Assessments should only be submitted for QA when the assessor is confident that the information in them is, to the best of their knowledge, 100% accurate and it contains detailed assessor notes identifying how the issue has been assessed and referring to specific criteria and compliance notes, as well as including locational referencing. Therefore, where an QA audit identifies a high number of Non-Conformances (NCs), or continued lack of improvement our halting process and charges will come into effect.
For additional details on this process, please refer to the original communication (Email sent on 14 March 2023 and the February 2023 Process Note).
Halting Process & QA Failure Charge
When an assessment reaches 12 NCs, the audit will be halted, with no further issues being audited during that submission. This applies to both resubmissions and first submissions.
What does this mean?
For first submissions, it will mean that some issues within the audit which have been selected for audit have not yet been reviewed.
For resubmission where the previous submission had 12NCs or more, it will mean that some issues within the audit which previously received feedback will have not have been reaudited due to the halt being applied within the current submission. Any issues which have not yet been reaudited, will include the following note ‘This issue has not been reaudited within this submission due to 12NCs halt being applied.’
When the assessment is resubmitted, it is expected that all of the QA feedback is actioned and implemented throughout the assessment, including for issues which have not currently been reviewed. If this means resubmitting updated evidence for the assessed issues and also for the issues that are still to be assessed then please do so.
What happens when resubmitting?
For first submissions, the 12 issues with NCs raised will be reaudited. If the total number of NCs have reduced, the remaining issues selected for audit will now also be audited, however if the assessment reaches 12NCs again, the assessment will once again be halted, and this will trigger the QA Audit Failure charge to be applied and invoiced on the next submission.
For third submissions and onwards, upon receipt, the QA Audit Failure charge (see fee sheet) will be invoiced and the 12 issues with NCs raised will be reaudited. If the total number of NCs have reduced, the remaining issues selected for audit will now also be audited, however if the assessment reaches 12NCs again, the assessment will once again be halted.
We recognise that for assessors first assessment under a new scheme, a higher level of support is required therefore the halting process will not be applied for them, until their second submission of that assessment. At which point, the above process will apply.
Multiple submission with the same NCs & QA Failure Resubmission Charge
When QA feedback is issued, it is expected that the assessor makes sufficient updates to the assessment and/or supporting documentation to ensure that the NCs raised are reduced. Where the assessor feels there is a lack of clarity with the QA feedback, a query should be raised and resolved prior to formally resubmitting. A full review of the issues should be completed prior to resubmitting to ensure that the QA feedback has been fully addressed, and the assessor comments clearly clarifying how this has been done.
Therefore, when an assessment is submitted three or more times, with each audit resulting in the same number of NCs being identified, the QA Failure Resubmission charge (Please refer to Fee Sheet) will be applied.
Please refer to the below graphic highlighting the process which is applicable for an audit carried out from 1 April 2023.
The current prices for charges mentioned above are included in the latest Fee Sheets (FS036 and FS021) which are available on BREEAM Projects.