Guidance for use – The VinylPlus® Product Label
1. The fundamentals
The VinylPlus® Product Label may only be used by organisations holding a valid Certificate of Approval issued by VinylPlus®. It may only be strictly use for the product/product family that the Product Label is granted for.
The use of the VinylPlus® Product Label relates only to the certification scheme operated by VinylPlus. The Product Label is the property of VinylPlus, and its use is subject to the conditions of use set out below.
The rules for the VinylPlus branding and Vinyl Verified logo need to be strictly respected. The replication or reproduction of the Product Label can only be made with the authorisation of VinylPlus.
The Product Label can be mentioned on product specifications, product sales literature, product brochures, on the product itself and any publicity material that is directly related to the relevant product.
The company holding the VinylPlus® Product Label rests solely responsible for the correct product label use by its design and marketing service partners.
The VinylPlus® Product Label must not be used to imply approval of products or services not approved or covered in the criteria scheme by VinylPlus.
Electronic versions of the VinylPlus Product Label shall only be obtained from VinylPlus.
2. Standard Amendment or Withdrawal
The Product Label is valid from the date of the VinylPlus certification for three years with two annual desktop verifications in the intervening years. The initial audit is repeated every three years and a new certificate based on the audit results is issued each time by VinylPlus. The annual desktop verifications are typically performed remotely by the auditor, based on documents sent by the applicant.
An onsite audit should always remain the default method for the initial audit. A certification body should always attempt to have an onsite audit when travelling to the site is possible due to exceptional local or national safety and sanitary measures. When and only when such measures do not allow the auditor to travel (e.g. due to lockdown measures during a pandemic), a remote audit may be used as an alternative method. A risk analysis should be performed prior to the remote audit for reviewing the impact of the exceptional safety and sanitary measures on the applicant’s organisation (are some departments needed for the audit closed? are some of the collaborators needed for the audit working from home?). A remote audit typically requires additional attention should be paid to the information exchange before the date of the audit. When the travel restriction measures are no longer of application, the initial onsite audits should be reinstated. If the initial audit has to be carried out remotely, the next annual verification should be made onsite instead of remotely, whenever possible. The audit report should clearly mention which method (onsite or remote) has been used for the initial audit.
A remote audit should have the same time scope as an onsite audit. The time scope should be pre-agreed with the applicant. During a remote audit, the auditor and applicant should use a real time connection via a secure webinar system (Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco Webex) and camera. Less secure communication systems (Google Hangouts, WhatsApp) should be avoided. If the applicant decides to use a less secure system, this should be duly reported by the auditor in his report. The auditor and applicant should have a good knowledge of IT connection tools to perform the audits and must use a private wifi connection to secure confidentiality. Recording of a remote audit should be avoided at all time.
If the Product Label Criteria Scheme document is amended after the applicant has accepted an audit, the previous Criteria Scheme should be used. The Product Label certificate based on the previous scheme remains valid for three years.
If the VinylPlus® Product Label is withdrawn or becomes obsolete, the use of the Label shall cease within twelve months of the date of withdrawal or obsolescence.
Audit results have a general validity of maximum one year. Should the applicant not be able to deliver the requested remaining evidence to conclude the audit process within this time frame, audit results will no longer be valid.
3. Intellectual Property Rights
This document does not confer any right, title or interest in the VinylPlus® Product Label, which shall remain the property of VinylPlus. VinylPlus reserves all licensing and enforcement rights and may update this rules and guidance document from time to time.
Unauthorised use and/or misuse of the VinylPlus® Product Label is not permitted, especially not for other products in the company’s product range that have not received the Label Certificate. VinylPlus will launch an investigation if we find, or are notified of, a potential misuse, whether through negligence or fraud. If proven, such misuse may lead to a suspension and withdrawal of the Label Certification, a publication of the transgression, a legal action, or a fine.
5. Responsibility of the Product Label holder
It is the responsibility of the Product Label holder to:
(i) Ensure that the product supplied under a valid current VinylPlus® Product Label Certificate of Approval and using the appropriate Vinyl Verified logo, conforms at all times with the requirements of the Label Criteria Scheme of application during the last onsite audit, and with all other terms and conditions of the Label.
(ii) In the event of termination of the Agreement howsoever arising, cease using, remove or obliterate the Label.
