top of page

Certification rules

Requirements for certified customers 

1 Scope

This document lists all the requirements and rules that certified customers must follow in order to keep their certification certificate valid.

1.1 Impartiality and competence

Versa vottun is committed to maintaining impartiality in the entire audit and certification process and performs regular evaluations to identify risk factors in this regard. Versa vottun's impartiality policy, which is published on the company's website, sets out basic criteria on how to ensure impartiality.

Behind the granting of certificates to clients, a professional and accurate service is performed by persons who have the appropriate knowledge and skills in the field covered by the certification.

2. Initial Certification Process  


2.1 Application process 

Applicants must apply for certification of their management system through Versa Versa website or by email. With a written application, the organization has committed to comply with the certification rules specified in this document and published on the Versa certification


Once the application has been accepted in accordance with Versa Vottun's requirements for competence and knowledge, as well as impartiality towards the applicant, an offer is prepared and sent to the applicant

With the client's formal acceptance of the Versa certification offer, a business contract has been reached and the following rules apply to it.

It is Versa Certification's responsibility to inform the client in a timely manner of any changes that may occur to those rules.

2.2 Initial Certification

An initial certification audit is carried out in two stages: a preliminary audit (stage 1) and a certification audit (stage 2).

  • In a preliminary audit, the customer shall provide Versa Vottun with access to the relevant data to assess the organization's implementation of a specific management system standard.

  • The implementation of all the requirements of the standard must be completed and the management system activated by, among other things, carrying out at least one round of internal audits and management reviews for a certification audit.

  • A certification audit consists in assessing the effectiveness of the management system and must be carried out within 6 months of the preliminary audit. Otherwise, at least part of the preliminary assessment must be carried out again.

  • The auditor informs the client if major non-conformities are found that must be resolved before certification can be granted. The customer can then assess whether to complete an audit or end it earlier than planned (if it is not considered that three months will be enough to resolve the non-conformity) and book a new time for a certification audit later.

  • When major non-conformities are found in a certification audit, a follow-up audit may be required to verify the resolution of the non-conformity, if such a nature exists.

  • If major non-conformities have not been resolved and a plan for corrections of minor non-conformities has not been presented within 6 months, a new certification audit must be carried out.

  • An audit plan is made for three years at a time. It is reviewed in each surveillance audit, among other things, regarding changes in the internal or external environment and the effectiveness of the management system.

When both stages of initial certification have been completed and the Lead auditor has recommended certification, the results of the audits are presented to the certification committee, which makes a formal decision to grant or deny certification. Refusal will be followed by the committee's reasoned position.

3 Certified Management System  

Management system certification confirms the following:

  • The management system complies with the defined requirements of the specified management system standard (s)

  • The management system has been implemented and is operated efficiently in accordance with documented procedures

  • The management system is appropriate for the activities of the organisation

3.1 Granting and mainenance of certification

When a certification has been granted, the client is presented with a certification document, which is a statement by Versa vottun that the client's management system complies with the requirements of a specific management system standard. The certification document is the property of Versa vottun and clients are required to meet all certification requirements according to these rules to maintain the certification.

The client is always responsible for the operation and maintenance of his own management system and to ensure that the system complies with the applicable standard or other requirements. Versa vottun audits on the client’s management system are based on samples and it is therefore never possible to confirm 100% compliance with the requirements of a particular standard. Versa vottun can therefore not be liable to third parties in that context.

Versa vottun monitors the client’s management system, e.g. by:

  • View the certified customer's website (use of certification mark/ certification reference)

  • Calling for documents from the client

  • Perform surveillance audits

Surveillance audits are performed twice a year (once a year in the case of equal pay certification according to ÍST 85). The frequency and duration of surveillance audits could increase if a significant number of non-conformities are discovered or complaints are received.

The first surveillance audit shall take place within 12 months of the issue of the certification document.

It is the client's responsibility to:

  • Ensure that an audit can be performed, within the defined time frame

  • Take steps to facilitate document review

  • Ensure access to staff and data needed to carry out audits and investigations due to complaints or suspension of certification (see section 3.2 Audits at short notice)

  • Ensure that the relevant areas and work-sites are ready to be audited 

  • Meet the need to include observer (s), e.g. accreditation bodies or auditors in training, unless there is good reason not to

If the management system does not meet the requirements of the relevant management system standard in the surveillance audit and the client does not make satisfactory improvements, the client’s certification may be suspended or withdrawn, see further in Section 7 Violation of certification rules.

