VCA Europe S.r.l. ISO9001 Terms and Conditions

This page was last updated on 1st February 2024


As a Certification Body issuing certificates bearing the Accredia Mark, VCA Europe S.r.l. is required to ensure that the organisation is aware of and respects certain conditions of certification. The International Standard document defining these conditions is ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015. Rules, together with interpretations agreed and applied by signatories to the IAF (International Accreditation Forum). This document identifies conditions applicable to holders of a certificate issued by VCA Europe S.r.l. and seeks to make the organisation aware of their importance with regards to maintaining certification.

Certification will be granted subject to the client’s acceptance and agreeing to the following conditions:

  1. Maintain an effective management system including measures to take satisfactory, timely and effective corrective action in respect of any non-conformance reports issued by VCA Europe S.r.l. and any corrective actions are implemented in accordance with the agreed plan. Be subject to additional visits, when non-conformance reports are issued and need verification or when inadequate corrective actions to non-conformances found, or where other management system concerns are evident with regards to the standard or rules.
  2. Documentation reviews will be conducted off-site. The client shall complete an application form, a client profile sheet, and submit documentation including the management system manual, policies and top-level procedures, and process definition and interaction documents, to VCA Europe S.r.l. 4 weeks in advance of the first audit or recertification audit.
  3. The client will be subject to surveillance / inspection visits in accordance with the criteria, frequency and duration based on the applicable rules for management system certification / process audit table, with access to areas, documents and personnel, including necessary verification activities and acceptance of initiation of decertification process when non-conformances are identified and not satisfactorily addressed. The amount of time required for the auditing is defined as per document IAF MD 5 ‘Determination of Audit Time of Quality, Environmental, and Occupational Health & Safety Management System’.
  4. In determining the audit time VCA Europe S.r.l. has used the following criteria: the requirements of the management system standard ISO9001, complexity of client and management system, technology and regulatory context, any outsourcing of any activities included in the scope of the management systems, the results of any prior audits, size and number of sites, their geographical locations and multi-site considerations, the risks associated with the products, processes or activities of the organisation and whether audits are combined, jointed or integrated (ISO/IEC TS 17023:2013 is used as guidance to establish duration of management systems audit).
  5. In instances where a Major Nonconformity (Nonconformities) has/have been identified, a special audit will occur within the appropriate timescale to verify corrective action has been effectively implemented. This special audit will be charged at a minimum of 1 audit day. In instances where four or more documented minor nonconformities are raised during any single audit, the client site shall be subjected to an additional half day, at a minimum, to be added to the next scheduled audit in order to verify the effectiveness of corrective actions taken to address the root cause(s) of nonconformity(ies). This additional time will be invoiced to the client at the agreed audit day rate at time of the audit. This will be included within the audit plan prior to the commencement of the audit.
  6. The client authorises VCA Europe S.r.l. to provide any audit / inspection reports to Accredia on request. The client agrees to authorize any and all on-site witnessed audit activities, requested in advance, by Accredia or VCA Europe S.r.l. as part of the auditor competency and accreditation/recognition process.
  7. The client must maintain a record of complaints received, incidents, investigations, compliance violations and court proceedings that relate to the scope of certification sought. The client agrees to notify VCA Europe S.r.l. as soon as possible in the event there is a breach that may impact the validity of the certification.
  8. The client must have a process to ensure that any information supplied to VCA Europe S.r.l. is kept up-to-date and inform VCA Europe S.r.l., in writing, of: any intention to implement significant changes to the management structure, the legal commercial or ownership status, the contact address or certified site location, the quality system, or operational or manufacturing methods affecting the validity of the VCA Europe S.r.l. certification or scope.
  9. The client must only claim VCA Europe S.r.l. certification with respect to the scope of activities covered by your certification and do not misuse the certificate or audit / inspection reports, make any statement that brings VCA Europe S.r.l. into disrepute or be misleading with regard to the scope of certification. These marks must not be used to claim certification of any products.
  10. The client must only use the VCA Europe S.r.l. Certification Mark and associated Accredia Mark in accordance with the guidelines provided with certification and any intention of use should be notified to VCA Europe S.r.l.. The client must refer to document RG- 09 ‘Regulation for the Use of the Accredia Mark’ available to download from the Accredia website.
  11. The client must cease to use the certification and related marks immediately when notified in writing by VCA Europe S.r.l. that the certification has been withdrawn, is cancelled or not renewed at the end of each certification period. The client must notify all customers that VCA Europe S.r.l. certification no longer applies. Any old certificates (expired) are not to be displayed and shall be destroyed. The client must remove any reference to certification by VCA Europe S.r.l. from any publications, advertising material or websites immediately upon notification.
