Stakeholders to be contacted for their input per country and in relation to industry sector.

10.1.1. The CAB shall perform its own research of relevant Stakeholders and additionally may make use of the Stakeholder list provided by the Client.

10.2. The CAB shall notify Stakeholders that are relevant for the scope and objectives of the audit and invite their participation.

10.2.1. Prior to an unannounced audit, the CAB may choose to notify none, some, or all potential Stakeholders.

10.2.2. Independent initial Stakeholder consultation shall be performed at the initial planning stage, between Desk Review and on-site audit.

10.2.3. This Stakeholder consultation may be carried out remotely.

10.2.4. In cases where the identified Stakeholders are single entities or persons, the CAB shall maintain records of contact details and the date of consultation with the Stakeholders.

10.3. The CAB shall keep a list of all Stakeholders that indicate to the CAB, an interest in making a submission to the audit team.

10.4. The CAB shall acknowledge receipt of all written submissions.

10.4.1. Verbal submissions and how they have been addressed shall be clearly explained in the audit reports.

10.5. Prior to the publication of the draft audit report, the CAB shall respond in writing to each Stakeholder to explain how their comments were addressed by the audit team.

10.6. The CAB shall have a mechanism that allows comments to be submitted at any time during the validity of the certificate, and that specifies how those comments are to be taken into consideration for the next audit.

10.6.1. The CAB shall make sure that the mechanism is known to the public.

10.6.2. The CAB shall retain all records related to Stakeholder consultation of each audit while contracted to the Client and for 3 years, as a minimum, after the CAB stops providing certification services to the Client.

11.1. The CAB shall have completed a Desk Review before conducting each audit.

11.2. As a minimum, the CAB shall obtain and review the following:

  1. Required information, documents and records submitted by the Client as specified in the Desk Review Template (Annex G)
  2. Evidence that there is a functioning Ingredient Accounting System (IAS) in place, including one accounting system balancing exercise resulting in accurate calculation prior to the initial audit
  3. Documented procedures for Due Diligence processes, for both Ingredient Manufacturers and Primary Raw Material Producers, as required by the ASC Feed Standard
  4. Internal audit report summary, conducted in the last 6 months, against the ASC Requirements with corrective action plans implemented as required.
  5. Due Diligence and risk assessment summaries and outcomes as required by the ASC Feed Standard
    1. Due Diligence and risk assessments reports shall be sampled prior to audit using the Due Diligence sampling calculator as defined in Annex F
  6. Performance data as required by the ASC Feed Standard
  7. Other information as deemed necessary for an effective Desk Review that may include preliminary study.

11.3. The CAB shall review and take into consideration all of the obtained information for Social Audit Risk Assessment and audit planning.

11.3.1. Auditors shall review a map/layout/drawing of the facility to be audited and all areas that form part of the audit scope, to determine distance and travel time between different locations under the scope.

11.3.1.1. The map shall also detail product flow from receiving ingredients to dispatching feed products.

11.4. The CAB shall conduct a Social Audit Risk Assessment for each audit using the tool provided in Annex H when developing the audit plan and assigning an audit team.

11.5. The CAB shall ensure that before the end of the audit planning phase the applicant receives the following written information:

11.5.1. Expected scope of audit, that includes as a minimum:

  1. Name of production site(s) and associated storage areas and places (e.g., employees’ living quarters) to be audited
  2. Processes, functional departments
  3. Shift(s) at the sites, if applicable

11.5.2. Provisional Audit Plan that includes:

  1. The date(s) and site(s) where the on-site and/or off-site audit activities will be conducted, including visits to storage facilities.
  2. Approximate time (in man-hours) for each audit activity segregated in desk review, off-site activities and on-site activities.
  3. Expected number of management and worker interviews.

11.5.3. Names and affiliations of proposed audit team members.

11.5.4. Sufficient information about the audit process so that the applicant can make appropriate preparations for the audit. This shall include:

  1. A summary list of the objective evidence, including actual performance data that may be required by the audit team
  2. An explanation of the requirement(s) for and process of Stakeholder consultation.

11.6. The CAB shall have a documented procedure for dealing with an applicant’s concern about a member of the audit team proposed to carry out the audit; this procedure shall include the following elements:

  1. Consider the merits of each concern raised by an applicant
  2. Take appropriate action(s), which may include leaving the audit team unchanged if warranted
  3. Maintain records of the justification for its action(s).

12.1. The CAB shall determine the minimum planned duration of the audit and record this determination in the audit announcement considering the following factors:

  1. Number of sites
  2. Production area or number of production lines
  3. Whether they produce both ASC and non-ASC feed
  4. Number of ASC Feed products in scope
  5. If more than one Production Model is in use (i.e., Mass Balance Model and Segregation Model)
  6. Number of employees
  7. Use of interpreters and technical experts
  8. Desk Review time is accounted for in the total audit duration
  9. The time spent for the activities during the on-site audit
  10. The time spent for other activities as deemed necessary.

12.2. The CAB shall record the actual time spent for off-site and on-site audit activities in the audit report.

12.2.1. The CAB shall provide justification in the audit report if the audit took more or less time than was determined in the audit announcement.

13.1. The ASC auditor should use the ASC Interpretation Manual for the ASC Feed Standard.

13.2. ASC reserves the right to request the CABs to use ASC’s own audit tools and methodology for the ASC audits covering areas not specified in this document.

13.3. The CAB shall conduct a Desk Review (Annex G) based on information and documents provided by the Client to inform the applicable risk assessments and audit planning prior to the on-site audit.

13.4. The CAB shall consider outcomes of the Desk Review and Social Audit Risk Assessment to determine audit effort for each type of UoC. This includes (but is not limited to):

13.4.1. Number of employee interviews, and types (individually or in group).

  1. The number of interviews with management and staff functions shall be in addition to the number of worker interviews calculated in the Social Audit Risk Assessment Calculator (Annex H).

