This Certification Scheme is developed and owned by Minhaj Halal Certification (MHC). MHC is a legal entity incorporated by Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). MHC is functioning as a third-party halal certification body under the provisions of PS 4992:2016 standard. MHC personnel are free from any commercial, financial or any other pressures which might affect their judgment in independent functions specific to product certification, inspection and certification activities.
The governance of this scheme and decision-making mechanism remains with MHC. MHC monitor and periodically reviews the scheme and maintains records. The scheme is also regularly discussed with stake holders to ensure that it is fulfilling its objectives. The information about the scheme is publicly available to ensure transparency, understanding and acceptance.
The purpose of this scheme is to provide general guidelines on how to conduct halal certification activities in the light of applicable standards and other requirements as specified by regulatory authorities or stake holders. It is to facilitate trade, market access, fair competition and consumer acceptance of products at national, regional and international level.
- To address the needs of consumers, users and more generally, all interested parties by giving confidence regarding fulfillment of standard requirements.
- To allow suppliers to demonstrate to the market that their product has been attested to fulfill management requirements by an impartial third-party body.
This document covers the policies & procedures, assessment &evaluation guidelines for the Halal certification of food, cosmetic & personal care products. It is applicable to a third-party Halal certification system for determining the conformity of a product with specified requirements through initial assessment, testing of samples of the product (if applicable) and assessment of the involved Halal Food Management System by assessment and testing of product samples taken from the client’s facility or the open market, or both (if applicable). This guide addresses conditions for use of a mark of conformity and conditions for granting a certificate of conformity. This document is read in conjunction with PS 4992:2016. Where there is conflict between standard and the certification scheme, the relevant standard will take precedence.
The scope covers certification of the food, Slaughtering, Packaging, PS 3733.
The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this document. For dated references, only the cited edition applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document including any amendment, if any, applies:
- PS 4992:2016, Requirements for bodies providing Halal certification
- ISO/IEC 17065:2012, Conformity Assessment-Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services
- ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015, Conformity Assessment-Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of MS
- ISO 9001:2015 Quality management systems — Requirements
- ISO 9000:2005, QMS-Fundamentals and Vocabulary
- ISO 17000:2004, Conformity Assessment-Vocabulary and General Principles
- PS 3733:2022, OIC/SMIIC 1:2019 – General Requirements for Halal Foods
- PS OIC/SMIIC 24:2022 – General Requirements for Food Additives and Other Added Chemicals to Halal Food
- PS 5442:2019 - General Requirements for Halal Health Care Products
- PS 5319:2014 – General Guidelines for Halal Cosmetics and Personnel Care Products
- ISO 22000:2018, Food safety management System-Requirements for any organization in the food chain
6.Terms and Definitions
- Halal Certification - Activities conducted by Halal certification bodies to certify Halal products/services/management system.
- Contract - An agreement signed between the applicant and the Halal certification body, governing the rules for the right of use of logo granted to Halal products/services.
- Assessor - Competent person assigned by a certification body to perform, alone or as part of an assessment team, an assessment of an organization.
- Technical Expert - Person assigned by certification body technically competent in a particular processing technology or field to provide specific knowledge or expertise with respect to the scope of certification to be assessed.
- Shariah - The Islamic jurisprudence (fiqha) or laws.
- Sunnah - Traditions (sayings and actions) of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
- Shariah Expert - A Muslim with profound and comprehensive knowledge of Islamic rules in the subject of Halal and non- Halal and whose competency has been approved and authorized by the relevant organization and appointed by the Halal certification body.
- Halal Mark/Label/Logo - Mark/label/logo approved by the Halal Competent Authority, the right of whose use has been granted by the Halal certification body for the Halal products/services or management system in question.
- Suspension – Rendering the right of use of mark ineffective for a specified period by the decision of the Halal certification body in relation to the Halal certificate previously granted.
- Applicant - A legal entity that applies for the Halal certification of products/services or management system.
- Certificate Holder/Certified Client/Supplier – A person or legal entity that supplies Halal certified products/services.
- Impartiality – Actual and perceived presence of objectivity.
- Competence – Ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve intended results.
- Assessment Audit- A process to evaluate whether the management system operations of an organization comply to the relevant standard requirements.
- Authorization- A process by which a person is authorized to do specific jobs/ functions.
- Complaints- The objections raised by users of services or negative feedback received from the customers of the body.
- Continual Improvement- A process aimed at carrying out and achieving improvement in a system / process without any break.
- Preventive Action - A pro-active process to identify the opportunities for improvements in a system / activity.
- Corrective Action - A process intended to eliminate or minimize the problem and prevents its recurrence.
- CEO- Chief Executive Officer, who is responsible to provide guidance for all the activities related with management operations of the HCB.
- Job - The duty / work assigned to an employee of the body to perform /do.
- Non-Conformity - A aspect of activity, which is not in compliance with the requirement of the standard.
- Customers - a person who buys goods or services from a shop or business
- PNAC- Pakistan National Accreditation Council.
- Quality Manual – A document which describes the policy, objectives organization, management of quality system of HCB.
- MHC: Minhaj Halal Certification Pvt Limited provides conformity assessment services and that is based in Pakistan.
aa. Halal Islamic Affairs Expert:
A Muslim with profound and comprehensive knowledge of Islamic rules in the subject of Halal and is appointed by the Halal certification body.
A process carried out by a Halal certification body to assess specific product or service conformance based on particular standard(s) and/or other normative documents.
A person assigned by Halal certification body to perform, alone or as part of an assessment team a certification audit of company’s client to verify the requirements.
dd. Conformity Assessment Body:
A body that performs conformity assessment services within its accreditation scope.
Technical Manager, who is responsible to provide guidance for all the activities related with technical operations of the HCB.
7.Recognition and Requirements of Certification Body
MHC has employed and has access to a sufficient number of personnel to cover its operations related to the certification scheme and to the applicable standards and other normative documents.
MHC has established, implemented and maintains a procedure for management of competencies of personnel involved in the certification process. The procedure requires the certification body to determine the criteria for
the competence of personnel for each function in the certification process, taking into account the requirements of the schemes. It also identifies training needs and provides, as necessary, training programs on certification processes, requirements, methodologies, activities and other relevant certification scheme requirements.
