Tour Operators and Travel Agents

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Certification procedure

Certification processComplaints procedureAppeals Procedure


1. Complaints – definition

A complaint is a formal written communication of dissatisfaction, other than appeal, by Travelife Members, Travelife Auditors, and other relevant stakeholders, relating to the activities of Travelife certification staff, contractors, auditors, or Members holding a Travelife certificate where a Travelife response is expected. Examples of complaints include the way that the Travelife service is delivered, particularly during the certification process. Alternatively, Travelife may receive complaints from any other stakeholder having an interest in sustainability in tourism or otherwise. 

2. General conditions

All subscribed TravelifeMembers, Auditors, and other relevant stakeholders, have the right to file complaints. Travelife reserves the right to declare any complaint, not submitted by a Travelife Member, Auditor or relevant stakeholders, ineligible if the complaint is considered not relevant, and to notify the complainer of this decision. Travelife will maintain a summary overview of complaints considered ineligible, and will report this to the Appeals and Complaints Panel, taking its feedback into account in order to improve considerations regarding eligibility. Unless declared eligible, all complaints are considered eligible, and subject to the Complaints Policy and Procedure. 

All complaints submitted under the Travelife Complaints Procedure should be sent as follows (marking any letter or email subject line with Complaint):

Travelife General Manager
Minahasastraat 1, 1094 RS Amsterdam, The Netherlands
info@travelife.org

It will not be possible to make any complaints by telephone, fax or skype. 

3. Formal Communication

All communications with the complaining party will be in writing and delivered to them at the e-mail address associated with the party who has submitted the complaint. If another party is complaining on behalf of a Travelife Member, communications may be sent to a different e-mail address provided it has been confirmed in writing by the Travelife Member.

Travelife will investigate complaints in a timely manner. Receipt of complaints will be acknowledged within five working days. Travelife will evaluate if the complaint relates to the jurisdiction of Travelife.Travelife will draw the compliant to the attention of any Member involved within ten working days. Travelife will communicate the expected date to get back to the complaining party, and depending on the nature of the complaint, and the level of investigation needed by Travelife, up to a maximum of 90 days. 

4. The Appeals and Complaints Panel

All eligible complaints will be dealt with by an Appeals and Complaints Panel that will be appointed by the Programme Manager and consist of a Senior Auditor and two members of the Advisory Board with sustainable tourism and certification experience. One of the members will be appointed as Chairperson of the Panel. For each complaint, the Programme Coordinator shall check that no member of the Panel has been involved in the certification decision that is subject to the complaint. If such is the case, that member will be replaced by another person for that particular complaint.The Travelife Programme Coordinator will be Secretary to the Panel. 

5. The Appeals and Complaints Panel Evaluation

A meeting of the Panel will be held every two months either in person or via teleconference,unless there are no complaints to discuss. The complaining Party shall provide full details of the complaint and all supporting evidence in writing (documents, testimonies, photographs) to the Complaints Panel at least 5 full working days prior to the meeting of the Complaints Panel. 

6. Conduct of the Panel Evaluation

The Chairman of the Panel ensures that all necessary information has been gathered and that the Panel reviews, in confidence:

  • whether the complaint relates to the certification scheme;
  • evidence and opinions provided by the complaining party;
  • evidence and opinions provided by Travelife;
  • representations put by the two parties and after due consideration, initiates further questioning where required. Questions are submitted in writing to the appropriate party and timescales for response provided.

Following review and discussion, the Panel concludes whether the complaint relates to the certification scheme, makes a decision as soon as possible, but no later than 80 days after receipt of the complaint, and when required, advises Travelife in taking any necessary action to resolve issues arising. The Secretary of the Panel records the proceedings and the decision of the Panel. 

7. Notification of the Decision of the Panel

The Chairperson of the Panel notifies Travelife, the complaining Party and any other client involved by e-mail of the decision made by the Panel, also confirming whether the complaint relates to the certification scheme, within 7 working days from the date of the Panel’s decision. 

8. Redress

In the event of the Panel concluding decision that a decision or procedure of Travelife should be revised, redress is limited to the declaration by Travelife of the revised decision or procedure in the same manner as the original decision or procedure was communicated. There shall be no liability for loss or damage upon the original decision or procedure. 

9. Corrective Action

Travelife will consider the findings of the Panel and take any appropriate corrective and preventive action as required to resolve issues arising and especially to ensure consistency and integrity of the Standard. 

10. Records

Records of any Complaint will be retained by Travelife for a minimum of three years. The details are captured on the Complaints Recordwhich contains a summary of each eligible complaint received, how it is reviewed by the Panel and actions taken to resolve them. 