13.4.2. Visit to relevant local Stakeholders to corroborate evidence, if necessary.

13.4.3. Visit to employees’ living quarters if provided to employees.

13.5. The CAB shall verify the accuracy of the sites’ location.

13.6. The lead auditor shall cease the audit process in cases when it is confirmed that:

  1. The Client suggested bribes to any member of the audit team
  2. The Client presented forged documents as audit evidence
  3. The Client threatened any member of the audit team.

13.1.1. In any of these cases the CAB shall classify the audit as failed for initial audits or withdraw the certificate.

13.2. The CAB shall follow Annex E requirements to audit a Multi-site UoC.

14.1. The CAB shall assess the methodology and outcome of the Due Diligence processes.

14.2. The CAB shall take into account the results from previous audits to decide on an increase or decrease of the sample of Due Diligence reports.

14.3. The CAB shall verify that Code of Conduct requirements are implemented by the Client.

14.4. The CAB shall verify that ingredient manufacturers are approved as per the Client’s defined procedures and that these procedures meet relevant ASC Requirements.

15.1. The CAB shall verify, through sampling (at least 5%), the ingredients allocated as Eligible Ingredients in the IAS are in fact Eligible Ingredients.

15.2. The CAB shall verify the calculations performed to balance the IAS are accurate and working effectively. 

15.3. The CAB shall verify the accuracy of the latest balancing summary of the last accounting period.

15.4. Where the Shared IAS is in use, the CAB shall:

15.4.1. Verify the eligibility of all participating production sites (as descried in the relevant section of the Feed RUoC document).

15.4.2. Verify at each participating production site, calculations performed to balance the IAS are accurate and working effectively.

15.4.3. Determine if non-conformities raised against the Shared IAS of any one participating site have an impact on the eligible volume calculation for all sites involved in the Shared IAS.

16.1. Making changes to Production Models in operation

16.1.1. The CAB shall determine if an on-site evaluation is required where the Client requests to:

  1. Change from one Production Model (Segregation or Mass Balance) to another, or
  2. Add a Production Model.

16.1.2. The evaluation may be conducted during a surveillance audit or at any convenient time and cost as agreed with the Certificate Holder.

16.1.3. The Client certificate shall be updated to reflect an addition or change in Production Model.

16.2. Auditing the Segregation Production Model

16.2.1. The CAB shall verify whether the Client’s traceability procedures are effectively implemented by conducting a backwards traceability test during the audit.

16.2.2. The CAB shall conduct a traceability test as follows:

  1. Using the ASC template
  2. Selecting a product that has been produced and sold by the UoC under the Segregation Production Model.
  3. Considering
    1. The flow of Eligible Ingredients into ASC product produced under the Segregation Production Model within the UoC, from receiving to dispatch. Particular consideration should be given to handling of bulk or liquid material. 
    2. Traceability documentation and records at each stage of receiving, production, transportation & storage activities under the scope of the UoC, including storage and transport activities conducted by subcontracted parties if still under the ownership of the UoC.
    3. Production records of product produced under the Segregation Production Model and how product can be linked from each document (e.g., through batch codes, lot codes, etc.).
    4. Control of rework.

16.2.3. The CAB shall determine in the audit report whether or not the traceability and segregation system can confirm that all products produced, identified and sold under the Segregation Production Model contain only Eligible Ingredients.

16.2.4. The CAB shall raise a major non-conformity where a traceability test exercise fails, (e.g., there is a lack of data to perform the test).

16.2.5. Upon detection of the major non-conformity, the CAB shall instruct the Client to stop identifying, labelling, dispatching and selling this product as a Segregation Production Model product.

17.1. The ASC social auditors shall follow processes as described in the latest version of ISO 17021-1 and ISO 19011 related to conducting audits (section 9.4 in ISO 17021-1: 2015).

17.2. In addition to 17.1, the following shall be implemented by the audit team:

17.3. Opening meeting:

  1. The auditors shall invite senior management of the UoC and key relevant personnel, including worker and/or trade union representatives to attend the opening meeting.
  2. Attendance shall be documented for all those present at the opening meeting.
  3. The auditors shall state that:
    1. Employee interviews shall be conducted in a private place, individually and/or in groups
    2. The place shall be determined by the auditor(s) during the course of the audit
    3. Interviewed employees shall not be discriminated against or be put in an unfavourable position for taking part in interviews, irrespective of the nature of their job
    4. The auditor may consider additional employee interviews, if necessary, after review of records
    5. To provide additional confidence and a method of communication, employees shall be provided with contact information of the CAB and the ASC, and this contact information shall not be taken back from employees by the Client after the audit
    6. Management, supervisory and clerical staff shall not attend workers’ interviews.
  4. The auditor shall inform the Client that audit evidence collected during the audit will relate solely to requirements of the applicable ASC Requirements.  Audit evidence can consist of documents, records, pictures, and other multimedia.
  5. The auditors shall confirm if there are any changes to information previously provided that may affect the scope of the audit and reconfirm all documents that will be verified during the audit.
  6. The auditors shall determine if there are sub-contracted employees at the site(s) within the scope of the audit or certification, and if so: the number of such employees and the work being performed on the day of the audit.