8.Roles Defined by Function:
- CEO and Certification Manager (MHC):
- Maintain applicable standards
- Provide oversight and enforcement of the rules governing the use of intellectual property.
- Train CB personnel.
- Ensure CB personnel practice quality consistency through audits, continuing education, technical updates, and training.
- Ensure uniform application of the standard.
- Manage the Halal Quality System to ensure alignment of the certification process as per the ISO guides and the relevant standards.
- Interpret standard as necessary for clarification in the course of certification assessments and maintain a library of interpretation and guidance relating to the implementation of the standards.
- Represent MHC certification principles and practice to stakeholders and the public.
- Establish and maintain financial independence of the MHC
- Maintain database registry of certified clients.
b.Certification Body (MHC):
- Achieve and maintain accreditation to conduct conformity audits based on the applicable standards.
- Conduct conformity audits to the standards in accordance with established policies and procedures.
- Render certification decisions.
- Maintain surveillance of certifications, including adherence to governing intellectual property rules and changes to the scope of certifications.
- Develop and maintain organizational structure and systems in accordance with ISO guides and standards as per regulatory requirements.
- Establish and maintain Independent Third-Party status in accordance with ISO guides and the relevant standards requirements.
c.Basic Client Responsibility:
The client will responsible to make all necessary arrangements for the conduct of the assessment, including provision for examining documentation and access to all areas, records (including internal audit reports) and personnel for the purposes of evaluation (e.g. testing, inspection, assessment, surveillance, reassessment and resolution of complaints);
- Provide to MHC such samples of products, processes, specifications, other documents and access to facilities and those of its subcontractors and suppliers as may be required from time to time for initial assessments and such periodic re-examination of market products to confirm that they continue to conform to the Standards. Sourcing or marked products may be from warehouses, manufacturing facility, factories etc., but in any case, is provided to MHC at the Client’s expense;
- Grant MHC and its’ accreditation body free access without notice at any time during normal business hours to all of CLIENT’s places of production, processes, assembly, shipment or storage of the Products to enable MHC to examine the Products, processes or any component parts thereof by witnessing of
tests, inspection or other means for continued compliance with the Standards, to monitor CLIENT’s control systems applicable to the Products and to inspect any test data, calculations, records or reports required pursuant to MHC follow-up procedures for determining continued compliance with the Standards;
- Designate a responsible person or persons to control security with respect to the MHC Certification Mark, to maintain records of each of the Products to which the Labels or Marks have been affixed and to provide MHC with access to these persons and records during normal business hours; In accordance with policy for Use of Halal Certification Mark or Logo.
- Affix or apply the MHC Certification Mark only at the place or places of production when MHC has given initial authorization to CLIENT, only to those Products which comply with all requirements of the Standards.
- Provide copies of certification documents to third parties in their entirety or, alternatively, as specified by MHC, if applicable;
- Notify in case of any proposed change in design, method, materials or place of production of the Products; and prevent release of any modified product prior to MHC approval.
- Pay MHC for the services and charges hereunder at the rates agreed.
In addition, the client agrees that its equipment, plant, facilities, and procedures, and conforms to the recommendations of the relevant initial facility inspection, or as otherwise may be specified in writing from time to time by MHC.
Failure of client to permit such access and provide such support is a breach of client’s obligations, in the sole discretion of MHC terminate Client’s rights hereunder and be due cause for removal by the client of any MHC Certification Mark from the Products and the return of all labels containing such Marks to MHC.
Client acknowledges that the sole discretion of MHC in issuing and continuing an MHC certification is the essence of the licensing agreement.
Client also acknowledges that Client has the sole responsibility for the continued compliance of its Products with the Standards. MHC does not design, develop, manufacture, repair, maintain, produce or otherwise participate or consult in any way with Client’s Products or quality controls with regard thereto.
9.Conformity Assessment Functions and Activities
MHC maintain (through publications, electronic media or other means), and makes public, without request, in all the geographical areas in which it operates, information about
- audit processes;
- processes for granting, refusing, maintaining, renewing, suspending, restoring or withdrawing certification or expanding or reducing the scope of certification;
- types of Management Systems and certification schemes in which it operates;
- the use of MHC name and certification mark or logo;
- Processes for handling requests for information, complaints and appeals; policy on impartiality and confidentiality.
The scheme includes the following functions and activities:
Halal Certification Processes:
- Scope of Halal Certification
MHC Conducts Halal certification activities as covered by the applicable relevant standards. Specifically, slaughterhouses, food manufacturing & processing industries etc. areas assessed according to the
requirements of the relevant standards. MHC manage the Halal certification schemes with reference to normative documents other than officially issued standards. Such reference documents are also available for access by the public.
Any application received by MHC for Halal certification is carefully evaluated to determine the scope of work and corresponding resources that will be needed to conduct the whole process of certification. The products/services included in a particular application are classified according to the categories/sectors stated in the applicable Halal certification scheme. Clients may apply for Halal certification of products/services that fall to one or more categories. The scope of the assessment includes all processes, sectors, products or services on the part of client that have influence on conformity of the product/ service under application to Halal requirements. For a multisite organization, each site is audited and certified separately.
MHC adopts the principles and guidelines of auditing as per standard requirements. Accepted applications for Halal certification are scheduled for audit, as applicable depending on the requirements of the Halal standard. An audit team is formed by MHC, according to the expertise required by the scope of Halal certification applied for by a particular client. The schedule of the audit is agreed upon by the audit team and the client taking into consideration the operations of the organization for assessment. Audit day(s) are strategically picked in consultation with the client where in the audit team will have an opportunity to assess representative number of product lines, categories or sectors covered by the scope of Halal certification. The appropriate length of time to complete and effectively conduct any audit conducted by MHC is determined according to determination of audit time with consideration given to the requirements of the Halal standard and regulatory authorities, criticality of the product, size of the client organization, number of sites, scope and complexity of its management system, and number of product lines and processes.
Audit plan is prepared by the assigned leader of the audit team prior to conduct of the audit. It includes the audit objectives, scope, criteria against which the client is evaluated, language to be used, date, sites, audit team and roles, client details, and expected time and duration of each on-site audit activity. Audit plan is distributed to the client and all members of the audit team. Any change in the audit plan is made known to the client prior to audit date or during the opening meeting if the change is minor.