The period of validity of certification agreements is based on the period of validity of the certification and is automatically renewed for three years if the parties decide to continue the co-operation on certification at the end of the current certification cycle. A re-certification audit shall be performed no later than three months before the current certification expires.

A reminder e-mail is sent to the client four weeks before each audit at which time it is possible to postpone the audit without a deferral fee. The e-mail includes a reminder of documents that need to be submitted before the audit. Such a reminder email will not be sent again if the audit is postponed by the client.

The standard for postponing an audit without paying a deferral fee is 3 weeks, if the client postpones the audit within three weeks before the estimated audit time, a deferral fee based on two hours must be paid according to the hourly fee of the Versa vottun.

The standard timeframe for submission of documents is two weeks prior the initial certification’s pre-audit and one week for all other audits. If documents are not delivered within that timeframe, the audit must be postponed and a deferral fee based on two hours must be paid according to the hourly fee of Versa vottun.

3.1.1 Equal pay systems

Versa vottun will submit a copy of the certification certificate and the audit report to the Directorate of Equality after issuing a certification document.

Versa vottun must also notify the Directorate of Equality if an audit does not lead to certification and explain the reasons for this by submitting a report on the outcome of the audit.

If recertification audit reveals that the equal pay system of an organization no longer meets the requirements of the standard ÍST 85, Versa vottun must notify the Equality Office.

3.2 Audit at a short notice

Versa vottun will, when required, perform audits at short notice, e.g. to investigate complaints, changes within certified clients management system/operations or follow up on the implementation of corrections for major non-conformities or suspension of certification.

3.3 Accredited Certification

Versa vottun will to inform its clients and other stakeholders in its reports and clarify the extent to which the service offered was performed under accreditation.

A certification carried out before the decision on accreditation was issued is valid as a certification under accreditation if Versa vottun, following a review, is able to establish that the applicable prerequisites for certification under accreditation have been met and an accredited certificate has subsequently been issued.


Certified clients are obliged to provide correct information and all information necessary for the auditor to be able to assess the effectiveness of the management system.

4.1 Confidentiality

Versa vottun committs to holding confidentiality regarding all the issues that auditors and others involved in the audit and certification process may become aware of in their work for the client, including:

1. Financial information:

  • i.e. information on income, expenses, assets (including intangible assets, intellectual property rights, employees, salaries and terms of employees, know-how and trade secrets), liabilities and on pricing or quantity of services purchased or sold

2. Information on suppliers and services;

  • i.e. their names, terms, contracts, or similar information

3. Marketing information;

  • i.e. on planned or ongoing marketing activities, as well as information on the clients’ customers.

Information that is, or can be assumed to be, common knowledge or accessible to everyone, is not considered confidential information unless such circumstances result from a violation of this provision. The obligation of confidentiality shall continue to apply after the end of the contractual relationship between Versa vottun and the client.

Versa vottun may show the accreditation body data and other information about the certified client when evaluating the certification service of Versa vottun. An accreditation body may also monitor Versa vottun auditors carrying out an audit for clients. The accreditation body is bound by the same confidentiality as the employees of Versa vottun.

4.2 Exeption from confidentiality

The following are the exceptions where Versa vottun may be released from its confidentiality obligation and then only to the extent necessary:

  1. In connection with the withdrawal and suspension of a certificate

  2. For security reasons

  3. Due to a court ruling

Versa vottun informs the client before the breach of confidentiality unless the law or court rulings oppose it.

4.3 List of certified clients

Versa vottun maintains a record of all certified clients and publishes certification information according to the certification scope unless the client specifically objects.

4.4 Statistical data

Versa vottun will use applications for certification and non-conformities in audits for statistical purposes. The information is undetectable and cannot be traced to individual organisations.



5.1 Changes in the scope of certification

If a client requests that the scope of certification, as described on the certification document, be expanded to include additional sites or processes, this must be applied for at Versa vottun via the application form on the website or by e-mail. Versa vottun will assess whether an expansion of the scope of certification implies a need to increase the number of audit days or other costs. The expansion is then typically audited, in parallel with the following surveillance audit, and the certification document is subsequently reissued so that it covers a larger scope of certification.

If a client wishes to reduce the scope of certification, that shall be notified to Versa vottun without delay with relevant information, e.g. due to changes, closure of divisions or suspension of production of a product that previously fell within the scope of certification. When reviewing and confirming the correct information, Versa vottun notifies the client if a further audit and / or change in the wording of the certification document is required.

  • Upon receipt of a revised certification document due to an increase or decrease in the scope of certification, the previous certification document shall be returned to Versa vottun within 1 month.

