Complaints, claims and appeals

Although CUC is obliged to do its outmost to provide its Clients with correct services, it may happen that one or more of the service aspects are not to the Client’s satisfaction. In those cases the Client may decide to file an appeal, complaint or claim against CUC.

An appeal is a formal notification of disagreement with a (certification) decision within a certification process, or request by the provider of the object of conformity assessment to CUC for reconsideration of a decision it has made relating to that object.

A complaint is a formal expression of dissatisfaction, other than appeal, by any person or organisation regarding a CUC employee‘s behaviour, CUC methodology, or work executed under contractual responsibility of CUC by a critical office or subcontractor. Where the dissatisfaction relates to a (certification) decision within a certification process of CUC, this must be submitted as an appeal, not a complaint.

A claim is a formal request for a financial or legal settlement, not to be considered as complaints or appeals. Claims are resolved by the financial and / or legal departments. Elements crucial to CUC’s procedures, are mentioned in this section.
Appeal
Clients wishing to submit an appeal to CUC against a (certification) decision, or request to reconsider a (certification) decision it has made, are requested to specify the nature of the appeal as detailed as possible (“who, what, where, when”), to describe the subject matter clearly and to provide any objective evidence to support each element or aspect of the appeal, if applicable.
An appeal must be submitted in writing. CUC will only accept appeals in English or Dutch, unless otherwise agreed in writing. Appeals must be received by CUC within 6 (six) weeks after the (certification) decision was issued and must be submitted to the office of CUC in the Netherlands. If the Client fails to do so, or if the appeal is insufficiently substantiated or incomplete, CUC may reject the appeal and will not assume responsibility for such an appeal. CUC will inform the appellant of the same.

CUC will appoint two members of staff to investigate the appeal. All personnel engaged in the appeals-handling process, including those in review, approval and decision-making, must be different from those who carried out the assessment and made the certification decision. Any member of staff, including those acting in a managerial capacity, who have provided consultancy for the Client in question, or have been employed by that Client, within two years prior to submission of the appeal, shall not be involved in the review or approval of the resolution of the appeal for that Client.

CUC will endeavour to seek a timely resolution of the appeal and will take any subsequent action needed to resolve the appeal. It will give the appellant formal notice of the outcome and the end of the appeals handling process and the motivation of the decision in writing within 3 (three) months after receipt of the appeal. CUC will record the appeal, its outcome and any action undertaken to resolve it, including any established correction and corrective action.

Submission, investigation and decision on appeals may under no circumstances result in discriminatory actions against the appellant.

Complaint
Clients wishing to submit a complaint to CUC are requested to specify the nature of the complaint as detailed as possible (“who, what, where, when”), to describe the subject matter clearly and to provide any objective evidence to support each element or aspect of the complaint, if applicable.

In order to avoid misinterpretation and the appearance of self-favouritism from the side of CUC, complaints must always be submitted in writing. Only complaints in English or Dutch will be accepted, unless otherwise agreed in writing. Complaints must be received by CUC within 6 (six) weeks after the event that gave rise to the complaint at the applicable office of CUC. Complaints that are insufficiently substantiated or incomplete may be deemed inadmissible by CUC and rejected. CUC will inform the complainant of the same.

CUC will decide upon the admissibility of the complaint. CUC will appoint two members of staff to investigate the complaint. All personnel engaged in the complaints handling process, including those in review, approval and decision making, shall be different from those who carried out the assessment and made the certification decision. Any member of staff, including those acting in a managerial capacity, who have provided consultancy for the Client in question, or been employed by that Client, within two years prior to submission of the complaint, shall not be involved in the review or approval of the resolution of the complaint for that Client.

The appointed members of staff will gather and verify all necessary information (as far as possible), including a root cause analysis, and propose how to proceed, including corrections and corrective actions where applicable. CUC will endeavour to seek a timely resolution of the complaint and will take any subsequent action needed to resolve the complaint. If the complaint relates to a Client certified for a management system, examination of the complaint must also consider the effectiveness of the certified management system.

CUC will endeavour to seek a timely resolution of the complaint and will take any subsequent action needed to resolve the complaint. CUC will give the complainant formal notice of the outcome and the end of the complaint handling process and the motivation of the decision in writing within 3 (three) months after receipt of the complaint. CUC will record the complaint, its outcome and any action undertaken to resolve it in ICU under unique identification, including any established correction and corrective action.

Complaints about a certified Client that have passed through the complaints handling process must be addressed to that certified Client by CUC within an appropriate timeframe. If this is requested by the complainant, the anonymity of the complainant must be retained. And CUC must determine, together with the certified Client and the complainant, whether and, if so to what extent, the subject of the complaint and its resolution will be made public.
Submission, investigation and decision on complaints may under no circumstances result in discriminatory actions against the complainant.

If CUC decides and substantiates that CUC or any of its employees, officers, agents or subcontractors was not to be blamed to the extent specified in the complaint, all costs and expenses may be charged to the complainant.
CUC will endeavour to settle any complaint amicably. Where no amicable settlement is reached, all disputes which may arise between CUC and the Client shall be brought before the competent court of jurisdiction in the Netherlands, which shall have exclusive jurisdiction on the matter, unless the parties agree in writing between themselves upon another competent court.

Claims
The liability CUC in respect of any claims for loss, damage or expense of whatsoever nature and howsoever arising in respect of any breach of contract and/or any failure to exercise due skill and care by CUC shall in no circumstances exceed a total aggregate sum equal to 10 (ten) times the amount of the fee or commission payable for the specific services required under the applicable contract with CUC. CUC will not be held liable for any claims for indirect or consequential loss including loss of profit and/or loss of future business and/or loss of production and/or cancellation of contracts entered into by the Client.
The Client shall hold CUC harmless and shall indemnify CUC as a result of damages suffered by CUC due to the Client not observing the standard’s requirements and/or national and international governmental laws and regulations.