Audit program of MHC for all Halal certification applications include a two-stage initial audit and annual surveillance audit for the three years duration of certification, at the end of which the client applies for a Halal recertification for its products/ services and undergoes the full certification process. Non-renewal of the certification canceled all the rights of the client to use the Halal certificate and Halal Logo/Mark on their products or services, and any matters related to their promotion and advertisement.
Special audits as in the case of scope extension and short-notice audits (i.e. investigation of complaints, response to changes, follow-up on corrective actions) also be made known by MHC to the client prior to the date of audit. Report is issued to clients for all audits conducted by MHC, as a result of analysis to be done by the audit team based on evidences gathered during the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits, in addition to documents provided in the application. Any raised nonconformities is confirmed by the client and effectiveness of implemented corrective action are verified by the auditors. Final files are forwarded to the Halal certification Board for final recommendation for certification.
MHC requires an authorized representative of the applicant organization to provide the necessary information to enable it to establish the following. It is done through an application form available on request as well as on our web site.
- the desired scope of the certification;
- relevant details of the applicant organization as required by the
specific certification scheme, including its name and the address(es) of its site(s), its processes and operations, human and technical resources, functions, relationships and any relevant legal obligations;
- identification of outsourced processes used by the organization that will affect conformity to requirements;
- the standards or other requirements for which the applicant organization is seeking certification;
Once the application is received, the submitted documents are reviewed for completeness and correctness by the Halal certification personnel in charge. The client is informed of any missing, incomplete or improper document for correction and resubmission. The Executive Officer, in consultation with the Manager Certification, draws the quotation based on the information contained in the application.
Manager Certification, together with the eventually necessary technical expert (e.g., for activities not included in the pricelist) review the application information to verify that:
- Product and client information are sufficient for the certification process;
- All known differences in understanding between MHC and the client (including the agreement on standards or other normative documents) are resolved;
- The scope of the certification required is defined;
- The means to conduct all evaluation activities are available when needed;
- The competence and capability to perform the activities required by the application are available when needed.
MHC Manager Certification all eventual criticalities related to the competences needed to meet clients’ requests in terms of product category, applicable normative documents or Halal certification scheme. They then conduct all the relevant investigations and inform clients thereof. Products may be considered of the same type when knowledge of the requirements, characteristics and technology related to one product are sufficient to understand the requirements, characteristics and technology related to another product.
In this case, MHC can guarantee availability of the competence and capability for all certification activities it has to undertake and keep updated records justifying the decision to undertake the Halal certification. MHC declines to undertake specific certification if it lacks any competence or capability for the certification activities it is required to undertake.
MHC rely on certifications previously issued to the client, or to other clients, in order to omit any activity, reference is made to the certification(s) included in its internal records. MHC provides the client a justification for activity omissions upon client’s request.
The client, upon understanding the whole process of Halal certification including all his rights and obligations, signs the Certification Agreement.
f.Determination of Audit Time
MHC has documented procedure for determining audit time, for each client MHC determines the time need to plan and accomplish complete and effective audit of the client.
The audit time determined by MHC is recorded with proper justification according to requirements of PS 4992:2016.
FOR PS 3733 CLIENTS
Calculation of Minimum Initial Certification Audit Time
- Minimum audit time for single site, Ta:
Ta = B + H + (PV + FTE) *CC
is the basis on-site audit time
is the audit days for each additional HACCP studies and applied only for products/services in food-chain.
is the audit days for product variety
is the audit days per number of employees
is the factor as multiplier for process or production complexity class
- Minimum audit time for each additional site,
Tasv = Ta * 50/100
MINIMUM INITIAL CERTIFICATION AUDIT TIME
|Category (See Annex A)
Basic on-site audit time
(in audit days)
|H* for each additiona
(in audit days)
Number of employees
(in audit days)
Class (factor, multiplier
|PV** Product Variety (in audit days)
|Tasv For each additional site visited (in audit
|1 to 19 = 0.5
20 to 49 = 1.0
50 to 79 = 1.5
80 to 199 = 2.0
200 to 499 =
500 to 899 =
900 to 1299 =
1300 to 1699 =
1700 to 2999 =
3000 to 5000 =
> □5000 = 5.5
Very High CC= 1.75
1 to 3 =
4 to 6 =
7 to 10 =
11 to 20 =
> 20 = 2
50 % of minimum on- site audit time
is applied only for products/services in food-chain.
is used for only products not services.
Calculation of minimum surveillance and recertification audit time
The minimum surveillance audit time shall be one-third of the initial certification audit time, with a minimum of 1 audit day (0,5 audit day for categories A and B). The minimum recertification audit time shall be two-thirds of the initial certification audit time, with a minimum of 1 audit day (0,5 audit day for categories A and B). When properly documented and justified, a reduction to the minimum can be made in a less complex organization measured by number of employees, size of the organization and/or product volume or within categories having an initial minimum audit time of less than 1,5 audit days.
- Very High – very large number of detailed sub-processes with significant nature (typically manufacturing or processing type organizations with highly significant non-Halal risks. It covers those products or service sectors that potentially have very high risks in terms of Halal aspects, with a high variety of processes or sub-processes or with a very large number of raw materials or inputs);
- High – large number of processes with significant nature (typically manufacturing or processing type organizations with significant non-Halal risks. It covers those products and service sectors that potentially have high risks in Halal aspects, with many processes.);
- Medium – average number of processes with significant nature (typically manufacturing or service organizations. It covers products and services with moderate potential non-Halal risks.);
- Low - small number of processes with significant nature (typically organizations with few significant natures. It covers products and services with low potential non-Halal risks.);
Table B1a, B1b covers the above four complexity classes. Table B2 provides the link between the four complexity classes above and the industry sectors that would typically fall into that class.
The Halal CB should recognize that not all organizations in a specific sector will always fall in the same complexity class. The certification body should allow flexibility in its contract review procedure to ensure that the specific activities of the organization are considered in determining the complexity class. For example: even though many businesses in the chemical production sector should be classified as “high complexity”, an organization which would have only a mixing free from chemical reaction, and/or high number or risky raw materials and/or advanced processing could be classified as “medium” or even “low complexity”.
All attributes of the organization’s system, processes, and products/services should be considered, and a fair adjustment made for those factors that could justify more or less audit time for an effective audit. Additive factors may be offset by subtractive factors. In all cases where adjustments are made to the time provided in the audit time table (B1a and B1b) and B2, sufficient evidence and records is maintained to justify the variation.
