New Assessment Manual 2018 requirements

These changes have been implemented as part of RJC’s ongoing review and update of the RJC certification system to ensure that the RJC continues to have robust audit requirements and strong management of our auditors. Ultimately this ensures consistent and accurate audits for the RJC and our members.


The main changes are outlined below:


Guidance for auditors on audit scope
We’ve added guidance to help our auditors decide which members’ facilities to visit during the audit (this is the audit scope). This guidance makes clearer – in the case of members who have multiple facilities (factories, stores, warehouses, etc) – the number and types of facilities that should be visited. It gives some flexibility by outlining the factors that auditors need to consider when selecting sites to visit. Please note that there may still be differences between the audit scope requirements of different audit firms. Don’t hesitate to ask your audit firm for their rationale if this is unclear to you. These guidelines can be found in section 8.7.
Corrective action plan requirements for members on all non-conformances
Corrective action plans are developed by members to outline how they’re going to close non-conformances that have been raised during their audit. Corrective action plans need to ensure the risk is closed, but also that it won’t happen again in future. For example, if chemicals are found during an audit without the right safety equipment to be used when handling it, the member needs to not only provide the right equipment (gloves, for example) but also implement a procedure (checklist perhaps) to ensure that the next time a delivery of this or another chemical is made, the right safety equipment is provided to staff to handle the chemical. The new requirements require members to have a corrective action plan for all non-conformances found, not just major ones. And they need to be approved by your auditor. These requirements can be found in section 5.6.
Requirement of members to close all non-conformances before your next audit
As we’ve said, it’s important for members to close all non-conformances and a Corrective Action Plan gives you the tools to do this. If a minor non-conformance is still open at the next re-certification audit (or mid-term review), and no steps have been taken to correct it, this might be escalated to a major non-conformance. Remember that a major non-conformance results in only 1 year of certification. These requirements can be found in section 5.6, table 8.
Requirement for members to provide previous audit reports to your auditor
Members must make available to the auditor any previous audit reports for any existing certifications. Also, should a member select a different audit firm to the one who conducted their last audit, the member must make available to the new audit firm a copy of their previous audit report, including any corrective action plan and any other associated documentation. These requirements can be found in section 3.3 and 6.2.
Harmonisation and recognition of existing certifications
Following the publication of the 2017 RJC Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard we have updated the list of standards and certifications in alignment with the CoC 2017 standards. In addition, we have added guidance for our auditors on how to verify members existing certifications – this includes reviewing any audit reports for these certifications. These requirements can be found in sections 3.2 and 3.3.

To read more about the RJC’s Assurance framework, please click here.

If you have any questions or enquiries, please click here to contact the RJC management team.

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