This policy applies to Verification Organizations and the Building Science Institute.
The verification organization must use the methods and procedures for verification activities to conform with ENERGY STAR® Certification Protocols and referenced standards.
When the ENERGY STAR Certification Protocols change, the changes must be implemented by the Building Science Institute and approved verification organizations within 90 days.
When the referenced standards change, the changes must be implemented within 1 year of adoption by the standard developer.
Where these methods and procedures are not defined, the verification organization may develop specific methods and procedures.
When the verification organization uses a non-standard method or procedure, the non-standard method or procedure must be documented by the verification organization.
The verification organization must have and use adequate documented instructions on verifications and sampling techniques where the absence of such instructions could jeopardize the effectiveness of the verification process.
When sampling is performed, the verification organization must have sufficient knowledge of statistical techniques to ensure statistically sound sampling procedures and the correct processing and interpretation of results, including the Building Science Institute Sampling Process requirements.
All work instructions, standards or written procedures, worksheets, check lists, and reference data relevant to the work of the verification organization must be maintained up-to-date and be readily available to the personnel.
The verification organization must have a contract or work order control system which ensures that work to be undertaken is within its expertise and the organization has adequate resources to meet the requirements; the requirements of those seeking the verification organization’s services are adequately defined and that special conditions are understood so unambiguous instructions can be issued to personnel who perform the required duties; work undertaken is controlled by regular review and corrective action; and the requirements of the contract or work order have been met.
The contract or work order control system must also ensure that contract conditions are agreed; personnel competence is adequate; any statutory requirements are identified; safety requirements are identified; and the extent of any sub-contracting arrangements required is identified.
For routine or repeat work requests, the review may be limited to considerations of time and human resources. An acceptable record in such cases would be the acceptance of the contract by an appropriately authorized person.
When verbal work orders are acceptable, the verification organization must keep a record of all requests and instructions received verbally. The relevant dates and the identity of the customer’s representative must be recorded.
The contract or work order control system must ensure there is a clear and demonstrable understanding between the verification organization and its customer of the scope of the verification work to be performed by the verification organization.
The verification organization must verify the integrity of information supplied by any other party as part of the verification process.
Observations or data obtained in the course of verifications must be recorded in a timely manner to prevent loss of relevant information.
Calculations and data transfers must be subject to appropriate checks.
The verification organization must have documented instructions to carry out verifications in a safe manner.
The verification organization must ensure dwelling units to be verified are uniquely identified to avoid confusion regarding the identity of such dwelling units.
The verification organization must establish whether the dwelling unit to be verified has been prepared for verification activities.
Any apparent abnormalities notified to, or noticed by, the verifier must be recorded.
When there is any doubt to the dwelling unit’s suitability for the verification to be carried out, or where the dwelling unit does not conform to the description provided, the verification organization must contact the customer and record the outcome before proceeding with the verification.
The verification organization must have documented procedures to avoid damage to dwelling units while under its responsibility.
The verification organization must maintain a record system to demonstrate the effective fulfillment of verification procedures and enable an assessment of the verification.
The records must indicate which particular item of equipment, which has a significant influence on the result of the verification, has been used for each verification activity.
The verification organization must retain records of original observations, derived data, and sufficient information to establish an audit trail, calibration records, staff records, and a copy of each verification report or certificate issued, for a minimum period of 3 years.
The verification documentation, including energy simulation files, must be internally traceable to the verifiers and analysts who performed the verification activities.
The label and certificate must conform with the ENERGY STAR® certificate template.
Endorsed reports and certificates that make reference to certification by the Building Science Institute must include a clear disclaimer when the verification organization is not credentialed for services and tests listed on reports and certificates, and when reports and certificates include or are based on results from un-credentialed sub-contractors.
All information must be reported correctly, accurately, and clearly. When the verification documents contain results supplied by sub-contractors, these results must be clearly identified.
Corrections or additions to a verification document or certificate after it has been issued must be recorded and the amended document or certificate identifies the report or certificate it replaced.
The verification organization must have a documented process to receive, evaluate, and make decisions on complaints and appeals.
The description of the handling process for complaints and appeals must be available to any interested party on request.
Upon receipt of a complaint, the verification organization must confirm whether the complaint relates to verification activities it is responsible for and, if so, must deal with it.
The verification organization must be responsible for all decisions at all levels of the handling process for complaints and appeals.
The verification organization must consider whether the investigation and decision on appeals results in any discriminatory actions.
The handling process for complaints and appeals must include at least the following elements and methods:
The verification organization receiving the complaint or appeal must be responsible to gather and verify all necessary information to validate the complaint or appeal.
Whenever possible, the verification organization must acknowledge receipt of the complaint or appeal, and provide the complainant or appellant with progress reports and the outcome.
The decision to be communicated to the complainant or appellant must be made by, or reviewed and approved by, individuals not involved in the original verification activities in question.
Whenever possible, the verification organization must give formal notice of the end of the complaint and appeals process to the complainant or appellant.
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