Additional costs are based on the nature of the changes in the scope of the client's certification and the administration of the reissue of the certification certificate. 

5.2 Changes in client’s organisation

Certified clients must notify, in writing and without delay, any changes in the organisation that may result in the management system no longer meeting the certification requirements. These changes are, for example:

  1. Legal or commercial changes

  2. Change of ownership, organisational change or change of management (key managers, experts or those responsible for wider decision-making)

  3. Change at the client’s office or premises

  4. Change in the scope of the management system

  5. Major changes in processes or the management system

Upon receipt of written information about proposed changes, Versa vottun decides whether the changes require increased costs or additional number of audit days in accordance with the criteria for calculating the number of audit days defined in the quote.

If Versa vottun is not notified of the above changes, the client's certification may be suspended or withdrawn (see section 7).

5.3 Notification of major non-conformities

Certified clients should report to Versa vottun if there is a major non-conformity, e.g. through internal audits of the management system. Versa vottun will evaluate the potential risks and validity of the certification for relevant stakeholders.

5.4 Notification of major non-conformities (ISO 14001) 

If the extent of the non-conformity (environmental hazard) exceeds the ability of the certified client to rectify it, the directorate of environment (Umhverfisstofnun) shall be notified immediately of that situation and an agreement will be reached on measures to correct them and reduce environmental damage.

5.5 Notification of accidents at work (ISO 45001)

In accordance with the requirements (IAF MD 22: G 8.5.3) for audits and certification of occupational health and safety management system, the client shall immediately inform Versa vottun in the event of a serious accident at work or a breach of labour law in connection with the client's activities.

5.6 Notification of legal offense

In cases where a certified clients violates the law, it must be reported to Versa vottun. If auditors become aware of breaches of the law in audits, senior management will be notified. A certified customer shall subsequently present Versa vottun that the relevant supervisory body of the Act is informed as required by the relevant supervisory body.

If the auditor's investigation reveals that there is a deliberate violation of the law, it shall be notified to the senior management of the relevant organization together with the relevant supervisory body. 



Certified clients may publicly refer to the certification of their management system.

Certified clients may only state that the organization is certified based on the relevant scope of certification.

Certification does not mean that the client produces a better product, provides a better service or that the product itself or the service has been certified by meeting the requirements of the relevant management system standard.

6.1 Requirements regarding certification status

Certified clients are required to comply with the following requirements regarding public references to their certification status:

  1. Do not make misleading statements about the certification.

  2. Do not use the certification document or other documents related to the certification in a misleading manner.

  3. Do not indicate that the certification covers activities or worksites that are outside the scope of the certification.

  4. Remove all references to the certification if the certification is withdrawn.

  5. Correct all marketing and advertising material if the scope of certification is reduced.

  6. Does not refer to the certification of the management system in such a way as to indicate that Versa vottun certifies products, service or processes.

  7. Does not disclose certification information in such a way as to diminish public confidence in the certification of management systems in general or in Versa vottun.

The following information must always be included in connection with a company's declaration of certification:

  • Name or ID of the certified company

  • The type of management system that is certified, i.e. quality management systems, environmental management systems, etc.

  • Number of standard and

  • Name of Versa vottun

6.2 Requirements regarding accreditation status

When referring to its accreditation, Versa vottun will use the appropriate accreditation symbol, or use text to refer to the accreditation. If the text is used to refer to the accreditation, the information in the text must correspond to that in the accreditation symbol. In these cases Versa vottun will display its name or certification mark in the proximity of the reference to accreditation.

  • When Versa vottun refers to the accreditation in text, the text can be formulated as follows, for example: "Versa vottun with accreditation number <X> is accredited by Swedac for certification on ISO 9001 in sectors <X>  according to the ISO 17021-1". 

  • When making reference to accreditation in a language other than Swedish, accepted terminology must be used, equivalent to the corresponding Swedish terms. The text in Swedac's accreditation mark must not be translated.

Versa vottun will issue an accredited report or an accredited certificate, if there is a mandatory or contractual requirement with regard to accreditation, or if it is intended that someone other than Versa vottun and its client shall have access to the report or the certificate. Versa vottun will also issue an accredited report, or an accredited certificate in other cases, unless otherwise agreed between Versa vottun and its client. 

Versa vottun will only refer to its accreditation if it does so in such a context and manner that there can be no doubt that the accreditation was granted by Swedac, no doubt which body has been accredited, and no doubt over the scope of the accreditation or its meaning.

