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ecoa Certification Process
Outline of ECOA Certification Process
Outline of ecoa Certification Process; Application to Certification

As shown in the diagram, the certification process is composed of the following steps:

  1. Application: The applicant is to fill and submit an application form describing his control measures according to the required certification scheme. This application is reviewed and evaluated within the inspection department.
  2. Evaluation and Review: This application is reviewed and evaluated within the inspection department.
  3. Inspection: After initial approval of the application, ecoa assigns an inspector for on-site inspection of the production unit (firm or farm). An inspection report is prepared and forwarded to the certification department.
  4. Certification: The inspection report is evaluated and the certification decision is taken by the certification committee.

The certification status is published and maintained on ecoa website.

In cases of non-conformities, the operator may be subject to sanctions according to the sanction list below.

Download ecoa Sanction List for Non-Conformities of Compliance with Organic Standards (2 Pages, 67kb)

Client Complaints

Any complaints from client's side (farm and/or firm) against the work of the certification body is to be submitted to ecoa in written form using Form ADM-050: Docket For Complaint. ecoa quality manager is responsible that complaints are treated in an objective and independent manner. Complaints are marked with a serial number in the office and a docket is attached. The quality manager decides who is responsible to treat the complaint, for example the chief inspector in case of complaints against the appearance of the inspector on site, or the administration manager in case of complaints against accounting.

At most two weeks after receipt of the complaint the responsible person has to present a written answer for discussion with the quality manager. If accepted as legitimate, the client is informed about the decision in an adequate form by the Director General. If the complaint is rejected, the client has the opportunity to appeal to the decision within a 15 days period. In this case ecoa suggests the constitution of a court of arbitration with members of the Impartiality Safeguard committee. All complaints are listed in serial order and used to measure the client's satisfaction.

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