  12. The client accepts that VCA Europe S.r.l. may use staff or sub-contracted auditors for the delivery of management system certification activities.
  13. Certification by VCA Europe S.r.l. in no way implies that any product, service or management system is approved by Accredia.
  14. VCA Europe S.r.l. will review conformity with the certification conditions at the time of routine surveillance / inspection and during normal review activities (in exceptional circumstances they may also need to communicate or visit at other times). A persistent failure to respect these certification conditions will lead to the withdrawal of certification;
  15. VCA Europe S.r.l. is responsible to define and amend a customer’s sampling plan when and where necessary;
  16. Consultants to the client are permitted to be physically present at the client’s site during the audit, but must not participate in any way by phone, email, teleconference or other means, in the audit process.
  17. The client agrees and understands that sometimes translation is necessary in the audit process. VCA Europe S.r.l. will attempt to use local auditors with ability to speak the local language, but this is not always possible. If translation is necessary in the auditing or reporting processes, VCA Europe S.r.l. will arrange these services, any and all associated costs/expenses will be the responsibility of the client.
  18. Any and all local taxes / withholding fees are to be covered by the client. The quotation is to be considered a fee schedule for audit and certification time only, exclusive of these types of charges. The fees listed on the quotation are the fees expected to be received by VCA Europe S.r.l. for delivery of said services. The client agrees to pay VCA Europe S.r.l. the full amount of any invoices in accordance with this proposal document.
  19. Associated transportation, hotels and subsistence costs (incl. travel time) are not included in the quotation, unless otherwise specified and will be charged where necessary for all expenses incurred as part of the audit process. Travel and subsistence expenses include, but are not limited to, airfares, hotel charges, car rentals, tolls, work permits, etc. If meals are provided to the auditors, the client will not be invoiced. T&S expenses are charged at cost except mileage, charged at 0.6 €/km.
  20. VCA Europe S.r.l. will plan activities using the best located staff. If not possible, VCA Europe S.r.l. commits to maintain travel and subsistence costs to the minimum.
  21. Customers will usually be invoiced after completion of work, but VCA Europe S.r.l. reserves the right to invoice during the job or in instalments, especially, but not only, if substantial costs are incurred.
  22. In case planned work is cancelled, a cancellation fee of 100€/Job Number might be charged in addition to the following:
    a. notice received more than 30 days in advance: all non-refundable expenses VCA Europe S.r.l. might have covered (e.g. flights, hotels, …);
    b. notice received between 30 and 15 days in advance: all non-refundable expenses VCA Europe S.r.l. might have covered, in addition to 25% of Auditor audit time;
    c. notice received between 15 and 5 days in advance: all non-refundable expenses VCA Europe S.r.l. might have covered, in addition to 50% of Auditor audit time;
    d. notice received less than 5 days in advance: all non-refundable expenses VCA Europe S.r.l. might have covered, in addition to 100% of Auditor audit time.
    In case planned work is postponed, VCA Europe S.r.l. might charge all non-refundable expenses as indicated above.
  23. If the client chooses to transfer their ISO certification to another certification body, the client will be liable to pay VCA Europe S.r.l. 30% of any outstanding audit days on the current audit cycle.
  24. VCA Europe S.r.l. is obliged to issue, transmit, manage and store invoices in electronic format. If customers are not subject to this obligation, VCA Europe S.r.l. will send a copy of the invoice to the invoicing contact specified on the ‘Customer Account Application Form’. If the client needs to receive invoices in a different way, please contact: A shipment fee might be charged if the client requires the invoice to be sent via post.
  25. Should the client have particular invoicing needs (e.g. Purchase Order number on the VCA Europe S.r.l. invoice) please contact:
  26. Payment will usually be required by bank transfer within 30 days of invoicing; however, clients will be subject to credit checking and may be asked to pay in advance. If this is the case, VCA Europe S.r.l. will inform the client and request payment, which must be received before any activity is performed.
  27. Should invoices remain unpaid after due date, VCA Europe S.r.l. reserves the right to refuse to undertake further work until payment is received, including payment in advance for subsequent work.
  28. If the client experiences difficulties in making payments, VCA Europe S.r.l. might decide to allow payment in instalments in exceptional cases for completed work. The Finance department will have to confirm in writing that payment in instalments has been granted. Please note that subsequent work will have to be paid for upfront. Please contact
  29. Where clients and other stakeholders have concerns with regards to the services provided by VCA Europe S.r.l., they can raise them by following the published procedure. Further information on how to make a complaint can be found on the relevant page of the VCA website:
  30. Breach of any clause within these Terms and Conditions of Certification may constitute and result in VCA Europe S.r.l. issuing a Major Nonconformity to the client or withdrawal of certification.