In cases where Versa vottun is entitled to authorise a certified client, to reproduce Versa vottun's certification mark in combination with the accreditation symbol, Versa vottun has established a Policy on use of certification mark POL-0010.

  • Versa vottun will ensure that the accreditation symbol is not used in such a context or manner that may lead to a misunderstanding over the scope or meaning of the accreditation.

  • If Versa vottun is made aware that the accreditation symbol is being used in such a context or manner as indicated above, Versa vottun will require correction and inform Swedac of the situation.

6.3 Use of certification mark

Certified clients may use Versa vottun certification mark in accordance with the Rules on the use of Certification mark IRC-0002.

Certified clients may use appropriate certification marks on stationery, brochures or otherwise in connection with communication or advertising purposes in connection with the activities covered by the scope of certification.

The certification mark must always be used in such a way that makes it clear that the certification only covers the management system and not any product or service.

6.4 Management of a certified client's own use of Versa vottun certification mark

The certified clients shall manage its own use of a certification mark covering claims for corrections of certification mark misuse, keep a record of all complaints related to its use and keep the record available for Versa vottun.

6.5 Misuse of Certification mark

Certified clients are not permitted to use the certification mark in the following ways:

  • On product or product packaging

  • In research reports, tests, calibrations and settings

  • In such a way that it could mislead stakeholders that a certified client is certified outside the scope of the certification

  • Upon withdrawal of certification

  • In a way that damages the reputation and trust placed in the Versa vottun

Violation of these rules will result in Versa vottun requiring:

  • That a certified client corrects wrong use of certification mark by removing the mark, e.g. of product or packaging

  • Certified client formally withdraws the statements or advertisements in the same media as misuse took place

  • Improvements to other aspects of the manifestation of the offense

If the misuse is of the nature described in Section 7.1, it may require the suspension or withdrawal of certification or legal action by Versa vottun.



If a certified client does not meet the certification requirements under these rules, Versa vottun will take appropriate action. Such actions may include temporary suspending or withdrawing of certification, publication of violations and / or other actions.

7.1 Grounds for suspending

The circumstances that require the measures of Versa vottun for breach of certification rules are as follows:

  • Certified management system has repeatedly and seriously not met the certification requirements, e.g .:

    • By not responding to NC’s or observations from audits satisfactorily

    • the management system does not reflect current organisation and processes, e.g. due to organisational changes, takeovers, mergers, etc.

    • Important aspects of the management system have not been implemented or not implemented in accordance with requirements

    • Due to falsification of client’s records of the implementation of the management system

    • Complaints are not resolved appropriately

  • Surveillance audits or recertification audits are not authorized by the client or not carried out within the defined time frame according to the audit program

  • Violation of the terms of a certification agreement, e.g .:

    • bills have not been paid;

  • Misuse of certification mark and unauthorized reference to certification

  • Information received from stakeholders, e.g. authorities, which could affect the status of certification, e.g .:

  • Indications of non-compliance with rules / statutory requirements applicable to certified management systems

  • Indications that management systems do not meet requirements when serious incidents occur

  • Certified company will go bankrupt

  • Operations covered by the certification are suspended for a longer period

  • Certified clients request temporary suspension

Versa vottun certification committee decides on what action to take on the basis of a review of the relevant case file. 


7.2 Suspension process

The following is a description of the steps of the Versa vottun suspension process:

First step:

  • Certified clients are given a defined deadline to resolve the relevant issues

  • Versa vottun will verify that the requirements made for corrections or corrective actions have been met and that they have been implemented.

Second step:

  • If cases are not resolved within the deadline, the case will be examined by the certification committee and certified client will be notified that the suspension of the certification is being examined.

  • If a decision is made regarding suspension, the client will receive information about the requirements for corrections or corrective actions that he must meet and the deadline for the certification to take effect again.

  • When the issues have been resolved satisfactorily, the certification is restored again

Third step: 

  • If the reason for suspension relates only to a specific part of the scope of certification, then the next step is to reduce the scope accordingly before the certification is finally withdrawn

Fourth step:

  • The suspension of a certification is generally not longer than six months and is subsequently withdrawn if the relevant issues have not been resolved satisfactorily.

  • Versa vottun may decide to withdraw the certification immediately in the first step if the violation is serious.

Once the organization's certificate has been withdrawn, the client must notify all his major customers and return the certificate to Versa vottun within one month.

7.3 Withdrawal of certification

A decision to withdraw a client's certification is made only if the issues that have led to the suspension within the period specified by Versa vottun could not be resolved and only if it cannot be resolved by reducing the scope of the client's certification.

