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ASI conducted our fifth Client Satisfaction Survey in January, seeking input from scheme owners, conformity assessment bodies (CABs) and stakeholders. The purpose of the survey is clear for ASI – we seek input to improve our services and relationships. Download the Executive Summary of the report here.

With continual improvement in the forefront of our minds, we have linked the survey input directly to our business strategy. The voices of our clients inform the context and prioritization of many of our high-level projects, including cost structure, procedure development and training. There were some issues that stood out in the feedback from our clients, which we address below with some current and planned projects:

 

High & Unpredictable Costs

ASI has drafted several models for an Accreditation Flat Fee for the MSC program, which are in the analysis phase. Based on feedback from MSC and CABs, we will decide if and how the flat fee will be rolled out in the MSC program. Depending on the outcomes of this pilot project, the Flat Fee model could potentially be integrated into other accreditation programs in 2018.

Assessors’ Conflict of Interest

A new documented procedure on Conflict of Interest (CoI) Management has been drafted and is pending approval. CoI management has also been linked with a revised procedure for identifying and managing impartiality risks, such as CoI. The procedure is internal and will be implemented by June 2017.

ASI Sampling Approach

The ASI Risk Rating was introduced in Head Office assessments in 2016, and is being further applied and refined in 2017. The outcomes of the Risk Rating have been incorporated into CAB Performance Reviews, which encompass incidents, findings and organizational changes and inform sampling. CAB Performance Reviews will be shared with FSC CABs by the end of this month, and with other programs in the coming months. ASI is also considering a multi-accreditation sampling approach for 2018.

Assessor Competence & Style

ASI collects CAB Feedback after each assessment, which is continually screened by the Competence Manager. Critical feedback leads to follow up actions and direct communication with the CAB. When feedback concerns assessment style or assessor attitude, actions like personal coaching or additional mentoring and extra peer monitoring have been taken.

Closing Non-conformities

A pilot project was launched at the end of 2016 for the ASC, FSC and MSC accreditation programs, to change the approach to writing and managing findings, due to last-minute CAB responses, missed ASI deadlines and a perception of inconsistency. CAB guidance has been created to make non-conformity (NC) closing clearer and more consistent, and a company-wide approach to centralized NC handling is in the implementation phase.

Transparency & Data

ASI publishes public summary reports of assessments and complaints, and announces assessments to gather stakeholder input. ASI will release its new data-driven website this summer, with real-time data on CABs and ASI assessments. We are also taking a big step into audit data management, with the real-time audit management platform for forest management (FM), currently in the testing phase. With all FSC FM audit reports in one place following a standardized format, the platform helps identify anomalies in performance and enables efficient decision making.

 

Your feedback gives us guidance and insight, and informs new projects as well as our daily work. We would like to express our sincere thanks to all participants in the survey. Understanding our work from your perspective is integral to our business.

We welcome you to continue to share feedback with us any time via asi-info@accreditation-services.com.