Examples of linkage between business sectors and complexity classes
|Not elsewhere classified (n.e.c) chemicals and pharmaceuticals, processed meat
products, genetically modified products, food additives, bio cultures, cosmetics, processing aids and microorganisms.
|Slaughtering meat and poultry; cheese products; biscuits; snacks; oil; beverages; hotels; restaurants; dietary supplements; cleaning agents; packaging material, textile
|Milk products; fish products; egg products; bee keeping; spices; horticultural products; preserved fruits; preserved vegetables; canned products; pasta; sugar; animal feed; fish feed; water supply; development of product, process and equipment; veterinary services; process equipment; vending machines, leather products
|fish; egg production; milk production; fishing; hunting; trapping; fruits; vegetables; grain; fresh fruits and fresh juices; drinking water; flour; salt; retail outlets; shops; wholesalers, transport and storage;
Determining Audit Objectives, Scope and Criteria
The audit objectives are determined by MHC. The audit scope and criteria, including any changes, is established by MHC after discussion with the client.
The audit objectives describe what is to be accomplished by the audit and includes the following:
- determination of the conformity of the client’s Management System, or parts of it, with audit criteria;
- determination of the ability of the Management System to ensure the client meets applicable statutory, regulatory and contractual requirements;
- determination of the effectiveness of the Management System to ensure the client can reasonably expect to achieve its specified objectives;
- as applicable, identification of areas for potential improvement of the Management System.
The audit scope describes the extent and boundaries of the audit, such as sites, organizational units, activities and processes to be audited. Where the initial or re-certification process consists of more than one audit (e.g. covering different sites), the scope of an individual audit may not cover the full certification scope, but the totality of audits are consistent with the scope in the certification document.
The audit criteria are used as a reference against which conformity is determined, and includes:
- the requirements of a defined normative document on Management Systems;
- the defined processes and documentation of the Management System developed by the client.
Audit Team Selection and Assignments
The audit team is appointed and composed of auditor/lead auditor, Shariah Expert & Technical Expert, who between them have the totally of the competences identified for the certification of the client. The audit team consists of at least two (2) personnel. One of them is technical auditor and the other one is a Halal Islamic
When determining the audit team to be allocated the following issues need to be considered:
- Standard to be audited
- Product codes/ category
- Auditor status i.e. Lead Auditor / Auditor
- Scope of the audit
- Duration of the audit
- Contractual requirements
- Auditor utilization rates
- Geographical location of the audit site
- Language capabilities of the auditor versus language used by the client
MHC ensures that an audit plan is established prior to each audit identified in the audit program to provide the basis for agreement regarding the conduct and scheduling of the audit activities. The audit plan is appropriate to the objectives and the scope of the audit. The audit plan at least includes or refers to the following:
- the audit objectives;
- the audit criteria;
- the audit scope, including identification of the organizational and functional units or processes to be audited;
- Product codes/ category as per scope of the certification
- the dates and sites where the on-site audit activities will be conducted, including visits to temporary sites and remote auditing activities, where appropriate;
- the expected duration of on-site audit activities;
- the roles and responsibilities of the audit team members and accompanying persons, such as observers or interpreters.
The tasks given to the audit team is defined, and requires the audit team to:
- examine and verify the structure, policies, processes, procedures, records and related documents of the client relevant to the management system standard;
- determine that these meet all the requirements relevant to the intended scope of certification;
- determine that the processes and procedures are established, implemented and maintained effectively, to provide a basis for confidence in the client’s management system;
- Communicate to the client, for its action, any inconsistencies between the client’s policy, objectives and targets and the results.
The audit plan is communicated, and the dates of the audit are agreed upon, in advance, with the client. MHC provides the name of and, when requested, make available background information on each member of the audit team, with sufficient time for the client to object to the appointment of any particular audit team member and for MHC to reconstitute the team in response to any valid objection.
MHC has a process for conducting on-site audits. This process includes an opening meeting at the start of the audit and a closing meeting at the conclusion of the audit. Where any part of the audit is made by electronic means or where the site to be audited is virtual, MHC Limited ensures that such activities are
conducted by personnel with appropriate competence. The evidence obtained during such an audit is sufficient to enable the auditor to take an informed decision on the conformity of the requirement in question.
Conducting the Opening Meeting:
A formal opening meeting where attendance is recorded is held with the client’s management and, where appropriate, those responsible for the functions or processes to be audited. The purpose of the opening meeting, usually conducted by the audit team leader, is to provide a short explanation of how the Halal audit activities will be undertaken and include the following elements. The degree of detail shall be consistent with the familiarity of the client with the audit process:
- introduction of the participants, including an outline of their roles;
- confirmation of the scope of certification;
- confirmation of the Halal audit plan (including type and scope of audit, objectives and criteria), any changes, and other relevant arrangements with the client, such as the date and time for the closing meeting, interim meetings between the audit team and the client's management;
- confirmation of formal communication channels between the audit team and the client;
- confirmation that the resources and facilities needed by the audit team are available;
- confirmation of matters relating to confidentiality;
- confirmation of relevant work safety, emergency and security procedures for the audit team;
- confirmation of the availability, roles and identities of any guides and observers;
- the method of reporting, including any grading of audit findings;
- information about the conditions under which the audit may be prematurely terminated;
- confirmation that the audit team leader and audit team representing the Halal certification body is responsible for the audit and shall be in control of executing the audit plan including audit activities and audit trails;
- confirmation of the status of findings of the previous review or audit, if applicable;
- methods and procedures to be used to conduct the audit based on sampling;
- confirmation of the language to be used during the audit;
- confirmation that, during the audit, the client will be kept informed of audit progress and any concerns;
- opportunity for the client to ask questions.
Communication during the Audit
- During the audit, the audit team periodically assesses audit progress and exchange information. The audit team leader reassigns work as needed between the audit team members and periodically communicates the progress of the audit and any concerns to the client.
- Where the available audit evidence indicates that the audit objectives are unattainable or suggests the presence of an immediate and significant risk (e.g. safety), the audit team leader reports this to the client and, if possible, to MHC to determine appropriate action. Such action may include reconfirmation or modification of the audit plan, changes to the audit objectives or audit scope, or termination of the audit. The audit team leader reports the outcome of the action taken to MHC.