Post-withdrawal process:

  1. Versa vottun confirms in writing the withdrawal of certification to the client and provides guidance on the reasons for withdrawal of certification.

  2. The client has the right to appeal the decision on withdrawal of certification within 14 days of receiving notification of withdrawal of certification.

  3. Upon withdrawal of certification, the client's certification is no longer valid and the client must stop advertising or displaying advertisements that contain certification marks or other references to the certification of Versa vottun.

  4. The client must also submit all certification documents to Versa vottun within one month.


Certification is deregistered if the client requests it in writing to Versa vottun and the termination takes effect three months later. After that time, the certification is no longer valid and the client must stop all promotional activities or advertisements that refer to his certification status. The client must also submit certification document to Versa vottun within one month.

8.1 Reactivation of certification

To reactivate the certification of a management system that has been terminated or withdrawn by Versa vottun, the organisation needs to go through an initial certification process.



The due date for Versa vottun invoices is upon receipt of the invoice and the final date is 10 days later. Certification documents are not issued unless all fees have been paid in full.


9.1 General fees

Fees are specified in the Versa vottun agreement for client’s management system certification. Once a contract with Versa vottun has been signed the client is obliged to pay the administration fee and audit costs for initial certification / re-certification, regardless of whether the client receives certification or not.

9.2 Additional fees 

Versa vottun reserves the right to increase or decrease the number of audit days in accordance with issues that may become apparent in the certification process that justified fewer or more audit days in accordance with the criteria for calculating the audit dates according to the quote. 

Additional fees shall be paid for services not included in the contract and for special audits that are necessary due to non-conformities identified in audits. This includes costs incurred by:

  • Repetition of part of the audit, due to non-compliance with certification requirements

  • Additional work due to suspension, withdrawal or restoration of certification

  • Additional audit, due to changes in the management system of the certified client

9.3 Postponement fee

If the client requests a postponement of the audit within two weeks of the scheduled audit, a postponement fee of four hours will be charged.

To ensure that the auditors have enough time to perform a document review and prepare an audit, the client must deliver requested documents 3 weeks before a 1.stage pre-audit and 2 weeks before other audits. If the delivery of the data is not received within the specified time, the audit must be postponed and a postponement fee will be charged.


Versa vottun has established a standard process for receiving and processing appeals and complaints from clients or other stakeholders, to ensure equality, transparency and impartiality throughout the process. Clients have the right to appeal all Versa vottun certification decisions, within 14 days from the date of the decision.

10.1 Liability

Versa vottun assumes full responsibility for the decisions made in connection with the appeal and complaint process and that the presentation of an appeal or complaint, its investigation or a decision based on that investigation will not result in any discrimination against the submitter.

10.2 Receiving and handling of affairs

Appeals and complaints are only received through the process on the Versa vottun website or via e-mail, and those who submit an appeal or complaint about a specific issue are kept informed of its status throughout the process. The staff or auditors involved in the subject matter of the appeal or complaint will not be involved in that process in any way.

10.3 Decision

Versa vottun decides whether the subject matter of the appeal or complaint and its outcome will be made public, in consultation with the person who raised the appeal or complaint.

Under no circumstances are clients discriminated against because of their appeals.



Versa Vottun disclaims liability for any indirect or consequential damages, such as operating losses, lost profits or savings, lost data or other damages, not previously mentioned, as well as all claims against a third-party customer.

11.1 Uncontrollable circumstance

Neither Party shall be liable to the other for delays or non-compliance with any unforeseen obligation on the part of either Party, such as war or terrorism, strikes or prohibitions, trade bans, natural disasters or disruptions to transport or energy supply. When such a delay or non-compliance lasts for more than 60 days, each party may terminate the contract by notifying the other party in writing of the termination.

If the parties are unable to fulfil their obligations under agreements due to emergency or uncontrollable events, their obligations, incl. possible liability, will fall while such a situation lasts.

11.2 Expiry/limitation of liability

It is not possible to claim liability from one party to the other, no matter what the event, action or inaction is, more than two years after the occurrence of a particular incident took place.

Clients shall protect and hold Versa vottun indemnified from all liability to its own customers and third parties for accidents and property damage that are in any way related to the services provided by Versa vottun. The client shall, at its own expense, defend all actions taken against Versa vottun. In addition, the client shall reimburse Versa vottun all costs (including reasonable legal costs) paid by Versa vottun for the purpose of defending such claims or establishing its right to pay damage

bottom of page