The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), assurance manager and co-owner of the Rainforest Alliance/SAN certification system, filed a temporary suspension on the audit activities carried out by the certification body CyD Certification in all countries where it operates, as of March 13, 2017. SAN made this decision after completing a performance evaluation of the audit processes conducted by CyD, as well as the performance of registered auditors from last year and during February of this year.
Soon after the suspension was announced, CyD corrected anomalies related to certificate holders, such as incorrect location and product volume information. It also reviewed and corrected its use of the SAN digital audit report, and ensured that all required audit report public summaries were correctly uploaded to the SAN website. SAN quality assurance evaluators verified that these corrections were made.
From 2 through 6 May 2017, a SAN team carried out an on-site evaluation of CyD that including evaluating audit quality on two recently audited operations, as well as an assessment of CyD’s certification management system. The team found that the certification body had implemented all requested corrective actions. In addition, CyD had carried out an internal review of its management system, and the SAN team confirmed that it had made the improvements necessary to minimize the possibility of possible procedural lapses in the future.
Based on the recommendations of the SAN evaluation team, Rainforest Alliance and SAN have decided to lift CyD’s suspension, permitting it to operate as a fully authorized certification body for the RA/SAN certification system. As part of the removal of the suspension, CyD, with SAN’s support, has committed to seeking training on audit report writing and quality review. SAN will carry out quality reviews on 12 of CyD’s audit reports between now and the end of 2017, and provide CyD with feedback to improve quality.
As part of its work as an administrator of the certification system, SAN constantly monitors and evaluates the quality of work of accredited certification bodies in order to guarantee the integrity of the system.