(iii) Indicate to VinylPlus any fraud or misuse that comes to your notice including the relevant information needed for VinylPlus to take action.
6. Some Do’s and Don’ts
- Include the Product Label in your marketing and promotional literature only strictly for the product.
- Contact VinylPlus if you wish to include the Vinyl Verified logo in any press release or press orientated material. Permission to use the logo in this way will not be unreasonably withheld.
- Ensure that the rules contained in this guidance is adhered to.
- Ensure that the entire Vinyl Verified logo is clearly visible against the background on which it is being reproduced. Use the black and white version if helpful.
- Contact VinylPlus if you are unsure of any aspect of using the label imagery.
- Make the Vinyl Verified logo too small to identify; it should be legible to the naked eye.
- Partially cover the image with other brands or copy.
- Overprint the image with text.
- Stretch or squash the marks to fit a given size.
- Use the marks in circumstances that would bring the VinylPlus® Product Label certification into disrepute.
- Use the marks in connection with products or services that are not associated with the VinylPlus® Product Label certification.
- Attempt in any way to redraw or re-create the artwork for the marks.
- Pass on copies of the artwork of the marks to any other parties other than your own design companies.
7. Complaints and Appeals Procedures
Complaints and appeals are managed by VinylPlus using well defined procedures aligned with the guidelines of ISO/IEC 17067:2013, Conformity assessment-Fundamentals of product certification and guidelines for product certification schemes.
A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction made to VinylPlus related to its certification scheme, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected. An appeal is a request for reconsideration of a decision made by VinylPlus related to the certification of a product or product system. A complaint or appeal does not affect any legal rights a party might otherwise have under contract or otherwise available by law.
Complaints should be addressed to email@example.com or to VinylPlus, Avenue de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels, Belgium. All complaints received by VinylPlus are independently investigated and actions are taken where appropriate. If the complaint is related to a certification body, VinylPlus will transfer the complaint to the certification body having performed the last audit, as recommended in article 6.5.5 of ISO/IEC 17067:2013. The complaint will then be dealt according to the complaint management process of the certification body. If not, VinylPlus assigns an independent investigator which leads an investigation. If the complaint is upheld by VinylPlus, a remedial action is completed after which the complainant is advised. If the complaint is not upheld by VinylPlus, no action is taken and the complainant is advised accordingly. If the complainant agrees that the complaint is settled, the complaint is closed. If the complainant does not agree, the investigation is restarted to find a resolution.
Appeals should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org or to VinylPlus, Avenue de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels, Belgium. Appeals will be considered after payment of 300€ on VinylPlus’ bank account. This fee is to cover the administrative costs of opening an appeal, and is refundable if he Appeal Panel finds in favour of the appellant, if the appeal can be resolved without to recourse to an Appeal Panel, or if the appeal is issued against a decision of a certification body.
If the appeal has been issued against a decision of a certification body, the appeal will be transferred to the certification body having performed the last audit, as recommended in article 6.5.5 of ISO/IEC 17067. The appeal will then be dealt according to the appeal management process of the certification body and the fee refunded to the appellant.
Otherwise, the appeal is reviewed by VinylPlus’ staff and if the situation can be resolved to the satisfaction of the appellant and VinylPlus within 14 working days, the process is terminated and the fee is refunded.
If the situation cannot be resolved within this timeframe, an Appeal Panel is assembled by VinylPlus to review the appeal and, if the appeal is upheld, decide and implement remedial actions. The panel will consist of three investigators designated by the VinylPlus Managing Director that have not been directly involved in the decision under appeal and have no direct interest in the decision. The VinylPlus staff will provide secretariat services to the Appeal Panel but will have no voting rights.
The appellant is advised of the constitution of the Appeal Panel, is given at least 14 day notice of the date set for the meeting organized to make a decision on the appeal, and is advised to be present in this meeting. The appellant has the right to state objections to the constitution of the Appeal Panel within 5 working days of receipt of notice. In this case, the objection will be considered by the VinylPlus Managing Director, and the membership of the Appeal Panel will be amended if necessary. An Appeal Panel may uphold or reject VinylPlus’ decision, following review of the circumstances surrounding the appeal. The Appellant will be provided with formal notice of the Appeal Panel’s decision.