17.4. Walkthrough and visit to working areas and facilities within the UoC:

  1. Auditors shall review travel arrangements and make necessary adjustments to the audit plan on the basis of availability of transport to ensure full audit coverage within the assigned audit time.
  2. The visit and walkthrough shall include all work areas irrespective of the presence of employees in the area on the day of the audit, living quarters, on-site hospital/clinic, kitchens, dining areas (if provided), the perimeters of production and storage units, common toilets, common areas like on-site grocery stores, prayer halls and any other areas as appropriate.
  3. During the visit and walkthrough, auditors shall:
    1. Identify potential employees that they will speak to later
    2. Identify all hazards and potentially dangerous areas of work
    3. If possible, collect information (e.g., pictures of notices) to later corroborate information provided prior and/or during the audit
    4. Distribute the CAB, ASI and ASC contact information to employees that they speak to so that employees may communicate with those organisations at any time.
  4. The visit and walkthrough shall be implemented for every on-site audit.

17.5. Document and records review:

  1. When drawing samples for records review, the auditor shall consider:
    1. Different types of employees (full time, contractual, seasonal, migrants)
    2. Different types of payment methods (hourly rate, piece rate, monthly rate) as appropriate.
  2. Auditing of personal records (e.g., time sheet and pay records) shall be based on risk and the sampling plan as outlined in the Social Audit Risk Assessment (Annex H)
  3. For each interviewed employees, his/her personnel records and related documents shall be reviewed
  4. Personnel information and records shall only be reviewed on-site, unless allowed by legislation of countries of parties involved – the Client and the CAB
  5. Other documents as deemed necessary at auditor’s discretion.

17.6. Conducting interviews:

  1. audited, types of interview (group/individual) and place(s) where the interviews are to take place[4].
  2. Auditors shall interview as a minimum the following functions:
    1. Senior management of the UoC
    2. Worker and/or trade union representative(s)
      1. Number of worker interviews is calculated using the Social Audit Risk Assessment calculator (Annex H)
      2. Auditors shall stratify worker interviews based on their tasks and background (gender, type of work – permanent/temporary, type of labour – migrant, and the likes)
      3. Number of worker interviews, justification for stratification shall be documented in the audit report
    3. Other relevant personnel playing a role in implementing ASC social requirements in the standard (e.g., in the area of health & safety, human resources, finance, etc.).
  3. Auditors shall develop a list of relevant topics for interviewing each function based on results of the Desk Review
  4. Auditors shall use professional judgement, common sense, knowledge and experience to take the decision, which may be taken on the spot, regarding approach to conducting interviews (individual or group)
  5. Auditors shall use appropriate skills to ensure confidentiality while speaking to employees during the visit and walkthrough and at workplaces
  6. The CAB shall maintain records of all interviews during an audit as part of audit evidence
  7. All personal employee interviews shall usually take place on-site; however
    • Off-site interviews shall take place if or when there is a perceived threat or pressure to employees by any party for providing information or there is a lack of a location at the audit site that allows employees to speak confidentially.
  8. All employee interviews shall take place in a quiet, private area away from management offices and without the presence of management representatives or those in supervisory roles
  9. Casual interviews shall also take place during the physical tour of the workplace, during meal and rest breaks
  10. Interviews may be conducted in the presence of a trade union member, with the permission of the employee, and if the CAB auditor feels employee/s is/are comfortable with this arrangement

17.7. Closing meeting:

  1. A pre-closing meeting with the management may be held for the purpose of:
    1. Discussing audit findings and clarifying any divergent views or opinions
    2. Reviewing any information the UoC may provide to demonstrate conformance with the ASC Standard
    3.  Avoiding differences of opinion that may lead to the UoC contesting audit findings at the closing meeting
    4. Saving time at the closing meeting where only key findings, opportunities for improvement, best practices and other matters are discussed.
  2. The closing meeting shall be attended by senior management of the UoC and personnel responsible for time and pay records, those responsible for meeting health safety and environment requirements, human resources and administration, those responsible for key functions and workers and/or trade union representatives
    1. If senior management is not available for the closing meeting this shall be documented in the audit report
    2. Attendance shall be recorded for all those present at the closing meeting.
  3. The result of the audit shall be communicated in a language understood by those present and, if necessary, translated into a language spoken by workers’ representatives / trade union members
  4. Depending on the result of the audit and the type of non-conformities raised (if any), auditors shall inform the follow up activities as appropriate
  5. Auditors shall remind the Client of timelines they need to meet for providing and implementing root cause analysis and corrective actions
  6. A copy of non-conformities that were raised shall be provided to the UoC.

18.1. Sampling and testing of Ingredients and ASC Feed products

18.1.1. The ASC may request CABs to collect feed ingredient and product samples or other substances[5] during ASC audits to verify a UoC’s conformance to the ASC Feed Standard. In this case the CAB shall:

  1. Use the laboratory assigned by the ASC
  2. Charge the cost to the Client if the test results confirm the UoC conformance.

18.2. The CAB may decide to collect samples at its discretion based on observations and evidence collected during the audit. In this case the CAB shall:

  1. Use one of the ASC listed laboratories[6].
  2. Charge the cost to the Client.

18.3. In both cases the laboratories assigned shall be ISO 17025 accredited and use an accredited test method for the test required.

18.4. The CAB shall make all the necessary arrangements with the assigned laboratory to collect and deliver samples according to the ASC sampling procedures[7].

18.5. The CAB auditor shall decide from which batches, production dates the samples will be taken.

18.5.1. Any of the following criteria may be considered to inform this decision:

  1. Random sampling
  2. Based on observations and evidence collected
  3. Auditor professional experience

18.6. The CAB auditor shall manage sample conditions as follows:

18.6.1. Only samples from the same product may be composited.

18.6.2. Traceable seals or tamper proof bags shall be used to maintain the integrity of the samples.

6.6.3. Triplicates of each sample shall be prepared for confirming results if needed and stored by the laboratory.

6.7. Sign off sample forms shall be used, confirming the following information:

  1. Sample identification and seal number(s)
  2. Type of sample and approximate weight
  3. Substances to be tested for
  4. Date and time of collection
  5. Intended date, time and place of dispatch/delivery to the ASC listed Laboratory.

