AWS strongly recommends that sites implementing the AWS Standard draw support from organisations trained and accredited by AWS to deliver services. Accreditation is given to three types of organisations: Consultancies, Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) and Trainers. In the case of CABs and Training, it is mandatory that sites only use AWS Accredited providers.
Demonstrable expertise in water stewardship or water-related initiatives is a requirement to accredit organisations providing services against the AWS Standard. Each organisation must be staffed with personnel who have relevant water expertise that have undergone AWS Standard System Training.
CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT BODIES (CABs)
Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) are professional and independent certification service providers approved to audit and certify sites by AWS. Accredited CABs meet the AWS Accreditation Requirements and have the systems and training to apply the AWS Certification Requirements in order to independently assess a site’s compliance with the AWS Standard. Both of these documents are available to download on our Resources page.
CABs tend to be regional or multinational organisations, working with other ISEAL member certification schemes as well as providing ISO certification. CABs will be independently accredited to relevant ISO requirements and have skilled auditors with knowledge of water stewardship, and experience of auditing other social and environmental standards. Lead auditors of CABs must have attended the AWS Specialist Training, with other members of the audit team having completed the Foundation and Advanced training and be part of the AWS Professional Credentialing System (click here for more information on training).
Evaluation of applicants
An explanation of the different requirements and evidence required for CAB accreditation are found in the application document which can be download here. Applicants must give a response to each requirement in the form and present a source of evidence to support that they have the right systems and resources in place. AWS will conduct a first stage assessment of the application for completeness and will highlight if there is evidence missing. Once a complete set of responses and evidence have been submitted we review audit-related documentation and the experience of personnel. An Accreditation Agreement is then issued and signed between AWS and the CAB.
Surveillance of CABs
Following initial accreditation of the CAB, AWS will:
Witness one or more of the CAB’s audits in the field annually
Perform a Head Office Assessment of Systems to meet the AWS Accreditation and Certification Requirements
The number of annual witness audits and accreditation site visits will depend on CAB performance, risk parameters and number of certificates, as well as availability of AWS resources. Site visits will be supplemented by:
In-depth monitoring of specific issues identified across all Accredited CABs
Review audit reports prior to issuance of certificates and subsequent follow-up of non-conformities
AWS Accredited Trainers are professional training organisations with significant expertise and experience in water stewardship and in social and environmental certification systems or auditing of environmental management systems. They range in size from region specific water-focused trainers, to multinational organisations specialising in the application of social and environmental standards. They offer training to parties interest in the AWS Standard. If your organisation matches these requirements, then apply to be an Accredited Trainer.
AWS Accredited Consultants will have expertise and the experience to work with businesses on water-related issues or sustainability. They are specialists in environmental management systems, corporate social responsibility, sustainability programs, sustainability disclosure and social and environmental standards systems. If your organisation matches these requirements, then apply to be an Accredited Consultant. Each of your consultant staff must be part of the Professional Credentialing System and there is a yearly Organisational Fee and Levy on services.
A list of AWS Accredited Service Providers can be found here