ASQE seeks to attain the highest degree of public confidence and trust in rendering unbiased services. ASQE fully acknowledges the importance of impartiality in carrying out its certification body activities, which are governed by the requirements of the International Standard ISO/IEC 17024. ASQE staff, volunteers, and contractors commit to adhere to the following policies:
- ASQE shall act impartially and the policies and procedures for certification of persons shall be fair among all applicants, candidates, and certified persons;
- ASQE shall not restrict certification on the grounds of undue financial or other limiting conditions, such as membership of an association or group;
- ASQE shall be responsible for the impartiality of its certifications and shall not allow commercial, financial, or other pressures to compromise impartiality;
- ASQE shall not suggest or imply that certification would be simpler, easier, or less expensive if ASQE training services were used;
- ASQE does not offer training as part of a certification;
- ASQE shall base all decisions on objective evidence obtained through an effective certification process and established criteria. Any decisions made shall not be influenced by other interests or parties;
- ASQE’s corporate policies and practices ensure that the highest standards of integrity are applied to all certification activities;
- ASQE’s personnel shall not be influenced by financial, commercial, or other pressures when conducting certification activities, and will take action to address any situation that would affect impartiality. Personnel are required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest in a Declaration Form;
- ASQE shall not use personnel with an actual or potential conflict of interest and shall ensure that its personnel are free from commercial, financial, or other pressures that might affect their judgement;
- ASQE’s personnel taking part in certification and inspection activities, both internal and external, shall act impartially when executing their responsibilities;
- ASQE shall identify threats to its impartiality on an ongoing basis. This includes threats that arise from its activities, its related bodies, its relationships, or the relationships of its personnel;
- ASQE shall enter into legally enforceable agreements with its clients and retain all authority and responsibility for certification and inspection activities, decisions, and statements
ASQE’s management system has the necessary procedures, safeguards, and tools to ensure that these policies are strictly upheld and enforced.
ASQE recognizes the following threats to impartiality:
- a. Self-interest threats - threats that arise from a person or body acting in its own interest to benefit itself
- b. Self-review threats - threats arising from a person reviewing the work that they have conducted themselves
- c. Familiarity threats - threats that arise from a person being familiar with or trusting of another person, e.g. an examiner or certification body personnel developing a relationship with a candidate that affects the ability to reach an objective judgment
- d. Intimidation threats - threats that prevent a certification body or its personnel from acting objectively due to fear of a candidate or other interested party
- e. Financial threats - the source of revenue for a certification body can be a threat to impartiality
ASQE shall identify threats to its impartiality on an ongoing basis. This shall include threats that arise from its activities, from its related bodies, from its relationships, or from the relationships of its personnel. The management team conducts an annual risk assessment on impartiality and conflict of interest and is responsible for ensuring that threats to impartiality and conflict of interest are reviewed regularly.
Conflict of interest and objectivity is addressed further through binding agreements to ensure that all activities undertaken throughout the certification process are conducted in an independent and impartial manner.
ASQE has created a Certification Council to ensure balanced involvement of interested parties. The certification council members fairly and equitably represent the interests of all parties and are responsible for the development of the certification exams. This includes providing input and insight into the certification decisions, types of examination, processes and procedures regarding certification, recertification, surveillance activities and other related matters.
To ensure that this commitment is backed up by positive actions, we maintain a Management System in accordance with ISO 17024 international standard. We review and improve the effectiveness of this system on a continual basis.