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Corporate Policies

Integrity In All Aspects of Our Business

SCS Global Services corporate policies are consistent with our vision and mission, and are in conformance with independent accreditation requirements. We are firmly committed to conducting business and providing services in a manner that upholds the highest standards of ethics and integrity. This commitment permeates every aspect of our company operations.

  • Conducting Business. SCS is incorporated as a California Benefit Corporation, and is independently certified by B Lab as a B Corporation.
  • Providing Services. SCS acts as a neutral third-party. Each of our service areas has been selected and developed in order to provide independent recognition of best social and environmental practices that are helping to guide the private and public sectors on the path of sustainable development. Since our founding in 1984, we have worked to raise the level of environmental literacy in the area of environmental marketing claims, and to prevent greenwashing.
  • Standards Development. Finally, we are working to develop standards that embody the highest levels of scientific integrity, and provide strong ethical and environmental accountability.

Find out what you need to know about our corporate policies pertaining to delivery of our third-party certification and assessment services, service fees and refunds, and read our Quality policy.

Services

Delivery of our third-party assessment services may involve one or more of the following activities:

  • initial conformity assessment and/or testing to ensure that representative procedures and samples meet the requirements of relevant program protocols, guidelines or standards;
  • surveillance auditing and/or testing to ensure continued compliance with the requirements of the relevant program protocols, guidelines or standards; and
  • issuance of certificates of compliance and/or reports of verification/validation.

For these services, SCS Global Services will inform the client in writing of the expected date of commencement of assessment visits, unless the client has agreed in advance to waive such notice as a requisite of the specific program (e.g., when unannounced audits may be deemed necessary to assess compliance).

SCS will also provide, in advance, a provisional timetable for completion of the assessment services. SCS will make every effort to keep the client informed of progress in accordance with the timetable provided. However, all timetables are contingent upon the client providing requisite and relevant information on a timely basis.

Upon completion of the assessment service(s), SCS will prepare and submit to the client a report of the assessment, indicating whether or not a recommendation to issue a certificate, opinion, or statement (as applicable) is to be made. This report will be made available to the client for review in draft form. The decision to issue a certificate (or verification/validation opinion/statement) is at the sole discretion of SCS.

Any additional program-specific assessment requisites and processes will be outlined in the SCS Assessment Services Agreement entered into with all clients, the program specific SCS Labeling and Language Guide, and other specific instructions that may be developed and disseminated to clients by SCS or the relevant certification scheme holder.

Quality System

The SCS Global Services quality management system ("Quality System") is a mechanism for developing, implementing and maintaining key quality processes associated with all of our services. It is a structure that each employee is responsible for learning and helping to maintain. Quality management systems provide for delivery of ever-improving value to clients, improve overall organizational effectiveness and capabilities, and drive organizational and personal learning.

As an assurance to our clients, SCS endeavors to achieve compliance with international standards for all of the programs that it offers, where such international standards exist. Therefore, SCS implements a quality management system that complies with standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), specifically, ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996 and ISO 14065:2007.

Quality Policy

SCS Global Services will provide certification, verification, validation and inspection services (collectively, “auditing services”) as well as consulting services* across a broad spectrum of sectors around the globe, with professional and technical rigor and in a manner that is consistently responsive to the expectations of our clients and applicable accreditation bodies. SCS’ quality management system will serve as a foundation for continuous improvement of our auditing services and our management processes. SCS Global Services is committed to customer focus, technical excellence, impartiality and integrity of the services we provide, all in the context of realizing a profitable business.

* In compliance with broadly accepted rules, SCS Global does not provide consulting and certification services to the same client in relation with the same issue.

Fees and Refunds

Quoted Fees in Proposals and Work Orders

Fees are quoted to the client in the form of a Proposal or Work Order. Generally, fees are quoted on a time and materials basis, and consist of a totalled amount that covers all stages leading to completion of the service, submission of the assessment report, and issuance of a certificate if applicable and warranted. The service delivery method is also specified in the Proposal or Work Order.

Invoices

Depending on the service, clients may be billed in full or in increments as work is completed. Invoice fees are based on the rates applicable at the time of providing a Proposal or Work Order. Estimated timelines for service delivery is, in large part but not exclusively, client-driven and will be provided when relevant information necessary for planning and executing the assessment is made available by the client. All invoices are payable within 30 days of the date of each invoice. SCS reserves the right to cease or suspend all work, and suspend or withdraw certificates or statements for a client who fails to duly pay an invoice.

Additional Fees

SCS may increase its charges if the client's instructions and/or information are found to be incongruent with the initial details supplied for the purpose of obtaining a fee quotation. Applicants and certificate holders will be notified of any increase in fees.

Additional fees will be charged for services that are not included in the agreed-upon Proposal or Work Order and for special surveillance visits required due to alleged or identified non-conformances. Such additional fees may be associated with costs resulting from, for example:

  • repeat of any part, or all, of the assessment service(s) due to the client's procedures being non-compliant;
  • additional work due to suspension, termination, withdrawal and/or reinstatement of a certificate;
  • reassessment due to changes in the scope, products or management systems of the client;
  • compliance with any subpoena for documents or testimony relating to work performed by SCS; or
  • investigation of a duly submitted complaint against the certificate holder.

Invoices for additional work will be issued upon completion of the relevant task.

No Link between Assessment Service or Fees Paid and Final Assessment Decision

Performance of the service by SCS or payment of a fee is in no way predictive of, and does not guarantee, that a certification, verification or validation will be granted.

Refund Policy

Refunds are provided in the case of cancellation by either party of services for which payment has been received by SCS but before services have been rendered. In the case of cancellation by either party of services after services have been rendered but before services have been completed, a partial refund will be provided to reflect that portion of the work remaining to be completed on a time and materials basis. Refunds will not be given for completed assessments that do not result in certification.

Responsibilities

Agreement

The rights and responsibilities of SCS and its clients are delineated in the SCS Assessment Services Agreement.

Labeling and Language Guide

Information about the authorized use of the SCS Global Services name and SCS-related certification marks, logos and trademarks are described in program-specific SCS Labeling and Language Guide.

PT SCS Corporate Policies