- The audit team leader reviews with the client any need for changes to the audit scope which becomes apparent as on-site auditing activities progress and report this to MHC.
Obtaining and Verifying Information
- During the audit, information relevant to the audit objectives, scope and criteria (including information relating to interfaces between functions, activities and processes) is obtained by appropriate sampling and verified to become audit evidence.
- Ingredients verification and evaluation is conducted by Shariah expert along with Food technologist / Technical Expert which are the part of audit team.
- Methods to obtain information include, but are not limited to interviews, observation of processes and activities and review of documentation and records.
Identifying and Recording Audit Findings
- Audit findings summarizing conformity and detailing nonconformity is identified, classified and recorded to enable an informed certification decision to be made or the certification to be maintained.
- Opportunities for improvement is identified and recorded, unless prohibited by the requirements of a management system certification scheme. Audit findings, however, which are nonconformities, is not recorded as opportunities for improvement.
- A finding of nonconformity is recorded against a specific requirement, and contains a clear statement of the nonconformity, identifying in detail the objective evidence on which the nonconformity is based. Nonconformities is discussed with the client to ensure that the evidence is accurate and that the nonconformities are understood. The auditor however refrains from suggesting the cause of nonconformities or their solution.
- The audit team leader attempts to resolve any diverging opinions between the audit team and the client concerning audit evidence or findings, and unresolved points are recorded.
Conducting the Closing Meeting
A formal closing meeting, where attendance is recorded, is held with the client’s management and, where appropriate, those responsible for the functions or processes audited. The purpose of the closing meeting, usually conducted by the audit team leader, is to present the audit conclusions, including the recommendation regarding certification. Any non-conformity is presented in such a manner that they are understood, and the timeframe for responding is agreed. The client is given opportunity for questions. Any diverging opinions regarding the audit findings or conclusions between the audit team and the client is discussed and resolved where possible. Any diverging opinions that are not resolved is recorded and referred to MHC. The closing meeting includes the following elements. The degree of detail shall be consistent with the familiarity of the client with the audit process:
- advising the client that the audit evidence collected was based on a sample of the information; thereby introducing an element of uncertainty;
- the method and timeframe of reporting, including any grading of audit findings;
- the Halal certification body's process for handling nonconformities including any consequences related to the status of the client's Halal certification;
- the timeframe for the client to present a plan for correction and corrective action for any nonconformities identified during the audit;
- the Halal certification body's post audit activities;
- information about the complaint handling and appeal processes.
- MHC provides a written report for each audit to the client. The audit team identifies opportunities for improvement but do not recommend specific solutions. Ownership of the audit report is maintained by MHC.
- The audit team leader ensures that the audit report is prepared and is responsible for its content. The audit report provides an accurate, concise and clear record of the audit to enable an informed certification decision to be made. The report also contains:
- identification of the Halal certification body;
- the name and address of the client and the client's management representative;
- the type of audit (e.g. initial, surveillance or recertification audit);
- the audit criteria;
- the audit objectives;
- the audit scope, particularly identification of the organizational or functional units or processes audited and the time of the audit;
- identification of the audit team leader, audit team members and any accompanying persons;
- the dates and places where the audit activities (on site or offsite) were conducted;
- audit findings, evidence and conclusions, consistent with the requirements of the type of audit;
- any unresolved issues, if identified.
Cause Analysis of Non-Conformities
MHC requires the client to analyze the cause and describe the specific correction and corrective actions taken, or planned to be taken, to eliminate detected nonconformities, within a defined time.
Effectiveness of Corrections and Corrective Actions
MHC reviews the corrections, identified causes and corrective actions submitted by the client to determine if these are acceptable. MHC verifies the effectiveness of any correction and corrective actions taken. The evidence obtained to support the resolution of nonconformities is recorded. The client is informed of the result of the review and verification. The client is informed if an additional full audit, an additional limited audit, or documented evidence (to be confirmed during future audits) will be needed to verify effective correction and corrective actions.
i.Initial Certification - Initial Certification Audit
The initial certification audit of the management system is conducted in two stages: Stage-1 and Stage-2 Audits.
The objectives of stage-1 audit are to:
- review the client’s management system documented information;
- evaluate the client's location and site-specific condition and to undertake discussions with the client’s personnel to determine the preparedness for stage-2 audit;
- review the client’s status and understanding regarding requirements of the standard, in particular with respect to the identification of key performance or significant aspects, processes, objectives and operation of the management system;
- obtain necessary information regarding the scope of the management system including:
- the client’s site(s);
- processes and equipment used;
- levels of controls established (particularly in case of multisite clients);
- applicable statutory and regulatory requirements;
- review the allocation of resources for stage-2 audit and agree the details of stage-2 audit with the client;
- provide a focus for planning stage-2 audit by gaining a sufficient understanding of the client’s management system and site operations in the context of possible significant aspects;
- Evaluate if the internal audits and management reviews are being planned and performed, and that the level of implementation of the management system substantiates that the client is ready for stage-2 audit.
- Stage 1 audit findings are documented and communicated to the client, including identification of any areas of concern that could be classified as nonconformity during the stage 2 audit.
- In determining the interval between stage 1 and stage 2 audits, consideration are given to the needs of the client to resolve areas of concern identified during the stage 1 audit. The Halal certification body may also need to revise its arrangements for stage 2
The purpose of stage-2 audit is to evaluate the implementation, including effectiveness, of the client’s management system. The stage-2 audit takes place at the site(s) of the client. It includes the auditing of at least the following:
- information and evidence about conformity to all requirements of the applicable management system standard or other normative documents;
- performance monitoring, measuring, reporting and reviewing against key performance objectives and targets (consistent with the expectations in the applicable management system standard or other normative document);
- the client’s management system ability and its performance regarding meeting of applicable statutory, regulatory and contractual requirements;
- operational control of the client’s processes;
- internal auditing and management review;
- management responsibility for the client’s policies.
- links between the normative requirements, policy, performance objectives and targets (consistent with the expectations in the applicable management system standard or other normative document), any applicable legal requirements, responsibilities, competence of personnel, operations, procedures, performance data and internal audit findings and conclusions.
The Stage 2 audit is conducted within 90 -180 days from the last date of the Stage 1 audit. MHC provides an audit program prior to the commencement of the audit.
