Thorough and rigorous audits are essential to maintaining the integrity and credibility of any certification standard. So, to further strengthen and improve the quality and consistency of the R2 audit and certification process, SERI has launched an Audit Package Review Program to review audit packages (this includes the audit report and supporting evidence).
Establishing a program to review a sampling of audit packages for each of the 86 R2 auditors is a logical next step now that all have completed the rigorous R2 Auditor Training course introduced in 2016 and passed the final exam. Each Audit Package will be assessed so that auditor and CB performance can be measured. The SERI reviewer will be evaluating things such as:
- The auditor’s knowledge of the R2 Standard.
- The quality and relevance of evidence submitted to demonstrate the recycler’s conformance to R2 requirements.
- The effectiveness of the auditor in identifying nonconformances.
- The auditor’s knowledge and application of the Code of Practices and its advisories/clarifications – particularly as applied to scope statements, allowances, and documenting major non-conformances.
- The decision made by the Certifying Body (CB) to issue an R2 certificate or continuing registration based on the evidence provided by the auditor.
- The accuracy of the Certificates issued (correct company name, address, allowances, all multi-site and campus facilities listed, company information on SERI’s R2 Facilities Agreement matches the Certificate, etc.)
If an audit package is found to be inadequate or raises significant concerns, SERI will communicate this to the CB and may request additional audit packages for that auditor to review, and/or require the CB to take corrective actions. Trends and expectations will be clearly communicated to CBs so that they can improve their process for evaluating and qualifying auditors and other staff involved in the R2 program. If troubling patterns are identified at higher rates for particular CBs, SERI may also report this information to ANAB, the oversight body for CBs.
“This Audit Package Review program is a natural progression in our continuing effort to strengthen the R2 program,” says Sharada Rao, SERI’s Quality Director. “The goal is not to be punitive, but to educate and improve so that all R2 certified companies experience a level playing field during the audit process.”
Ultimately, improving the quality of the audit process will benefit R2 certified companies by raising the confidence level of their customers, thereby elevating the value of R2 certification in the marketplace.