Certification is the independent and objective assurance that an organisation or a group of organisations meet the requirements of a given standard, good practices or commitments. Currently HQAI is operating certification against the the nine commitments of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS).
A CHS certificate by HQAI is valid four years providing periodic checks (every 12 months) confirm the continuing conformity with the requirements of the standard.
The certification process is a pass/fail test of compliance with the CHS that is carried out by qualified auditors approved and managed by HQAI. It involves document reviews, interviews with staff, partners, the direct input of communities and affected people receiving assistance from the organisation, other stakeholders (donors, local authorities, communities not receiving assistance, etc.) and direct observation at selected country programmes and project site(s).
Let's have a closer look at how HQAI proceeds for a certification:
Step 1 Initial Audit
Includes site visits at the head office and at a sample of country programme sites. The feedback of Affected Populations (AP) is collected on project sites. A report is produced and, as relevant, a certificate of conformity is granted.
Step 2 Maintenance Audit
This audit is normally conducted in the Head Office and focuses on the non-conformities identified in the previous audit and the organisation’s progress towards their resolution. A maintenance audit report is produced and, as relevant, certification maintained.
Step 3 Mid-term audit
The mid-term audit focuses on country offices and project sites. It includes, but is not limited to, a review of the measures taken by the organisation to resolve its non-conformities, and the continuity of the implementation of the standard at field level.
Step 4 Maintenance Audit
see step 2
Step 5 Recertification Audit
Within 4 years of the certificate, and on request from the organisation, a new cycle of certification starts. The recertification audit may be lighter than the initial audit.
Detailed information and application requirements
For more information about HQAI's CHS Certification service, including details about the procedure, application requirements and cost, please consult our CHS Certification Application Form