- How often do audits/inspections/sample fabrications occur?
IGCC/IGMA, SGCC and WDMA Hallmark audits are bi-annually. NFRC is an annual audit. Samples are typically fabricated annually for IGCC/IGMA to maintain certification. SGCC samples are tested twice a year at each audit. NFRC and WDMA Hallmark certification lasts as long as the test report is current, which is typically for 4 years, then samples need to submitted to an independent lab for re-certification testing.
- Do I need an inspection/audit prior to certification of a product? Does it need to be tested first?
Depends on which program that a product is being considered for. Insulating glass for IGCC/IGMA certification first requires an auditor witnessed fabrication of samples, then a passing test at an independent lab before certification. Safety glass (tempered or laminated) for SGCC certification requires a test at an independent lab of participant submitted samples before certification. NFRC requires an independent computer simulation and physical test of a product before certification. WDMA Hallmark requires an air/water/structural test from an independent lab submitted for certification before an inspection/audit needs to occur.
- Who do I talk to if I have a concern?
If any party has a concern with the operation or decisions of the certification program an appeal or complaint may be filed as formally or informally as the party desires. Each certification program has an appeals and complaint procedure to deal with such issues. Although an appeal or complaint may be filed with anyone involved in the certification program, in general, AMS should first be contacted. If the issue can not be resolved with AMS, the matter will be forwarded to an appropriate appeals committee within the certification program. If again the matter can not be resolved, the governing Board of the certification program may be contacted.
- Who should I initially contact, AMS or the association?
While we recommend your first contact should be to AMS, all are welcome to contact anyone involved in the certification process, including officers, chairpersons, auditors and labs. AMS can be viewed as the single point contact source for all certification needs. If we are not the correct office to speak with, we will get you in touch with the right people. For SGCC and IGCC, AMS serves as their staff, while for IGMA, WDMA and NFRC there are staff people at other locations who focus primarily on issues other than day-to-day certification needs. Each certification program has a current listing of officers, chairpersons, auditors and labs which can be found in certification program documents, in the procedural guide for the program or by contacting the AMS staff.
- How does AMS relate to the actual certification program sponsors?
AMS does not actually sponsor certification as AMS, but rather provides services to the association sponsored certification programs SGCC, IGCC/IGMA, WDMA Hallmark, and WDMA/NFRC. By the associations using a common service provider, this allows AMS to provide single contact coordination to manufacturer/fabricator certification program participants for administration and auditing while still allowing each association sponsor to maintain their own autonomy and control of their specific certification process.