Monday 21 September 2020

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NSI carries out its certification processes in compliance with the current versions of ISO/IEC 17021-1 (Management Systems Certification) and ISO/IEC 17065 (Product Certification). See the diagram below to view the certification process for both Gold and Silver NSI schemes:

Gold and Silver Scheme Approval Process

NSI is an Assessing Body for the SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS). Click on the link below to view the certification process for the ACS:

Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) Process

Granting Approval

Approval is granted for a period of three years, following successful completion of the initial certification process. The NSI approval start and expiry dates are detailed on your Certificate of Approval, which is renewed, subject to successful recertification, at the end of this period.

When making a decision on an application, we may choose to:

a) issue the type of NSI approval you have applied for;

b) issue limited NSI approval telling you which limits and/or other conditions apply to the approval;

c)  reject your application, providing an explanation for our decision.

Maintaining Approval

To maintain your approval you must evidence your continued compliance to scheme criteria and applicable standards through successful completion of a Surveillance audit programme. Your NSI auditor will schedule your routine Surveillance audits with you throughout the three-year certification cycle, as required by the NSI approval scheme. This schedule is explained during the application process and forms part of the contractual agreement with NSI to provide its certification services.

Audit Cancellation Policy

Cancellations of scheduled audits by our clients are few but, when they happen, directly impact on utilisation, efficiency and costs and at times impact re-certifications. Please view the Audit Cancellation Policy here.

Expanding Approval

You may, at any time, contact NSI to discuss an extension to your existing scope of approval, or to discuss a reduction in your scope of approval. Please contact the NSI Applications Team at or on 01628 764854.

Renewing Approval

Successful completion of the Recertification process will result in your approval continuing into the next 3 year certification cycle. A Recertification audit occurs every third year following initial approval, in advance of the expiry date of the approval. You do not need to re-apply for approval. Your auditor will arrange your Recertification audit with you in the same way a Surveillance audit is arranged and you should receive your approval certificate shortly after the audit (or where Improvement Needs are outstanding, shortly after these have been satisfactorily addressed). For Gold approvals, the Recertification audit will cover all management system requirements.

Expanding or Reducing the Scope of Approval

You may, at any time, contact NSI to discuss an extension to your existing scope of approval, or to discuss a reduction in your scope of approval. Please contact the NSI Applications Team at or on 01628 764854. Extensions to scope will require an additional Application Form to be completed, and will be subject to review similar to the initial certification process. Where necessary, you will be provided with a quote detailing the cost and time required to complete and maintain the extension to scope.

Refusing Approval

NSI reserves the right to refuse approval:

a) at the initial application stage subject to results of the application review;

b) at the initial certification stage having failed to pass critical assessment audits;

c) should the applicant be ineligible for certification;

d) should NSI not have the required scope to provide the certification requested

You will be notified in writing of the decision made with the reasons given. Refused applicants are encouraged to reapply at a later date if they wish to do so, should the refusal have been due to unpreparedness for approval at that time.

Suspending Approval

NSI does not typically suspend approval. However, NSI reserves the right to suspend approval in a limited number of instances where NSI deems it to be appropriate. Such instances include:

e) Inability (and therefore failure) to comply with the NSI regulations, scheme criteria or applicable codes of practice for a given time period, due to a valid business reason and not due to intention to contravene the regulations, criteria, codes of practice or other applicable requirements.

f) Where a business holds approval, but for a period of time does not do any work under that approval, the business may request (or NSI may insist) that their certification be suspended for a period of time. At NSI’s discretion, the approval may be suspended for an agreed timeframe (typically no longer than 6 months).

Note: ‘Suspending approval’ means making the current NSI approval temporarily invalid for a fixed period of typically no more than 6 months, set by NSI.

Restoring Approval (following suspension)

Should you successfully meet the terms/requirements associated with the suspension within the prescribed timeframe, then NSI will remove the suspension. Typically, completion of a successful special audit will be a pre-requisite to lifting a suspension. Following removal of a suspension, the normal audit schedule will be resumed (i.e. the audit schedule will not change). There will be no change to the approval certificate issued by NSI, and issue and expiry dates will not change as a result of suspension of approval.

Withdrawing Approval

NSI can at any time withdraw your NSI approval. The withdrawal of your NSI approval will be from any date we decide. You will be given notice in writing of the withdrawal. There are a number of reasons why your NSI approval may be withdrawn; these are listed, but not limited to:

a) Financial;
b) Corporate;
c) Performance;
d) Changes to NSI schemes.


You can make an appeal against any Certification decision we have made regarding a particular clause within the NSI Regulations, Scheme Criteria or applicable standards.

You can also appeal against our decision where we have;

a) set special conditions for your NSI approval;

b) granted you limited NSI approval;

c) issued you with a reprimand;

d) to issue you with a reprimand;

e) changed the scope and sector of NSI approval your company has been granted; or

f) suspended or withdrawn your NSI approval (where appeal is permitted by the NSI Regulations).

If you wish to appeal, you must give us written notice clearly setting out the reasons why you are appealing, within 28 days of the original decision. If you appeal against a decision, your appeal will not cause the decision to be delayed or postponed. The original decision stands until it is confirmed, changed or overturned as a result of a subsequent decision being made following your appeal.

On notice of appeal from the appellant, including an appeal deposit, the NSI Representative (typically the CEO) will confirm receipt and will issue the appellant with the NSI Appeals Guidance document. The NSI Representative will investigate and to try to resolve the matter within 28 days.

Should the appeal not be resolved within 28 days, the matter may be referred to an appointed Adjudicator, who may be a solicitor or barrister, independent of NSI and the appellant. An appeal hearing may be requested by the Adjudicator.

Following a final and binding decision by the Adjudicator, both NSI and the appellant will be informed of the outcome.

For more information on the appeals process, please contact Customer Care at or on 01628 764867, or refer to the NSI Regulations for Approved Companies.

For more information on the Certification Process, please contact the NSI Applications Team at or on 01628 764854.