The MHC audit team meets with the Client’s management to discuss the details of the audit process and consider possible issues relating to the performance of the audit. The MHC audit team discusses any nonconformities, observations and opportunities for improvement if and when they are identified during the audit.
The MHC audit team prepares and present to the Client’s management a report of the audit, which includes the audit findings and the scope of certification and seeks agreement, where necessary, on the nature of any corrective actions to be taken.
In cases where independent tests are required by the Halal certification scheme or other regulations, the audit team randomly takes samples in sufficient quantity from the production/ service premises and sent for testing to a laboratory accredited to ISO 17025. If the Halal certification of products under evaluation is based on the results of the testing, sampling follows GIP-014 Sampling Plan and Technique. Testing is based on internationally acceptable guidelines such as those issued by ISO (ISO 21569, ISO 21570, ISO 21572, ISO 16578, etc.), CAC (as reflected in the CODEX-STAN 234) or other reputable international bodies.
Changes to Stages 1 & 2:
If as result of Stage 1 MHC determines that the Stage 2 arrangements (i.e. changes in the scope, man-days, auditors, sites) is adjusted, the Agreement may be amended. If after Stage 1 MHC determines that MHC is not ready, Stage 1 can be repeated until it produces satisfactory result to proceed with Stage 2. When Stage 1 & 2 is planned back to back MHC has the right to postpone Stage 2 at the expenses of the Client if the results of Stage 1 are not satisfactory to proceed with Stage 2.
MHC auditors identify nonconformities on which the client needs to be taking appropriate corrective actions. When Major Non-Conformity occurs, the client needs to take corrective actions based on root cause analysis within 28 days and submitted to the MHC. After the verification of these corrective actions, MHC performs a “follow up audit”, which is charged at MHC current rates.
When Minor Non-Conformity occurs, the client needs to take corrective actions based on root cause analysis and submit the evidences within 90 days to the MHC. Audit team will verify these corrective actions and evidences
Initial Halal Certification Audit Conclusions
The audit team analyzes all information and audit evidence gathered during stage-1 and stage-2 audit to review the audit findings and agree on the audit conclusions. At least three Halal certification personnel who were not involved in the evaluation process (especially for the client’s file under review for certification) form the Halal certification Board (Certification Decision Committee). The committee reviews the evaluation results and all technical and administrative aspects of the products/ services sought for registration. Documents forwarded to the committee include but not limited to the audit reports, nonconformity reports and corrective action done by the client, recommendation for certification by the auditors and all documents provided during application. Halal Shariah Board gives final recommendation for certification on the based on all information related to the evaluation forms, its review, and any other relevant information using Request for Certification Form
. Recommendation for certification is taken unanimously, not by majority of votes, and is based on full review of the results of evaluation. MHC is responsible and retains authority for all its decisions relating to certification.
In case of a decision not to grant certification due to non-conformity on the part of the customer, MHC notifies the customer of the reasons for the decision. If the customer expresses interest in continuing the certification process, MHC coordinates once more with the customer in order for them to initiate the necessary actions to satisfy the requirements of the applicable certification scheme. Upon the client’s submission of the corrective actions and supporting evidences, the processes of evaluation and review are repeated should the decision not to grant certification is due to missing information from the evaluation results or other administrative aspects, and then the evaluation report is sent back to the Halal certification personnel who performed the evaluation for correction.
If, on the contrary, the review is successful, the decision to grant certification is taken and therefore the documents for certification are prepared. MHC does not authorize third parties to issue, maintain, extend, reduce, suspend or withdraw certification. Eventually outsourced stages of the certification process, under formal agreements and procedures defining their limits, remain under the responsibility of MHC. Information for granting initial Halal Certification
- The information provided by the audit team to MHC for the Halal certification decision includes, as minimum,
- The audit reports
- Comments on the non-conformities and, where applicable, the corrections and the corrective actions taken by the client.
- Confirmation of the information provided to the Halal certification body used in the application review.
- A recommendation whether or not to grant a Halal certificate, together with any conditions or observations.
- MHC makes the certification decision on the basis of an evaluation of the audit findings and conclusions and any other relevant information (e.g. public information, comments on the audit report from the client).
MHC has developed its surveillance activities so that representative areas and functions covered by the scope are monitored on a regular basis and takes into account changes to its certified client. Surveillance activities include on-site audits assessing the fulfillment of specified requirements with respect to the standard to which the certification is granted. Other surveillance activities may include:
- Inquiries from MHC to the certified client on aspects of certification
- Reviewing any client’s statements with respect to its operations (e.g. promotional material, website)
- Requests to the client to provide documents and records (on paper or electronic media
- Other means of monitoring the certified client’s performance.
Product testing also constitutes the surveillance activities. During the annual surveillance audit or any other time determined appropriate by MHC based on applicable Halal certification scheme, a representative sample of the certified product is taken randomly, appropriately sealed by the auditor, and sent to an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory for analysis. The auditor also reports any eventually withheld changes in the structural organization of the company audited, which may lead to further actions by MHC.
Surveillance audits are on-site audits, and are planned together with the other surveillance activities so that MHC can maintain confidence that the system continues to fulfill requirements between recertification audits. The surveillance audit program includes, at least:
- Internal audits and management review
- A review of actions taken on non-conformities identified during the previous audit
- Treatment of complaints
- Effectiveness of products/services/management system with regard to achieving the certified client’s objectives
- Progress of planned activities aimed at continual improvement
- Continuing operational control
- Review of any changes
- Use of marks and/or any other reference to certification.
Surveillance audits are conducted at least once a year. The date of first surveillance audit following initial certification is not more than 12 months from the last day of the stage-2 audit.
MHC maintains certification based on demonstration that the client continues to satisfy the requirements of the relevant standard. It may maintain a client’s certification based on a positive conclusion by the audit team leader without further independent review, provided:
- For any non-conformity or other situation that may lead to suspension or withdrawal of certification, MHC has a system that requires the audit team leader to report to the MHC the need to initiate a review by appropriately competent personnel, different from those who carried out the audit, to determine whether certification can be maintained
- Competent personnel of MHC monitor its surveillance activities, including monitoring the reporting by its auditors, to confirm that the Halal certification activities are operating effectively.
