I occasionally have been asked, “what happens if the validator is wrong about something during the validation? What can a location do?”
First and foremost, locations should let the validator know on-site that they think a mistake has been made, and explain the situation from their point of view. The validator may agree with the location and drop the noncompliance, or they may disagree and document the noncompliance.
If the validator writes the noncompliance and the location still believes an error was made, it can file an appeal. All validated locations have the right to file an appeal with the AGRSS Council Inc. if they feel that a noncompliance written during their AGRSS validation was incorrect. The process is quite simple.
The location must write to the AGRSS Validation Review Panel (VRP), describe the details of the noncompliance in question, include details about why the location believes the noncompliance is incorrect and, if possible, include evidence supporting the position. The address for appealing a noncompliance is the same address used for responding to a noncompliance with corrective action, and is included on the validation report received during the validation.
The AGRSS VRP meets approximately every month to review responses from locations. This panel will review the location’s documentation, request further information or clarification if necessary, and make a decision based on the information presented.
Several appeals have already come before the VRP, and some have been upheld while others have been denied. For those appeals that are denied, the location is asked to take action to correct the noncompliance. For those appeals that are upheld, the AGRSS VRP and Orion work together to ensure that the mistake does not recur.
In a perfect world, mistakes would not happen. The next best thing, however, is that Orion and AGRSS admit any mistakes made, learn from them, and work to ensure that they won’t be repeated. In this way, not only AGRSS registered companies, but the AGRSS validation process itself, continues to improve and better serve its customers.