FAQ I would like to become ASI Certified

I'm considering ASI Membership

I would like to become ASI Certified

I'd like to source ASI Aluminium ASI Alumina, or ASI Bauxite

I'd like to become an ASI Accredited Auditor

I would like to become ASI Certified

Overview

Can any interested business become ASI Certified?

If you are eligible to join ASI as a ‘Production and Transformation’ or ‘Industrial User’ member, then you can seek ASI Certification.  If you are only eligible for other membership classes, then ASI Certification is not applicable.

Find out more about your eligibility from the ASI Membership Information and Application Form or contact us at info@aluminium-stewardship.org to discuss your situation.

How much will it cost to get certified?

You will need to determine that for your own situation. The audit costs depend on the scope of the audit and the Audit Firm’s fees. Some Guidance on audit-person days is provided in the ASI Assurance Manual for both members and auditors.

How long does it take to get ASI Certified?

On average, most ASI Members find it takes between six and twelve months.  The first step is to work through their Self Assessment, identifying any gaps in their existing systems and/or performance and then developing and implementing corrective measures to ensure they meet the requirements of the Standards.  Variables include the pre-existing systems and processes in place at the Entity, as well as the level of resources available to the Entity in addressing any identified deficiencies in systems and processes.

Once the Self Assessment has been completed, the Member may then schedule their audit with their preferred Accredited Auditing Firm. The audit will be initiated in elementAl and the Lead Auditor will then discuss the audit plan and schedule with the Member. This process may take between one and three months, subject to the scheduled date of the audit commencing.

What happens if I don't meet the requirements of the Standard?

If a member doesn’t meet the requirements of the standard, a major non-conformance rating is given by the auditor. This means that the member will be issued with a provisional certification for one year to allow them to implement corrective actions while maintaining their ASI membership. If more than three major non-conformances are found, the audit is suspended and no certification is granted. The member is then at risk of losing their ASI membership if the non-conformances are not closed out within a specified time.

Deciding your approach

Which ASI Standard should I certify against first?

If you are a member in the Production and Transformation category you must achieve Certification to the Performance Standard prior to, or simultaneously with, the Chain of Custody Standard.

If you are a member in the Industrial Users Category, post-casthouse facilities may be certified to either Standard first.  Any facilities certified first to the Chain of Custody Standard must also be certified to the Performance Standard within the two year timeline set when they joined ASI.

If we start with certifying only one facility, would it be possible to certify a second facility or the company as a group in the future?

Yes.  Members can choose how they would like to approach Certification, and the minimum is one facility or part of their business.  Additional facilities or parts of the business, up to and including comprising the group as a whole, can certainly be added in future, either as separate Certifications, or by expanding the existing Certification.

Can we certify a particular product or program instead of certifying a facility?

Yes.  ASI offers flexibility to Members to define an appropriate Certification Scope at either a business, facility or product/program level. A product/program approach for an Industrial User’s Certification Scope could include an automotive model or component, or type of packaging, for example. This may be a more relevant subset of the business than focusing on a particular operating facility/ies.

For more information on defining Certification Scope, see the ASI Assurance Manual.

Getting ready

Who should be involved in ASI Certification from within my company?

Think about who in your organisation are responsible for overseeing and/or implementing the relevant parts of ASI’s Standards that apply to your organisation.  These may include:

  • Senior management representatives
  • Health, safety and environment personnel
  • Sustainability / CSR personnel
  • Human resources personnel
  • Internal compliance teams
  • IT, logistics, operations
  • Procurement / supply chain personnel
  • Sales and marketing

You may also want to consider how the overall process will be co-ordinated, for example with a lead co-ordinator or project manager, and/or a co-ordination committee.

Is there ASI training available to help me understand the ASI Standards and Certification process?

Yes, we have a full suite of training modules available on demand via our educationAl platform. We also welcome training suggestions from members and auditors to info@aluminium-stewardship.org

Finding an Auditor

How do I find an ASI Accredited Auditor?

ASI accredited auditing firms are responsible for conducting independent third-party audits to ASI Certification.  A list of Accredited Auditing Firms is available on the ASI website, and can be searched by country, supply chain activity and ASI Standard.

Will ASI assign me an Auditor?

No.  Companies seeking ASI Certification select their own auditor from the list of ASI Accredited Auditing Firms.  If an eligible firm is not yet on the list, please let them know of the opportunity to apply if they meet ASI Accreditation requirements, available here.

What happens if there’s no ASI Accredited Audit Firm in my country of operation?

A Member can identify one or more potential auditing firms (Conformity Assessment Body) and auditor personnel, who are currently not ASI accredited, but may be in a situation, both geographically and through previous auditing experience, to undertake ASI audits.  A Member could also approach an existing ASI Accredited Auditing Firm where it may have a prior auditing relationship to determine whether it has appropriate qualifications and/or candidates for ASI accreditation – noting in particular their supply chain activity experience, language competencies and appropriate in-country experience.

Before any ASI Audit activities commence, any non-ASI accredited audit firm and associated audit personnel (either as an employee or contractor) MUST BOTH become ASI Accredited (as per the steps outlined in the ASI Auditor Accreditation Procedure). Subject to approval from the ASI Secretariat, in-country local support personnel can be used to support the Lead Auditor with local language, cultural and legislative context, however the Lead Auditor must also be able to demonstrate appropriate in-country experience.

Refer to Schedule 4 of the ASI Auditor Accreditation Procedure for further information.

Can I change audit firms half way through an audit?

No. The same audit firm must be engaged throughout the audit. In a situation where the audit was undertaken as a remote audit due to covid-19 or other force majeure related situation that has restricted auditor access to the Entity, the follow-up on-site component can be undertaken as a separate surveillance audit and a different accredited auditing firm can be engaged.  Written approval from Member allowing transfer of all previous audit-related information to the new audit firm must be provided to the ASI Secretariat.

Must I use the same audit firm to re-certify my business?

If a Member wishes to change the Auditing Firm (between audits, but not during) it can do so, provided it gives advance notice to both the existing Auditing Firm and the ASI Secretariat. Written approval from Member allowing transfer of all previous audit-related information to the new audit firm must be provided to the ASI Secretariat.

Using elementAl

Is it obligatory to carry out the initial Self Assessment in ASI’s online assurance platform, elementAl? If we do not do it would it be a barrier for certification procedure?

Yes, the Self Assessment is the beginning of the certification work flow process, which is then carried through elementAl.  The auditor reviews your Self Assessment to plan and execute the third-party audit.  Audit reports are then submitted through elementAl, followed by Oversight processes by the ASI Secretariat.  The elementAl platform thus provides end-to-end digital management of the ASI certification process. For initial certification audits with supply chain activities including bauxite mining, alumina refining and aluminium smelting, the ASI Secretariat will also review the audit plan for appropriateness based on the scope and geographical setting of the audit.

Will ASI review the Self Assessment ahead of the audit?

ASI does not typically review the findings of the Self Assessment prior to any audit, unless an issue has been specifically raised by the Member and/or the Auditing Firm for the Secretariat to review and advise. ASI will however check the details relating to the naming of the Entity (including the facility names), the supply chain activities, the audit and certification scopes.

Our company operates in a language other than English and our auditors also speak that language: can we enter our data in elementAl in this language?

All the conformance and objective evidence for each criteria can be entered in your language of choice.  However the initial Self Assessment details and the details for each Business, Facility and/or Product/Programs should all be in English for ASI’s records.