18.8. The CAB shall record in the audit report the following information:

  1. If a sample was taken during the audit
  2. Justification for sampling
  3. Whether sampling was announced or unannounced

18.9. The Client may decide to test the duplicate samples at its own cost, to dispute the test results. In this case the CAB shall

  1. Request the testing of duplicate samples by the same laboratory for the parameters in the previous test being disputed
  2. If the second test results support the Client ’s position, a third test for the same parameters shall be conducted by another ASC listed laboratory in the same country. The Client may select the ASC listed laboratory if there is more than two in the country
  3. Both the CAB and the Client shall accept the results of the third (final) test.

19.1. The CAB shall follow the most current versions of ISO 9001 Auditing Practices Group Guidance on: REMOTE AUDITS and IAF MD 4:2018, and IAF Mandatory Document for the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) when conducting remote audits or remote evidence collection.

19.1.1. The CAB shall conduct a feasibility and risk analysis as described in this document before carrying out remote audits or remote evidence collection.

19.2. The CAB may collect evidence remotely to:

  1. Complement on-site audits
  2. Witness production activities
  3. Interview management staff
  4. Review data, documents and records
  5. Conduct site tours
  6. Review video recording or photographs (i.e., sampling activities).

19.2.1. Management staff interviews and review of data, documents and records may be performed remotely in any audit as part of the evidence collection.

19.3. The CAB may only conduct remote audits for Surveillance audits:

19.3.1. CABs shall not conduct remote audits under any of the following conditions:

  1. The Certificate Holder is suspended
  2. Initial audits
  3. The previous audit was a remote audit
  4. The Certificate Holder received more than 5 major NCs in the previous audit.

19.3.2. In addition to the above, the CAB may conduct remote employee interviews only under all of the following conditions:

  1. The social auditor does not need an interpreter to conduct the interview.
  2. The number of workers to interview as an outcome of the “ASC social risk calculator” is less than 12.
  3. The country risk is ‘medium’ or ‘low’ according to the ASC Country Social Index.
  4. Employees identity and confidentiality can be assured by the social auditor through appropriate ICT.
  5. Employees have accepted the CAB’s intention to conduct the remote interview

19.4. Auditors conducting remote audits or remote evidence collection shall be trained by the CAB on how to collect evidence remotely as described in ISO 19011:2018.

19.5. The CAB shall evaluate Clients’ local legislation and regulations related to confidentiality, security and data protection, which may require additional agreements from both sides because of the use of ICT.

19.5.1. The CAB shall document in the audit report this evaluation and determination on the need of additional agreements.

19.6. The CAB shall test the ICT selected for the remote audits in advance of the audit

19.6.1. The CAB shall record the ICT tests results and determination to continue or not with the remote audit.

19.7. Evidence in the form of video, photograph, or live streaming shall be verified as being relevant to the specific UoC under remote evaluation. (e.g., geotagging)

20.1. The CAB shall verify all audit evidence relevant to the audit objectives, scope and criteria, including information relating to interfaces between functions, activities and processes.

20.2. The CAB shall collect audit evidence by appropriate sampling considering:

  1. Size and complexity of the UoC
  2. Number of products produced by the UoC annually
  3. Number of employees
  4. Number of inputs and suppliers used by the UoC.

20.3. Audit evidence may be in the form of pictures, multimedia, notes, and other means.

20.4. The CAB shall record the audit evidence evaluated for each ASC standard indicator and applicable ASC Requirements in the audit report.

20.4.1. In case new evidence emerges after the completion of an audit, the CAB shall clearly describe the circumstances of the new evidence in the audit report.

20.5. The CAB shall retain audit evidence for the entire period that the Client is certified by the CAB and minimum three (3) years after the certification contract is terminated.

20.6. Within seven (7) days of receipt of objective evidence related to the Certificate Holder’s non-conformance from ASC or the ASC appointed accreditation body, the CAB shall determine timelines and actions to be taken based on the provided evidence.

21.1. Auditors shall evaluate audit evidence to determine whether the UoC is in conformance with each ASC standard indicator and applicable ASC Requirements.

21.2. The CAB shall grade non-conformities as minor, major or critical, according to the definitions in the ASC Vocabulary List and clearly justify the grading in the audit report.

21.3. Requirements for all non-conformities

21.3.1. The CAB shall set the non-conformity Detection Date as the date of the closing meeting when the non-conformities are presented to the Client.

  1. Changes in grading of non-conformities after the closing meeting shall not alter the Detection Date
  2. For non-conformities raised after the closing meeting or between audits, the non-conformity date shall be the reporting date to the CAB. The non-conformity closure timelines shall be calculated from this date.

21.3.2. Critical and major non-conformities shall not be downgraded after the CAB certification decision making entity has confirmed the grade.

21.3.3. If the Client decides to continue with the certification, the CAB shall provide information to the Client highlighting the next steps to close non-conformities

21.3.3.1. The CAB shall cancel the certificate if a Certificate Holder decides not to close non-conformities and not continue the certification process during the period of validity of a certificate.

21.3.4. For each non-conformity the CAB shall request and confirm with the Client:

  1. a root cause analysis
  2. an action plan with corrections and corrective actions that address the root cause.

21.3.5. The CAB shall close non-conformities if there is sufficient objective evidence showing:

  1. effective implementation of the corrections
  2. effective implementation of the corrective actions addressing the root cause.

21.3.6. The CAB shall record in the final audit report the evidence evaluated to close or extend a non-conformity.

21.3.7. The CAB shall record in the next audit report the actions taken by the Client and the evidence evaluated to close extended non-conformities.

