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Complaints Appeal Apply



To ensure the proper handling of complaints and appeals, so as to minimize their recurrence.




This procedure deals with Appeals and complaints against the decisions made as part of the inspection process and Complaints. This procedure applies to all complaints received from any interested party and appeals from appellant.
The objective for the same is to ensure that:

  • All Appeals/Disputes are heard impartially.
  • All Complaints are dealt with fairly and expeditiously.
  • All Appeals/Disputes and Complaints are resolved amicably whenever possible.
  • All Appeals/Disputes and Complaints are handled in a non-discriminatory fashion.
  • The integrity of all processes is upheld.
  • Confidentiality is upheld.




It will be the overall responsibility of the Head of Operations to handle the customer complaints and appeals effectively and efficiently and to identify the root cause, initiate corrective action and maintain records.


Procedure of Complaint and Appeal Handling:
1. Appeals and Disputes


All appeals are taken seriously and given a high priority for action. Formal proceedings will be initiated if:

  • The appeal/dispute is made in writing.
  • URS receives the appeal or disputes within 21 days of a decision being given to the customer by an inspector or validator or verifier, member of management.
  • The customer is an applicant or registered organization


The Office first hearing of the Appeal/Dispute shall advise the customer in writing, of the contents of this procedure and also draw their attention to the relevant regulations (A copy of both should be supplied to the customer). Copies of all correspondence will be held in the appeals file. (URSV/F06)


When the Appeal/Dispute is received by the MD, Director, and Head of Operations or in their absence, a senior manager must inform the IEC Chairman, in writing, within 3 working days. The IEC Chairman must convene an Appeals Committee, which will consist of not less than 3 IEC members and must exclude URSV officers. The committee members must not have any involvement with the appellant and any interest must be declared. Any member with an interest cannot sit on the committee.


The committee must meet within 30 days of receipt of the appeal by URSV. The date and location of the meeting will be sent to the appellant in writing, at least 7 days before the meeting. The appeals committee shall hear the appellant and the MD/OD (Specific Manager) separately. Minutes of the meeting shall be made with a copy held in the appeals file.


The decision of the Appeals Committee shall be final and shall be recorded in writing, with copies to the appellant and the Specific Manager. The result of an Appeal may result in Corrective or Preventive Actions being taken, these are to be recorded in accordance with URSV/F09.


2. Complaints


Complaints may concern a certified customer of URSV or they may be about URSV and its representatives. A Complaint may be from a customer or a third party e.g. from a customer of the registered customer, their competition or other source. All Complaints will be treated seriously irrespective of the nature of the Complaint. They include any matter that is not the subject of an Appeal e.g.

  • Fee structure.
  • Lateness in response to customer queries.
  • Poor attitude by URS staff towards customers.
  • Dissatisfaction with a certified customer of URSV.


When an Office receives a Complaint, by whatever means (phone, e mail etc.) URSV/F09 is to be completed. If the customer complains to an assessor direct, e.g. while he is on site, the assessor must notify to the Office of the nature of the Complaint as soon as possible, either the office Staff or Inspector/ validator/verifier must complete
URSV/F09. All Complaints must be recorded even if, after investigation, they prove to be unfounded.


The Investigating Officer will be deputed independent of department or assessor etc involved with the problem. After investigating the cause of the Complaint and taking any necessary corrective action the Investigating Officer must write to the person who made the Complaint advising them of the action taken and closing the matter. All Complaint letters being filed in the Complaints file. All the complaints will be dealt expeditiously.


The result of a Complaint may result in Corrective or Preventive Actions being taken, these are to be recorded in URSV/F09


Complaints about organizations certified by URSV are to be passed to the customer for them to resolve in the first instance. The individual receiving the complaint will consider the Management System of the subject of the Complaint and in particular the effectiveness of its complaints handling processes. The complaint will be examined in detail at the next scheduled audit to ensure that it has been handled correctly. If it has not, Non-conformity is to be raised on the customer.


All Complaints and actions taken will be discussed at the next IEC meeting. Any trends identified after analysis of Complaints will be discussed at Management Review Meetings.


The brief of appeal and complaint handling process is available on the website of URS.


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