Husk Registrars (Appleton WI) faces loss of its accreditation after ignoring a formal complaint submitted by Oxebridge in December of 2022. That complaint alleged Husk violated ISO 17021-1 due to its owner, John Senter, simultaneously operating a consulting firm. Oxebridge provided evidence that suggested Husk then certified the clients of Senter’s consultancy.
Prior to the complaint, Senter threatened to sue Oxebridge for raising the matter, saying “you can take that to the bank.” No lawsuit was ever filed.
Two core accreditation principles of ISO certification bodies are, according to ISO 17021-1, “openness” and “responsiveness to complaints.” Specifically, ISO 17021-1 says:
Parties that rely on certification expect to have complaints investigated and, if these are found to be valid, should have confidence that these complaints will be appropriately addressed and that a reasonable effort will be made by the certification body to resolve them. Effective responsiveness to complaints is an important means of protection for the certification body, its clients and other users of certification against errors, omissions or unreasonable behavior. Confidence in certification activities is safeguarded when complaints are processed appropriately.
No one at Husk ever acknowledged receipt of the complaint, which was sent via email and LinkedIn direct message. LinkedIn’s check-mark system does prove the document was received, however, but never read by Senter.
ISO 17021-1 requires accredited certification bodies to process complaints or risk de-accreditation.
Husk is accredited by the International Accreditation Service (IAS), so the matter now rests with them to investigate.