21.3.8. The CAB may decide to perform an on-site revisit to evaluate the effectiveness of corrections and corrective actions.

  1. Where on-site revisits are required, these shall be scheduled to occur within the timeframe allowed for the closure of non-conformities.
  2. Revisits should wherever possible be undertaken by the original auditor/audit team. Where this is not possible, the visit must be undertaken by a qualified auditor with the competencies related to the category of the outstanding non-conformities (Social and/or Technical).

21.3.9. The CAB may extend the non-conformity closure timeframe according to the maximum deadlines in 21.4.1, 21.5.2.2 and 21.6.3 d. i if the CAB has received sufficient objective evidence demonstrating that conformity was not possible due to circumstances beyond the control of the Client.

21.4. Minor non-conformities

21.4.1. Minor non-conformities can be extended once for a maximum period of 12 months after the Detection Date.

21.4.2. The CAB shall classify an initial audit as failed if minor non-conformities are not closed or extended within three (3) months from the date of detection.

21.4.3. For minor non-conformities detected during the period of validity of a certificate:

21.4.3.1. The CAB shall upgrade a minor non-conformity to major non-conformity if not closed or extended within three (3) months from the date of detection.

21.4.4. The CAB shall upgrade a minor non-conformity to a major non-conformity where the same minor non-conformity is raised against a particular indicator or requirement in two consecutive audits.

21.5. Major non-conformities

21.5.1. The CAB shall classify an initial audit as a failed audit if major non-conformities are not closed within three (3) months from the Detection Date.

21.5.2. For major non-conformities detected during the period of validity of a certificate:

21.5.2.1. The CAB shall suspend the certificate if not closed or extended within three (3) months from the date of detection.

21.5.2.2. Major non-conformities may be extended once for a maximum period of six (6) months after the Detection Date.

21.5.2.3. The CAB shall raise a major non-conformity where review of the Ingredient Accounting System:

  1. Indicates insufficient evidence to verify the Eligibility Status of an ingredient identified as eligible
  2. Indicates insufficient evidence to verify the accuracy of input volume of an Eligible Ingredient or output volume of ASC Product
  3. Is demonstrated to be overdrawn at end of the 12-month accounting period.

21.5.3. The CAB shall raise a major non-conformity against the traceability requirements where a traceability test exercise of a product produced under the Segregation Production Model fails, (e.g., there is a lack of data to perform those tests).

21.5.4. The CAB shall raise a major non-conformity when the Client does not comply with any contractual requirement specified in part B, section 7.5 of this document.

21.6. Critical non-conformity

21.6.1. The CAB shall raise a critical non-conformity when either:

  1. Employees’ lives are evidently at risk
  2. Sale of non-ASC products as ASC Compliant Product
  3. Sale of Non-eligible Ingredients within a Segregation Production Model product
  4. The Ingredient Accounting System is demonstrated to be overdrawn at 2 consecutive audits.

21.6.2. The CAB shall require that critical non-conformities raised at initial audits shall be satisfactorily addressed by the Client:

  1. Prior to certification being granted
  2. Within three (3) months of the Detection Date or a full re-audit shall be required.

21.6.3. In the case of a critical non-conformity raised during the period of validity of a certificate:

  1. Auditors shall inform the CAB’s certification decision making entity about the detection of a critical non-conformity within 24 hours of detection
  2. The CAB shall suspend the certificate within 24 hours of the critical non-conformity being verified by the CABs decision making entity
  3. The Certificate Holder shall close the critical non-conformity within a maximum of three (3) months from the Detection Date
  4. The CAB shall withdraw the certificate if the critical non-conformity is not closed within the three (3) months period
    1. An extension of fourteen (14) days may be granted to close out the critical non-conformity in exceptional cases
    2. Extension of time and justification to close critical non-conformities shall be documented in the audit report.

21.6.4. The CAB shall conduct an on-site evaluation to close the critical non-conformity.

21.6.5. The decision, justification and conclusion of this closure shall be made clear in the audit report.

22.1. ASC audit reports shall follow the format and requirements of the ASC Audit Report Template.

22.2. Each audit report, draft and final, shall receive a technical review that conforms to the following criteria:

22.2.1. The review shall be conducted by an individual who was not involved in the audit and meets the following criteria:

  1. Is a qualified ASC Feed auditor or for any other animal feed manufacturing programme which includes environmental and social criteria, OR
  2. Has conducted technical reviews for other animal feed programmes which include environmental and social criteria.

22.2.2. The review shall be conducted before submitting the draft report to ASC for publishing.

22.2.3. The review shall focus on completeness of each section of the report and accuracy of required information.

22.2.4 Each non-conformity shall be reviewed for its grading justification based on the presented evidence.

22.3. The lead auditor shall address all issues of concern raised by the technical reviewer.

23.1. The CAB shall make certification decisions based on the evaluation of the audit evidence as to whether or not the applicant is in conformity with the requirements of the ASC Feed Standard and other applicable ASC Requirements

23.2. The CAB shall make a certification decision within six (6) months from the date of the audit closing meeting. (Non-conformity Detection Date).

23.2.1. The CAB shall conduct a full re-audit if above timeframe is exceeded.

23.2.1.1. The CAB shall inform the Client of the reason(s) for the re-audit.

23.3. The CAB shall not grant a positive certification decision if there is:

  1. An open major or critical non-conformity
  2. Any open and not extended minor non-conformity
  3. An open variance request.

23.4. The CAB shall consider all audit evidence when taking certification decisions.

  1. This shall include audit evidence gathered prior to, during and after an on-site audit
  2. This shall include audit evidence gathered as the result of information submitted by Stakeholders.