MHC conducts surveillance at certain time intervals as discussed above as it deems necessary in order to check the continuing compliance of Halal product/service with the requirements of the certification, giving due regard to the requirements of the Halal product/service standard to which the certification has been conducted and taking account of the nature of Halal product/service in question, requirements of the certification, any nonconformities detected in the Halal product/service or Halal production/service premises or any complaints received with regard to certified Halal product/service.
Where Halal production/service premises are audited and where nonconformities that directly affect halal product/service safety are detected, samples may be taken for surveillance purposes.
In all cases, the procedures with regard to reports issued as a result of surveillance are determined by decision maker(s).
k. Recertification Recertification Audit Planning
- A recertification audit is planned and conducted to evaluate the continual fulfillment of all the requirements of the relevant standard. The purpose of the recertification audit is to confirm the continued conformity and effectiveness of the system, and its continued relevance and applicability for the scope of certification.
- The recertification audit considers the performance of the system over the period of Halal certification and includes the review of previous surveillance audit reports.
- Recertification audit activities may need to have a stage-1 audit in situations where there have been significant changes to product/service/management system, the client, or the context in which the system is operating (e.g. changes to legislation).
- In case of multiple sites, certification on the relevant standard being provided by MHC, the planning for the audit ensures adequate on-site audit coverage to provide confidence in the certification.
The recertification audit includes an on-site audit that addresses the following:
- The effectiveness of system in entirety in the light of internal and external changes and in continued relevance and applicability to the scope of certification.
- Demonstrated commitment to maintain the effectiveness and improvement of the system in order to enhance overall performance.
- Whether the operation of certified system contributes to the achievement of the organization’s policy and objectives.
When, during a recertification audit, instances of nonconformity or lack of evidence of conformity are identified, MHC defines time limits for correction and corrective actions to be implemented prior to the expiration of certification.
Information for Granting Recertification
- MHC makes decisions on renewing certification based on the results of the recertification audit, as well as the results of the review of the system over the period of certification and complaints received from the users of certification.
- Halal certified clients should submit a recertification or renewal application two months prior to expiry date of current Halal certificate
- Halal certified clients who fail to renew their certificates is not allowed to use the Halal mark/logo at the premises or on the manufactured products.
- MHC issued Extension letter for maximum of 03 months to those Halal Certified client who unable to plan / conduct audit before certificate expiry in Re-Certification due to some reason either from CB side and client side.
l. Special Audits Extension to scope
MHC, in response to an application for extension to the scope of a certification already granted, undertakes a review of the application and determines any audit activities necessary to decide whether or not the extension may be granted. This may be conducted in conjunction with the surveillance audit.
It may be necessary for MHC to conduct audits of certified clients at short notice to investigate complaints, or in response to changes, or as follow up on suspended clients, In such cases:
- MHC describes and make known in advance to the certified clients, the conditions under which these short notice visits are to be conducted.
- MHC exercises additional care in the assignment of the audit team because of the lack of opportunity for the client to object to audit team members.
The Client is requested to inform MHC promptly of any significant changes to its product(s) or services that may impact the certified management system(s) or any other circumstances, which may affect the validity of its certification. Change of site, additional sites, change of process, change of ownership, change of scope, change of number of employees, etc. are considered as changes which may affect the validity of the certification. MHC then takes the appropriate action, such as conducting a special visit and/or changing the certification. Special visits are conducted as well to investigate complaints received about the Client.
m. Suspending/Cancelling, Withdrawing or Reducing the Scope of Certification
MHC has a policy and documented procedure for suspension, withdrawal or reduction of the scope of certification, and specifies the subsequent actions by MHC. MHC suspends certification in cases when, for example:
- The client’s certified management system has persistently or seriously failed to meet certification requirements, including requirements for effectiveness of the management system.
- The certified client does not allow surveillance or recertification audits to be conducted at the required frequencies.
- The client has voluntarily requested a suspension.
- Due to non-fulfill of payment from client side.
Under suspension, the client’s certification is temporarily invalid. MHC has an enforceable arrangement with its clients to ensure that in case of suspension the client refrains from further promotion of its certification. MHC makes the suspended status of the certification publicly accessible and take any other measures if deems appropriate.
Failure to resolve the issues that have resulted in the suspension in a time established by the MHC resulted in withdrawal or reduction of the scope of certification.
MHC reduces the client’s scope of certification to exclude the parts not meeting the requirements, when the client has persistently or seriously failed to meet the certification requirements for those parts of the scope of certification. Any such reduction is in line with the requirements of the standard used for certification.
MHC have enforceable arrangements with the certified client concerning conditions of withdrawal ensuring upon notice of withdrawal of certification that the client discontinues its use of all advertising matter that contains any reference to a certified status.
Upon request by any party, MHC correctly state the status of certification of a client's management system as being suspended, withdrawn or reduced.
n.Complaints and Appeals
- A description of the complaints / appeal -handling process is publicly accessible.
- Upon receipt of a complaint / appeal, MHC confirm whether the complaint / appeal relates to certification activities that it is responsible for and, if so, deal with it. If the complaint / appeal relates to a certified client, then examination of the complaint / appeal considers the effectiveness of the certified management system.
- Any complaint about a certified client also be referred by the Halal certification body to the certified client in question at an appropriate time.
- MHC has a documented process to receive, evaluate and make decisions on complaints / appeals. This process subject to requirements for confidentiality, as it relates to the complainant and to the subject of the complaint.
- MHC is responsible for all decisions at all levels of the appeals-handling process. MHC ensures that the persons engaged in the appeals-handling process are different from those who carried out the audits and made the certification decisions.
- Submission, investigation and decision on appeals are not result in any discriminatory actions against the appellant.
- ATCS acknowledges receipt of the appeal and provides the appellant with progress reports and the outcome.
- The decision to be communicated to the appellant are made by, or reviewed and approved by, individual(s) not previously involved in the subject of the appeal.
- MHC gives formal notice to the appellant of the end of the appeals-handling process.
- The members of appeal and complaint committee are independent from any phase of the Halal certification related to the subject of the appeal or complaint.
- The complaints and appeal management process of MHC is based on the following principles:
- an outline of the process for receiving, validating, investigating the complaint, and for deciding what actions are to be taken in response to it;
- tracking and recording complaints, including actions undertaken in response to them;
- ensuring that any appropriate correction and corrective action are taken.
MHC maintain a system for receiving complaints, appeals, claims and disputes. The client needs to provide the following information.
