The STOW Certification Process 

The Application Process

  1. To have your company assessed for STOW certification, you must apply to the STOW Project Office for the STOW certification assessment.  This is done by completing the online application "Request an Audit" via the STOW Database.  To access the STOW Database you must login with a User ID and Password using the panel on the STOW homepage available at http://stowtt.energy.tt.  Requests for User IDs and Passwords should be emailed to Keina@energy.tt or Ayanna@energy.tt
    N.B. Before you apply for the STOW audit, please ensure that your company is able to provide at least 3 - 6 months of records and other evidence of implementation of the HSE management system.
     
  2. Effective February 1st 2012, the services of companies are to be listed on the STOW certificate.  Therefore you must include the list of services provided by the company on the application form.
    N.B The STOW Project Office will use the list of services indicated on the audit report, therefore you should be clear in defining the services offered by the company during the audit.
     
  3. Effective November 1st 2015, upon completion of the online application form, The Energy Chamber (ECTT) will send contractors a quotation for the application and audit fees, together with a contract for the conduct of the audit.   The application fee exclusive of VAT is as follows:  
    Members Non-Members
    Low Risk 1,000.00 1,250.00
    High Risk 3,000.00 3,750.00

    The number of audit days and the audit fee will be based on the information provided by the contractor (level of risk, the number of services and the number of sites) Click here for more information on determining the number of STOW audit days.  If the actual number of  days taken to conduct the audit, inclusive of the completion of the audit report, is less than the number of days quoted, the contractor will be refunded the excess days quoted. The contractor will sign and return the contract to the ECTT and pay the application and audit fees and the contract will be between the contracting company and the ECTT.

  4. Once all fees are paid, the Energy Chamber will assign an Assessor to conduct the STOW audit. The Assessor will communicate with the company to arrange an initial meeting to discuss the details of the assessment.
     
  5. All companies seeking re-assessment, either for re-certification, or because the company did not achieve certification after their assessment, must apply again to the ECTT via the STOW Database. The application for the certification is valid for three (3) months from the date of application. Upon expiration of the application, companies must re-apply and pay the application fee. Cancellation or postponement of a planned Assessment will incur a standard day rate fee of $TT3,000 + VAT for high risk audits and $TT2,000 for low risk audits. 
     
  6. If an Assessor was used to (i) assist with the implementation of STOW or (ii) conduct a pre-assessment, the applicant must name the Assessor when completing the online application form.
     
  7. An Assessor who assisted or pre-assessed a company cannot conduct the assessment for STOW certification.
     
  8. The STOW Database will randomly assign an Assessor to conduct the assessment when the application and audit fees are received.
     
  9. The STOW Database will issue an email to the applicant advising of the assigned Assessor, so the company can arrange the audit start date with the Assessor.  The Assessor will contact the company to arrange an initial meeting to discuss the details of the assessment.
     
  10. An applicant can only reject an Assessor if the company can prove that any of following conflict of interest exists: 
    1. The Assessor has worked with the company to implement the STOW HSE requirements
    2. The Assessor has worked with the company to implement HSE management systems
    3. The Assessor is closely related to the owner(s)/ member(s) of the management team of the company
    4. The applicant has a strong case which indicates that there may be partiality in the conduct of the assessment by the Assessor.  This will be evaluated on a case by case basis, with the final decision to be determined by the STOW Implementation Board.
       

The STOW Assessment Process

  1. The ECTT has prepared a generic contract which will be presented to contractors upon submission of an online application for the STOW certification assessment.  
     
  2. Once the contractor signs and returns the contract to the ECTT together with payment of the application and audit fees, an Assessor will be assigned to conduct the audit. The Assessor will contact the company to agree on a start date for the assessment, and to arrange an opening meeting with the company to discuss how the assessment will be conducted.  At the opening meeting the Assessor will present a checklist and log of time to the company.   The company will sign off the checklist at the closing meeting.
     