23.5. The CAB shall post all certification decisions, including changes in scope, suspensions, cancellation and withdrawals on the ASC database within fourteen (14) days of the decision.

23.6. The CAB shall retain the right to delay or postpone its decision on certification to take account of new or additional information, which, could affect the outcome of the certification decision.

23.6.1. Additional information includes but not limited to inputs provided by Stakeholders.

23.6.2. Any delays in the proposed timeline for the decision on certification due to the consideration of new or additional information shall be explained in the final report.

23.6.3. Delays of more than fourteen (14) days shall be publicly communicated no later than the planned date of determination, using an ASC provided template.

23.7. The CAB shall issue certificates with a maximum validity period of three (3) years from the certificate issue date.

23.8. Certificates, which are not registered and published on the ASC website, shall not be valid.

24.1. The CAB shall issue a certificate in English, which as well as the requirements in ISO 17065, Clause 7.7 shall contain:

24.1.1. The ASC logo, which shall be no smaller than the logo of the CAB.

24.1.2. The unique ASC Certificate Number generated by the ASC database.

  1. An issue number (for re-issued or renewed certificates).

24.1.3. The certificate issue date.

24.1.4. The date of expiry.

24.1.5. The name and address of the CAB.

24.1.6. The legal name and registered address of the Certificate Holder.

24.1.7. The name and physical address of sites included in a Multi-site UoC. 

24.1.8. A description of the scope of the certificate, including a general description of the type of products covered by the certificate.

24.1.9. Reference to the specific standard against which the Certificate Holder has been evaluated.

24.1.10 Confirmation of the Production Model in use: Segregation Production Model, Mass Balance Production Model or both.

24.1.11. ASC product which is sold under the Segregation Production Model shall use a distinct feed name and be listed on a schedule / annex to the certificate.

24.1.12. A description of the activities and facilities covered in the scope of the UoC.

24.1.13. A reference to the ASC database of registered certificates (specific URL to be announced) for the full list of products covered by the certificate.

24.1.14. A clear statement to the effect that the certificate shall remain the property of the issuing CAB, all copies or reproductions of the certificate shall be returned or destroyed if requested by the CAB.

24.1.15. The disclaimer stating: “The validity of this certificate shall be verified on www.asc-aqua.org”.

24.1.16. The CAB’s authorised signatory.

24.1.17. A disclaimer stating: “This certificate itself does not constitute evidence that a particular product supplied by the Certificate Holder is ASC compliant. Products offered, shipped or sold by the Certificate Holder can only be considered covered by the scope of this certificate when the required ASC claim is clearly stated on invoices and shipping documents”.

24.2. The CAB may issue certificates in other languages as well as the English version providing, they bear a disclaimer in at least 10-point font that the certificate is an unverified translation of the English certificate, and in case of differences the English version shall take precedence.

25.1. The CAB shall inform the Certificate Holder that:

25.1.1. It has the right to claim that, subject to the scope of its certificate, its operation is certified in accordance with the specific ASC standard.

25.1.2. It may make claims or label on its ASC Feed products as per the ASC Claim User Guide.

25.1.3. It is eligible to apply for an ASC Logo License Agreement.

25.1.4. It shall not make any claim about ASC certification on public materials without a valid ASC Licensing Agreement.

26.1. The CAB shall carry out surveillance audits to monitor the Certificate Holder’s continued conformance with the ASC Feed standard and other certification requirements as, follows:

26.1.1. At least annually with a window of three (3) months before or after the anniversary of the initial certification decision date.

26.1.2. No fewer than two (2) surveillance audits during the three (3) year certification cycle.

26.1.3. Two (2) surveillance audits shall not be carried out with less than six (6) months between them.

26.1.4. For social aspects, the CABs shall follow instructions included in the Social Audit Risk Assessment for surveillance audits (Annex H).

26.1.5. Surveillance reports shall conform to Annex C.

26.1.6. Stakeholder consultation may be undertaken during surveillance audits.

26.1.7. During the three-year term of the certificate, the CAB shall plan and conduct surveillance audits in such a way that all ASC standard indicators are audited at least once during those surveillance audits.

26.2 The CAB shall assess during surveillance audits:

26.2.1. All metric indicators, including mass balance calculations at every audit.

26.2.2. All indicators and requirements relating to Due Diligence.

26.2.3. Social indicators as prescribed by the Social Audit Risk Assessment Calculator (Annex H).

26.2.4. Implementation of corrective actions against outstanding non-conformities.

  1. The CAB shall verify closure of outstanding non-conformities and record the associated evidence within the report.

26.2.5. Legal and regulatory compliance including any changes that have occurred in legislation or regulations since the last audit.

26.2.6. Any complaints or allegations of non-conformity with ASC requirements.

26.2.7. The UoC’s traceability systems and requirements in section 16.

26.3. The CAB may conduct, additional to the two (2) surveillance audits, follow-up audits of Certificate Holders for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. The number and nature of complaints from the ASC, another CAB, a Stakeholder
  2. The number and nature of other issues that the CAB determines shall be investigated
  3. The reporting of open cases with the statutory authority related to fraudulent activities that may affect the ASC standard requirements.

26.4. Follow-up audits shall comply with the reporting requirements of surveillance audits in Annex C.

26.5. The CAB may limit the scope of a follow-up audit to specific topics relative to the reason of the follow-up audit.

26.6. The CAB may extend the scope of the follow-up audit or plan a full audit if there are doubts on the continued compliance against the ASC standards.

27.1. The CAB shall conduct unannounced surveillance audits on at least 5% of its single site Certificate Holders on an annual basis.

27.2. The CAB may conduct a regular surveillance audit without prior notice to the Client (unannounced audits).

27.3. In this case, the CAB shall upload the audit announcement of the surveillance audit to the ASC Database according to the timelines in section 9.1.1 and 9.1.2.