Non Conformance (NC) Closure Policy

When certification holders undergo an ISO9001 certification audit, findings may be raised under the following categories:

  1. Major NC: A Major NC should be levied where the auditor has evidence of frequent systemic breakdown resulting in complete or partial absence of the manufacturers quality management system preventing the certification holder from operating within the ISO9001 requirements. A Major NC should be raised where the certification holder fails to detect the existence of the issue and the impact it has on the final customer.
  2. Minor NC: A minor NC should be levied where there are minor lapses in requirements, such that the problem is easily detected, rarely occurs and does not have an adverse effect on the processes and/or operations of the business.
  3. Opportunity for improvement (OFI): An OFI can be given where the finding does not relate to lapses in requirements, but where improvements in the processes may benefit the certification holder.

The auditor is required to agree with the certification holder a relevant closure period for the NCs levied and set this date with the certification holder during the closing meeting.

ISO9001 certification cannot be granted if major NCs are raised during an audit. When minor NCs are levied and the certification holder shows effective evidence of the related corrective action within the agreed timeframe, certification may be granted.

Software and Information Technology Agreement

This agreement serves to protect both VCA Europe S.r.l. and their client’s interests by providing specific terms and conditions in relation to the use of VCA Europe S.r.l.’s applications, IT systems and IT infrastructure (all together and any part of them being the “IT”) which the organisation agrees to abide by. It is a condition of VCA Europe S.r.l. permitting access to the IT that the organisation and its representatives comply at all times with this agreement.

Failure to comply with any of the terms of this agreement shall permit VCA Europe S.r.l. to suspend or terminate the organisation’s use of one or more of VCA Europe S.r.l.’s IT applications, including but not limited to, file upload or download services at any time. The organisation and any representatives of said organisation, who have access to any of the IT applications, comply with the following terms:

  1. Any breach, or suspected breach, of security in relation to the use of any of the IT must be reported by the organisation, to VCA Europe S.r.l., at the earliest possible time and within 48 hours of its discovery.
  2. All users of VCA Europe S.r.l.’s IT should ensure that equipment is locked if left unattended for any period of time.
  3. Users of VCA Europe S.r.l.’s IT will not attempt to circumvent any security controls, determine or identify passwords or breach VCA Europe S.r.l.’s access control systems, whether belonging to VCA Europe S.r.l., its suppliers or other third parties.
  4.  The organisation will refrain from infringing copyright, licensing requirements or other intellectual property rights, through use of software or manuals owned by VCA Europe S.r.l. or provided by a third party.
  5. The organisation and its users must not alter or copy any part of the software provided as part of VCA Europe S.r.l.’s IT services offering.
  6. Virus scanning should be enabled on all third-party hardware that are used to upload or submit files to VCA Europe S.r.l.’s IT and such software should be kept up-to-date.
  7. Any third-party system or technology that is used to access any of VCA Europe S.r.l.’s IT should have adequate security software patches applied, in line with vendor recommendations.
  8. The organisation and its users are only permitted to upload files that are specifically related to VCA Europe S.r.l.’s business interests.
  9. It is the Organisation’s responsibility to inform VCA Europe S.r.l. when anyone within the organisation having access to VCA Europe S.r.l.’s IT systems, either leaves said organisation, or no longer requires access.
  10. Users of the IT must ensure that they do not upload, create or transmit material that is illegal, abusive or threatening to others or might be regarded as offensive on the basis of personal characteristics such as race, sex, colour, religion, nationality, gender, disability, sexual orientation or age as examples.

VCA Europe S.r.l. agrees to be impartial and keep confidential information concerning the client, its organisation, personnel activities, future products and all other matters arising or coming to its attention in connection with the conduct of the programme and shall not at any time for any reason whatsoever disclose them or permit them to be disclosed to any third party or make use of or permit the same to be made use of except as permitted hereunder to enable VCA Europe S.r.l. to carry out its duties and obligations. Certification (including certification marks and any certificates issued) remains in the ownership of VCA Europe S.r.l. and should be returned to VCA Europe S.r.l. on request.

Ref: SRLQN-E-TC-03 Rev01