So, what does Certificate Maintenance involve?
The BBA runs 2 types of maintenance activities that ensure the ongoing relevance of that certificate in the market: surveillance and 3-year reviews.
- When: Twice a year, for the lifecycle of that certificate
- What: Production check at the manufacturing site for the Certificate holder (or their appointed manufacturer’s) product.
Surveillance is a production check of the manufacturing site, and forms part of an ongoing a confidential quality plan agreed between the certificate holder and the BBA. This confirms that all the main ingredients of that product, the quality control operated on these ingredients, the ongoing process used in production of that product, quality checks along the way, and checks on the final product are intact. Every product that is certified, is accompanied by a quality plan that follows the lifecycle of that certificate. The quality plan drives the scheduled surveillance for that product.
Surveillance visits occur twice a year by BBA Assessors, for as long as that certificate is in situ. Surveillance visits also aim to confirm consistency in how customers deal with complaints, how they package that particular certified product (for example, is the BBA certification logo accurately displayed etc.) and allows auditors are enabled to confirm that the certified product is still compliant to the original certification criteria. During these surveillance visits, the BBA assessors will raise awareness of anything that needs reviewing, or issues that need to be addressed with the certificate holder.
Our Products Approval Certification team assesses any variations and then updates the quality plan accordingly. Of course, things change over time; efficiencies are developed, product raw materials change etc, which could alter the outcome of a surveillance audit; however we always encourage working with our certificate holders to handle changes when they occur, and require Certificate holders letting us know of planned changes, in advance, to allows us to assess and ensure that they have no detrimental effect on the certified product’s performance and to reduce any potential down-time later on; giving you a clearer picture of any potential knock-on effects of the changes.
For example: You may change the colour of a product. On the surface, it may not seem to be a big issue at all. However, looking at the detail, you may have decided to use a different colour pigment, which has different colour stability. Which means that, where previously, the product was suitable for a particular purpose, a seemingly small thing like a colour change, may now render that product unsuitable, and would therefore require re-assessment.
When: Every 3-years from the date of certificate issue, for the lifecycle of that certificate,
What: A compulsory technical check of the certificate
A Certificate Review is a technical check of the issued certificate. The BBA Project Managers use a checklist of criteria to ensure that we’ve checked a wide range of things around the product itself (for example surveillance variation reports, complaints raised relating to the certified product, any references of critical changes to the product and production, any new tests conducted on the certified product, and to ultimately validate that the product being sold will perform as described in the BBA Certificate. . Reviews take place every 3-years, after the certificate is issued, for the lifecycle of that certificate. During this process, our assessors will also check all relevant literature and manuals, to ensure that they align with the Certificate and that no inconsistencies exist. During this process, if issues are found, our team will try to resolve these with the certificate holder directly, or in more serious cases, suspend and , if necessary, withdraw the certificate. The Project Manager responsible for the Review will determine the status of the Certificate, and confirm their recommendations from the following:
– Confirmation that the certificate should remain valid, without revision
– Confirmation that the certificate requires a non-technical re-issue
– Confirmation that the certificate requires technical re-issue
– Advisory that the certificate requires limited validity to allow issues to be addressed
– Advisory of certificate suspension
– Advisory of certificate withdrawal