27.4. In the case of expedited unannounced audits, the CAB shall upload the Audit Announcement within 24 hours of the CAB decision.

27.5. The CAB shall develop a risk assessment to select the Certificate Holders that will receive an unannounced surveillance audit.

27.5.1. The risk assessment shall include, but not be limited to, the threats and thresholds detailed in Table 1.

27.5.2. If the majority of Clients are categorised as low risk, the CAB shall complete the minimum number of unannounced audits with low risk UoCs selected randomly, or when there is an opportunity to conduct them in conjunction with other audits.

27.6. The CAB shall notify unannounced audits to Certificate Holders no earlier than 48 hours before the audit.

27.6.1. Exceptions of five (5) days notification can be made for UoC’s which require complex logistics to access the site (i.e., rental or arrangement of boats, helicopters, planes).

27.7. The CAB shall plan a second unannounced audit if the Certificate Holder refuses the unannounced audit but has an acceptable justification (e.g., responsible staff is not available, poor weather conditions, etc.).

27.7.1. The CAB shall suspend the certificate if the Certificate Holder rejects for a second time, the opportunity to undergo the unannounced audit.

27.7.2. The CAB shall lift the suspension only when an unannounced audit is executed, and any major and critical non-conformities are closed.

Table 1. Threats evaluation matrix for unannounced audits

ThreatThreshold
Low RiskMedium RiskHigh Risk
Records management weakness.All required records are retained and organised as per legal requirements, applicable ASC standard and own regulations.Not all required records are found due to missing records, or they are not organised for retrieval.Required records are not retained or found.
Subcontractors including subcontracted sites and subcontracted services (related to the operations of the unit of certification).Either:1) No subcontracted sites or services are used in the unit of certification; or,2) Performance requirements for subcontracted sites and services are defined.The performance of all subcontracted sites and services meet the defined ASC requirements and are monitored by the Client.All records are retained by the Client .Records of the Client monitoring the performance of subcontracted sites and services are not complete.The performance of subcontracted sites and services is found to be in compliance with relevant ASC requirements.Records of monitoring the performance of subcontracted sites and services are incomplete.
Record of NCs raised by the ASC CAB and response.No open NC(s).Open minor NC(s).Any suspension of certificate within the past 3 years due to not complying with ASC Requirement(s).
Complaints resolution weakness.All complaints regarding the UoC have been responded to and resolved within timelinesComplaints regarding the UoC are addressed but not in a timely fashion as specified in complaint procedureEvidence is found that complaint responses and resolution related to the UoC is intentionally delayed or avoided, ORA complaint related to the UoC has escalated to legal actions.
Traceability weaknessOnly the Mass Balance Production Model is in Scope of Certification.  OR 
there is no non-conformity raised against the traceability requirements.
Segregation Production Model is in use but there is an effective tracking system implemented AND products are clearly identified, segregated and traceable as required in the traceability requirements.There is a non-conformity raised against the traceability requirements.
Country risk assessment scoreOperations located in a country that is above 62 on Transparency International’s latest list.Operations located in a country that is between 32 and 62 on Transparency International’s latest list.Operations located in a country that is 31 or less on Transparency International’s latest list.

28.1. The CAB shall start the re-certification audit planning with the Certificate Holder at the latest four (4) months before the expiry date of the existing certificate.

28.1.1. In case of potential discontinuation of the re-certification contract due to reasons on the CAB side, the CAB shall inform the Certificate Holder of its intention no later than four (4) months before the expiry date of the existing certificate.

28.2. Exact timing of the audit shall remain the responsibility of the CAB, in consultation with the Certificate Holder.

28.2.1. The CAB shall ensure that the audit and re-certification decision will be completed before the expiry date of the current certificate.

28.3. For re-certification audits the CAB shall:

28.3.1. Take into account the previous surveillance report, progress on non-conformity closure, and inputs from Stakeholders.

28.3.2. Consider and maintain records of any changes to the scope and operations of the UoC.

28.3.3. Follow the instructions included in the Social Audit Risk Assessment for re-certification audit (Annex H).

29.1. The CAB may extend the validity of a certificate once by up to three (3) months in cases where:

29.1.1. The CAB issued the current certificate, and

29.1.2. The Certificate Holder has submitted their application to the CAB for re-certification and the application has been accepted by the CAB at or before the current certificate expiry date.

29.2. The CAB may extend a certificate only for cases when:

29.2.1.There is no production on-site for the planned re-certification audit or

29.2.2. There are conditions outside the control of the CAB or the Certificate Holder that prevent the execution of the audit.

29.3. The CAB shall register the extended certificate details in the ASC database before the expiry date of the current certificate.

30.1. For Clients applying for an audit with a new CAB within twelve (12) months from the expiration date of its last certificate, the new CAB shall:

  1. Request that the preceding CAB provides a list of any non-conformities open at the time of certificate expiration
  2. The preceding CAB shall send these non-conformities to the succeeding CAB within fourteen (14) days upon request
  3. If the preceding CAB does not reply in the above required timeframe, the succeeding CAB may continue with the audit planning.

30.2. Principles for a transfer of a valid certificate

30.2.1. A decision to transfer a certificate shall be voluntary by the Certificate Holder.

30.2.2. ASC certificates shall only be transferred once within the period of validity of a certificate.

30.2.3. The CAB shall conduct a full audit if the certificate has been transferred more than once during the certification cycle.

30.2.4. ASC certificates shall not be transferred in any of the following situations:

  1. The certificate is suspended
  2. Critical and major non-conformities have not been closed
    1. All critical and major non-conformities shall be closed to the satisfaction of the preceding CAB before the certificate may be transferred
  3. The parties involved in the transfer cannot agree on the transfer date
  4. Relevant documentation about the Certificate Holder (all records, audit evidence, including reports and history of non-conformities, confidential annexes) is not being made available to the succeeding CAB by the preceding CAB.