- Client Details
- Application reference, if applicable
- Nature of complaint
Any member of Complaint & Appeal Committee receiving a complaint/appeal related to a potential problem must promptly obtain information about problem and notify the Certification Manager upon learning of any extortion incident. CEO is responsible to call out a meeting of Complaint & Appeal Committee to discuss necessary actions to be taken. Certification Manager is responsible to coordinate with committee members about the actions taken and not to be taken about complaint/appeal. Certification Manager is responsible to identify the points where the potential problems occurred or from where the information’s is to be collected. Necessary information’s are collected and sent immediately to the Certification Manager. He may take the aid of other committee members to accomplish this task, where the committee for investigation comprised of at least 03 persons and at least one of whom is a Halal Islamic affairs expert, who were not involved in the certification process or activities related to the complaint/appeal nor has been employed by the complainant/appellant or render consultancy service for them within two years, is formed. The personnel or committee gathers all the necessary information and evidences to verify the merit of the complaint/ appeal. The root cause of a valid complaint/ appeal is determined based on outcome of the investigation, and
appropriate action plan to prevent recurrence is recommended by the Certification Manager, subject to approval by the CEO.
The effectiveness of the implemented corrective action is verified by the Certification Manager within the time frame specified. Complaint and Appeal Form
is used to record all activities concerning handling of complaints and appeals. These complaints/ appeals are also part of the management review meeting.
The outcome of complaint/ appeal investigation and final decision, including any action required from the client is communicated to the complainant/appellant by the CEO or TM’s feedback on MHC process of handling complaints and appeals are welcomed and duly recorded in the same Complaint and Appeal Form.
o.Records of applicants and clients
MHC maintains records on the audit and other certification activities for all clients, including all organizations that submitted applications, and all organizations audited, certified, or with certification suspended or withdrawn.
Records of certified clients include the following:
- Application information and initial, surveillance and recertification audit reports
- Certification agreement
- Justification of the methodology used for sampling. (Note: Methodology of sampling includes the sampling employed to assess the Halal management system and/or to select sites in the context of multi sites assessment).
- Justification for auditor time determination
- Verification of corrective and preventive actions
- Records of complaints and appeals and any subsequent corrective and preventive actions
- Committee deliberations and decisions if applicable
- Documentation of the certification decisions
- Certification documents, including the scope of certification with respect to product, process or service, as applicable
- Related records necessary to establish the credibility of the certification, such as evidence of the competence of auditors and technical experts.
MHC keeps records on applicants and clients secure to ensure that the information is kept confidential. Records are transported, transmitted or transferred under lock and key to ensure that confidentiality is maintained. This phase is supervised by a staff member of MHC. MHC has documented policy and documented procedure on the retention of records. Records are retained for the duration of the current cycle plus one full certification cycle.
p.Maintenance and Improvement of Scheme:
- Review of scheme operation: This scheme will be reviewed on at least annually basis during a management review meeting. The purpose of review is to confirm the validity of scheme and to identify aspects requiring improvement. The following points will be covered in the review process:
- Provisions to ensure that the scheme requirements are being applied in consistent manner.
- Feedback from stake holders will be considered.
- Complaints and appeals will be reviewed.
- In case any change in the scheme is decided, it will be communicated to PNAC and other stake holders.
- Review record will be maintained in the form of minutes of meeting and circulated to all concerned.
- Changes in Specified Requirements: MHC monitors the development of the standards and other normative documents which define the specified requirements used in this scheme. Where changes in these documents occur, Quality Management Representative/Operations Coordinator is responsible for incorporating these changes in the scheme and for managing implementation of the changes by clients and other stake holders.
- Other Changes to the Scheme: MHC follows the Document Change Procedure for managing the implementation of other changes to the rules, procedures and management of the scheme.
q.Use of product certification mark:
MHC provides a unique identifier to be displayed in conjunction with the MHC certification mark. The identifier is the MHC’s official acronym and is formatted and positioned to the right of the certification mark. The identifier is legible and no taller than the height of the MHC certification mark itself. MHC provides to the product certification body a copy of the mark and authorizes applicant organizations to use in conjunction with labeled products. The MHC provides to the applicant organization of a certified product, the appropriate certification mark artwork and monitors that the applicant organization applies and uses the certification mark in accordance with the Policy for Use of Halal Certification Mark or Logo.
r.Confidentiality and Impartiality:
MHC is responsible for ensuring that confidentiality of information is maintained by its employees and those of its subcontractors concerning all information obtained as a result of their contracts with the licensee. It also ensures impartiality. The MHC has established confidentiality and impartiality procedures in accordance with the relevant standards.
s.Fraudulent claim of certification:
MHC takes appropriate action when an applicant organization of a product it has certified, engages in unauthorized, incorrect, or misleading use of the certification mark, whether it is discovered by the product MHC or is brought to its attention of competent authority. The MHC brings to the official notice, any instances of unauthorized use of a certification mark by an applicant organization of a product that has not been certified. The competent authority engages in appropriate action with the infringing organization.
Liability & Financing:
MHC is insured company and has an account in Pakistan with sufficient balance. Company liability is till the completion of certification process i.e., issuance of Halal Certificate. And in case of export the liability of consignment is not included in our indemnity insurance and client will be responsible itself if there is any loss of consignment during shipping.
Revenue of MHC is financed itself with revenue from:
- Product Certification
- Systems Certification
- Inspection Services
The financial year runs from 1st
July to 30th
June. The Financial Statements are drawn up by the Administration and Finance Control Department, who then submits them to CEO for approval.
MHC intends to support the certification activities with fees received from its clients. These funds are adequate for covering all required activities to meet the procedures defined in the MHC Manual. The breakdown of service charges is decided mutually depending upon the client size and the scope of certification.
u.Retention of Records.
- MHC retains record to demonstrate that all certification process requirements as explained in the standards and certification scheme are fulfilled.
- If re-certifications are done on a determined cycle, then records are retained at least for the current and previous cycle. Otherwise, retention time of records will be decided under legal circumstances.
- The records are treated as confidential.
- As a rule, the last copy of obsolete documents will be retained.
|Procedure for Control of Documents
|Procedure for Control of Records
|Procedure for Handling Complaints and Appeals
|Procedure for Suspension, Withdrawal and Reduction of the Scope of
|Master List of Documents
|Halal Client List