  3. The assessment for STOW certification is two-fold:
    1. The Assessor will review the company’s HSE documentation and records.  If the company’s HSE documentation is not meeting the STOW requirements, the Assessor will discontinue the assessment and write the assessment report indicating the findings.
    2. Once the company’s HSE documentation meets the STOW requirements, the Assessor will continue the assessment to determine if what is documented is in effect.  This will include interviews with employees and site visits to locations where the company is operating. The Assessor will also conduct a physical condition tour of the company’s facility(ies). If at any point during the site visit the company is not demonstrating conformance to the STOW HSE requirements, the Assessor will immediately stop the audit and inform the client.  The client will have the option to continue the audit but the request must be made to the STOW Project Office in writing.
    3. then write the assessment report indicating the findings for the two stage assessment.
       
  4. The Assessor will have and minute, a close out meeting with the company at which time he/she will discuss the findings with the company’s representatives and inform if the company is being recommended for certification.  At this meeting, the company must agree on a schedule to close out the non conformances identified by signing the summary of non-conformances presented by the Assessor.  The company will also sign the checklist confirming the number of days spent on site by the Assessor. 
     
  5. The Assessor will write and submit the audit report with recommendation to the STOW Implementation Board.


       

Quality Control Review and Decision

  1. The Assessor will forward the signed assessment report and close out plan to the STOW Project Office for review.  The Assessor will not give the contractor a copy of the assessment report because the report may undergo changes during the review process.
     
  2. The STOW Technical Committee will review and finalize the report with the assigned Assessor and will forward the finalized report and recommendation to the STOW STOW Implementation Board. 
     
  3. The STOW Implementation Board will take a decision on the company based on the final report and recommendation.
     
  4. Companies will be STOW certified if they:
    1. attain 70% and more in the physical condition tour for 1 year certification and 80% and more in the physical condition tour for 2 years certification
    2. attain the following level of conformance to the STOW HSE Requirements:

      Compliance Level Validity of STOW Certificate
    75% in each element 1   year
    Min. 85%  in each element 2   years
  5. The STOW Database will issue an email informing the company of the Board's decision, the requirement to pay the certification fee of $TT1,150.00 and to complete online STOW Online Feedback form  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VB3P2Z8 which must be paid before receipt of the STOW certificate.
     
  6. Upon payment of the certification fees and completion of the STOW online feedback form the company will be issued their STOW certificate and can acceess their audit findings via the STOW Database.

   


Audit Appeal Process
 

The STOW certification audit is designed to allow for open communication with ample opportunity to raise concerns with the assigned Assessor. However, if an auditee wants to lodge a complaint about any findings of the audit with the Energy Chamber, it should be done in writing via email or letter to the Energy Chamber.

 The Assessor will explain the complaints handling and appeal process at the opening and closing meeting of the STOW certification audit.

 Process:

 All complaints are tabled at the next meeting of the STOW Implementation Board, after receiving the complaint

  1. A subcommittee of the STOW Implementation Board is constituted comprising at least three members of the Board
     
  2. Separate meetings will be held with the complainant and with the assigned Assessor and minutes of the meetings will be recorded
     
  3. The complainant may be asked to submit evidence such as  HSE documentation or records to support their claim
     
  4. If HSE documents are submitted, they will be reviewed by the Energy Chamber’s HSE Administrator who will make a professional judgment on the documents as they relate to the audit.  During the review, the HSE Administrator will contact the complainant and/ or assigned Assessor if clarification is needed from either party to make a judgment. The HSE Administrator will inform the STOW Implementation Board of her findings.  If a second opinion is required, the documents will be forwarded to the STOW technical committee for an opinion.
     
  5. The sub-committee of the STOW Implementation Board will review the information received from both parties as well as the findings of the HSE Administrator/  STOW technical committee
     
  6. The sub-committee will make a recommendation to the STOW Implementation Board either in favour of the complainant or the Assessor
     
  7. The STOW Board will then decide on the matter. If the decision is in favour of the complainant, the STOW Board will either:

           - Have the Assessor make the required changes to the audit report

           - Have another Assessor evaluate the company’s HSE management system

The STOW Board will meet with the Assessor again where there is an opportunity for professional development

  1. If the decision is in favour of the Assessor, the company will be informed of the Board’s decision in writing



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UPDATES:

Surveillance Audits

Effective Sept 1st 2017 Surveillance Audits will be included in the contracts for STOW audits.......Read more

Now available:
- STOW Clinic (call for an appointment)
- Feedback form on the STOW website
- HSE lessons learnt website at 
  http://energynow.tt/hse-lessons-learned/.

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