30.3. Certificate Transfer procedure

30.3.1. Once the holder of a valid certificate has informed their current CAB that they are applying for a certificate transfer with another CAB, the transfer of the certificate shall be conducted following these steps:

30.3.1.1. The preceding CAB, in consultation with the Certificate Holder, shall transfer the required information related to the Certificate Holder which is not publicly available on the ASC website within fourteen (14) days upon receipt of request from the succeeding CAB:

  1. This shall include the status of open non-conformities, all evidence of closure of non-conformities detected in previous audits, and confidential annexes.

4.3.1.2. The succeeding CAB shall conduct a desk review of all the available information and decide either:

  1. To carry out a transfer audit within three (3) months after the agreed transfer date according to the requirements for a surveillance audit, or
  2. To follow the Certificate Holder’s surveillance audit planning
    1. As part of the desk review, the justification and rational of this decision shall be recorded.

30.3.1.3. The succeeding CAB shall propose a transfer date to the preceding CAB and the Certificate Holder. On this agreed transfer date, all rights and obligations for maintaining the certificate shall pass from the preceding to the succeeding CAB.

  1. Both CABs shall keep a record of the agreed date.

30.3.1.4. The succeeding CAB shall issue a new certificate on the agreed transfer date as follows:

  1. The expiry date of the succeeding certificate shall remain the same as the expiry date of the preceding certificate
  2. The scope of the succeeding certificate shall remain the same as the scope of the preceding certificate.

30.3.1.5. All open minor non-conformities and associated actions, together with timelines that are applicable to the preceding certificate, shall remain applicable to the succeeding certificate.

30.3.1.6. The results of any accreditation body assessment regarding the compliance of the Certificate Holder to certification requirements shall be applicable to the succeeding CAB.

30.3.1.7. The preceding and succeeding CABs shall update the ASC database according to the instructions issued by the ASC.

30.4. Certificate Transfer when the issuing CAB is losing or terminating its accreditation

30.4.1. The procedure in 30.2 and 30.3 above shall be followed with the following changes:

  1. Suspended certificates may be transferred
  2. Certificates with open major non-conformities may be transferred, and non-conformities shall be closed in accordance with requirements as set out in this document.

31.1. The CAB shall be responsible for determining whether or not a proposed change in scope requires an on-site audit. This includes:

  1. Physical change that impact working and living conditions
  2. Contractual reporting conditions described in clause 7.5.13 and 7.5.14 of this document
  3. Addition or change to the Production Model in operation, particularly the addition of the Segregation Production Model for ASC products where this Model has not been previously assessed
  4. Any other change to the certified operation determined by the CAB as requiring an on-site audit.

31.2. All on-site audits for changes of scope shall conform to Part B of this document.

31.3. If the CAB decides that an on-site audit is not required, the CAB shall record the justification for this decision. An updated certificate with the required changes to scope shall be issued by the CAB to the Certificate Holder and submitted to ASC.

31.4. The CAB shall register any changes in scope to an existing certificate in the ASC database within seven (7) days from the decision to change the scope.

32.1. The CAB may suspend, cancel or withdraw a certificate for a contractual or administrative reason, including breaches to the contract requirements in section 7.

32.2. The CAB shall withdraw a certificate if the Certificate Holder conducts any of the following activities:

  1. Suggests bribing any member of the CAB
  2. Presents forged documents as evidence to the CAB, ASC or appointed accreditation body
  3. Threatens any member of the CAB.

32.3. The CAB shall withdraw a certificate if the Certificate Holder is successfully prosecuted for:

  1. Carrying out fraudulent activities confirmed by the statutory authority.
  2. Child labour, slavery, human trafficking or forced labour

32.4. The CAB shall inform the ASC of any suspensions, withdrawals or cancellation of certificates within seven (7) days of the decision via the ASC database.

32.5. Suspended, withdrawn and cancelled certificates and related information will be updated on the ASC website.

32.6. The date of the suspension or withdrawal shall be the date the decision was taken by the CAB, whereas the date of cancellation shall be the date that the Certificate Holder informs the CAB and/or the ASC of its decision on cancellation.

32.6.1. If a certificate is suspended, withdrawn or cancelled, the CAB shall immediately instruct the Certificate Holder:

  1. Not to sell any product produced from the date of suspension, withdrawal or cancellation as ASC compliant or with the ASC logo, trademark or claim and in the case of suspension, advise that failure to follow these instructions will result in withdrawal of certification.
  2. To advise existing or potential customers in writing of the suspension, withdrawal or cancellation within four (4) days of the suspension, withdrawal or cancellation date
  3. Of the suspension deadline and the actions needed to lift the suspension.
  4. That, if found not following the above requirements in 32.6.1 a or b, the Certificate Holder shall not re-apply to the programme within thirty-six (36) months from the date of discovery or disclosure to the CAB.

32.7. The CAB shall set a deadline of a maximum of six (6) months for the Certificate Holder to complete the actions required to lift the suspension.

32.7.1. A suspension deadline shall not be extended.

32.7.2. Before lifting the suspension, the CAB shall verify that the Certificate Holder followed the CAB’s cessation of claims instruction and record this verification in the ASC Database.

32.8. If the actions are not satisfactorily completed by the Certificate Holder by the set deadline, the CAB shall withdraw the certificate.

32.9. The CAB shall record in the ASC database, the decision to lift a suspension within seven (7) days of the decision date.

33.1. CABs shall be responsible for keeping their data entries on the ASC database up to date.