Complaints and Procedures

CIF is required to operate good governance of all of its public facing activities as set out below.

Validation & Complaint Handling

In order for the Code Self-Certification process to be credible and trusted it needs to have an appropriate enforcement model to challenge any false submissions. These validations will be based upon either a random audit, external complaint or a whistle blower alert. As such CIF will manage an audit process (directly or through accredited 3rd parties) and will have the capability and authority to enforce removal of the Certification Mark from organisations deemed not to have complied with the Code. Independent Certification will only be enabled through bodies approved and accredited by CIF and as such the process of carrying out an Independent Certification will automatically imbue the participant with a higher degree of trust than is achieved through Self-Certification.

Rights of Self-Certification Participants

If an external complaint or whistle blower statement is made about a self-certified participant that questions the validity of their declaration, the participant will be allowed to know the nature of the complaint and to provide any evidence to uphold their position as self-certified to the Code. CIF will operate a Compliance Committee to oversee complaints and decide on their validity. In the event that the CIF Compliance Committee upholds the complaint, the self-certified participant shall have the ability to challenge the findings by appeal to the CIF Governing Board. The opinion of the CIF Governance Board is final and no further route of appeal is available.

In the event of withdrawal of the Certification Mark, no fees will be returned. The organisation will also be removed from the CIF register of Self-Certifications and may be required to repay audit costs incurred to validate the claims.

The CIF Governance Board will acknowledge all complaints and reserve the right to publish opinions publicly. Only the CIF Governance Board or its nominated representative/s will approve any public comment on complaints.

Publishing of Information

CIF will produce advice, white papers and press releases as well as maintain a web site relating to the activities of CIF, best practices and the external directory of self-certified Code participants. All information published should be properly accredited to third party authors and data sources where relevant and should not knowingly infringe any intellectual property rights or contain false statements.