How to Submit Complaints

The ISCC conflict resolution process is essential for ISCC in order to maintain reliability and integrity. ISCC takes complaints seriously in order to protect those who have truthfully invested time and resources in ensuring compliance with the ISCC standard and the performance of the certification scheme. All complaints will be handled in a consistent, non-discriminatory and timely manner. This is achieved by following the steps of the complaint process outlined below. If you wish to submit a complaint to ISCC, please follow the steps outlined hereafter.

ISCC is strongly committed to resolving conflicts through dialogue with the parties concerned before initiating a formal procedure. If the dialogue between the conflicting parties does not resolve the conflict, a formal procedure may be initiated as described below.

Complaints Procedure

Step 1: What can be accepted as complaints

Complaints can be filed with ISCC by any party (individuals or organisations) that is affected by activities or decisions of ISCC or has a material interest in the activities of ISCC such as System Users and their employees, Certification Bodies and their employees, auditors and third interested parties (e.g. competent authorities, NGOs, community groups and other stakeholders).

The ISCC management decides on the admissibility of complaints based on the formal requirements specified below.

Complaints must:

  • Be addressed to ISCC management
  • Be submitted in written form (preferably by using the complaint form on the ISCC website but also by email or mail)
  • Contain basic information about the complainant (name, address, contact information) and, if applicable, the organisation and position in the organisation
  • Contain a clear and brief description of the complaint, including the relevant circumstances and stakeholders/parties affected in a way that any impartial person or party can obtain a clear idea and an unambiguous understanding of the situation at hand
  • Be accompanied to the extent possible by evidence supporting the complaint

Step 2: How to submit a complaint to ISCC

Complaints can be provided online or by mail. When providing the complaint by post/mail, the same information must be provided as indicated in the online form. If the complainant wishes to remain anonymous throughout the entire conflict resolution process, the complainant must request this when submitting the complaint and must give a good reason for this. If anonymity is granted by ISCC, all parties involved in the conflict resolution process will ensure that the identity of the complainant will not be disclosed throughout the process. 

Postal Address:

Hohenzollernring 72
D-50672 Koeln

Step 3: Process and timeline

The complainant will be informed in writing without delay about the receipt of their complaint. ISCC management will decide if the complaint is accepted within 10 working days upon receipt of the complaint. 

Each accepted complaint will receive a unique reference number by which the complaint is registered within ISCC and which will be included in each communication regarding the complaint. Accepted complaints will be analysed, investigated and decided on impartially and unbiased by ISCC management on a case-by-case basis. In the course of investigating the reason for the complaint, ISCC is entitled to contact the parties and stakeholders affected and to ask for supporting evidence, documentation or statements in order to attain a sufficient understanding of the situation and to ensure that all parties involved can explain their position regarding the complaint. ISCC is also entitled to schedule an independent assessment in the framework of the ISCC Integrity Programme to gather further evidence. ISCC will react to any information and evidence received within 10 working days of receipt. Any result and decision will be communicated to the complainant by the ISCC management without delay. Based on the decision or any evidence received during the analysis of the complaint, ISCC is entitled to make provisions for certification audits or request that the Certification Body conducts surveillance audits of the affected System Users.

See ISCC EU Document 102 “Governance”, chapters 9 “Conflict Resolution” and 10 “Non-conformities and Sanctions” for further information.

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How to appeal a decision on an ISCC complaint

If for accepted complaints the complainant does not accept ISCC’s decision, the complainant can file an appeal against this decision. Appeals must be filed in writing (email or post) within 10 working days of the complainant receiving the decision from ISCC management. The complainant will be informed by in writing (email) without delay about the receipt of their appeal by ISCC.

ISCC will re-evaluate the complaint within 10 working days after receipt of the appeal, or, if additional evidence is requested from the complainant, within 10 working days after ISCC has received the relevant evidence. If the re-evaluation leads to a different decision ISCC will adjust its decision and communicate the adjusted decision.
If the re-evaluation does not lead to a different decision or if the adjusted decision does not fully remedy the complaint, ISCC will, upon request of the appellant, establish an Arbitration Board and transfer the issue to the Arbitration Board for final decision.

See ISCC EU Document 102 “Governance”, chapters 9 “Conflict Resolution” and 10 “Non-conformities and Sanctions” for further information.

Further Information

This document lays down the general principles according to which the ISCC is governed globally. It specifies the goal and internal structure of ISCC, as well as the relationship between ISCC and its stakeholders.