11. Confidentiality

All complaints received will be dealt with confidentially and in accordance with the requirements of the EU legislation ondata protection and the Travelife Privacy Policy.


1. Appeals – definition

Travelife considers an appeal a formal, written request by a Member that deals with formal reconsideration of a Travelife certification decision, following receipt of their audit result or any further feedback provided regarding post-audit improvement evidence, made by Travelife.

2. General conditions

All TravelifeMembers having signed up for the Travelife Certified programme have the right to appeal against any certification decision made by Travelife.

Travelife Members can make Appeals within 90 days after any certification decision made by Travelife, following communication of the audit result.

Travelife reserves the right to refuse any appeal which is not submitted within this timescale.

All appeals submitted under the Travelife Appeals Procedure should be sent as follows (marking any letter or email subject line with Appeal):

Travelife General Manager
Minahasastraat 1, 1094 RS Amsterdam, The Netherlands
info@travelife.org.

It will not be possible to make any appeals by telephone, fax or skype.

3. Formal Communication

All communications with the appealing Member will be in writing and delivered to them at the e-mail address associated with the companies sustainability co-ordinator or official who has submitted the appeal. If another party is appealing on behalf of a Travelife Member, communications may be sent to a different e-mail address provided it has been confirmed in writing by the Travelife Member.

Travelife will investigate appeals in a timely manner. Receipt of appeals will be acknowledged within five working days. Travelife will communicate the expected date to get back to the Member, and depending on the nature of the appeal, and the level of investigation needed by Travelife, up to a maximum of 90 days. 

4. The Appeals and Complaints Panel

All appeals will be dealt with by an Appeals and Complain Panel that will be appointed by the Travelife General Manager and consist of a Senior Auditor and two independent experts in sustainability and certification. The Appeals Panel will select amongst itself a Chairperson. For each appeal, the Travelife General Manager shall check that no member of the Panel has been involved in the certification decision that is subject to the appeal. If such is the case, that member will be replaced by another member for that particular appeal. The Travelife General Manager will be Secretary to the Panel. 

5. Appeals and Complaints Panel Evaluation

A meeting of the Appeals and Complaints Panel will be held every two months either in person or via teleconference, unless there are no appeals or complaints to discuss. The appealing Member shall provide full details of the objection and all supporting evidence in writing (documents, testimonies, photographs) to the Appeals Panel at least 5 full working days prior to the meeting of the Appeals Panel.

6. Conduct of the Appeals and Complaints Panel Evaluation

The Chairman of the Panel ensures that all necessary information has been gathered and that the Panel reviews, in confidence:

  • evidence and opinions provided by the appealing member
  • evidence and opinions provided by Travelife
  • representations put by the two parties and after due consideration, initiates further questioning where required. Questions are submitted in writing to the appropriate party and timescales for response provided.

Following review and discussion, the Panel makes a decision on the appeal as soon as possible, but no later than 90 days after receipt of the appeal. When required, the Panel advises Travelife in taking any necessary action to resolve issues arising.The Secretary of the Panel records the proceedings and the decision of the Panel. 

7. Notification of the Decision of the Panel

The Chairperson of the Panel notifies Travelife and the appealing Member by e-mail of the decision made by the Panel within 7 working days from the date of the Panel’s decision. 

8. Redress

In the event of the Panel reaching a decision to revise the original decision made by Travelife, redress is limited to the declaration by Travelife of the revised decision in the same manner as the original decision was declared. There shall be no liability for loss or damage upon the original decision. 

9. Corrective Action

Travelife will consider the findings of the Panel and take any appropriate corrective and preventive action as required to resolve issues arising and especially to ensure consistency and integrity of the Standard. 

10. Records

Records of any Appeal will be retained by Travelife for a minimum of three years. The details are captured on the Appeals Record which contains a summary of each appeal received, how it is reviewed by the Panel and actions taken to resolve them. 

11. Confidentiality

All Appeals received will be dealt with confidentially and in accordance with the requirements of the EU legislation on data protection and the Travelife Privacy Policy.



I. 申请和准备

公司信息
根据Travelife在线注册表格中填写的公司详细信息,以及根据Travelife认证标准进行的自我评估,公司申请认证。 

认证报价
如果在线报告工具中提供的信息是有价值并且完整的,Travelife将根据审核时间指南和其他与认证有关的因素,如地点、语言和认证范围,准备一份报价。报价是按照文件规定的程序制定的,不偏向或歧视任何申请组织。 

非正式的在线审计
在第一次认证申请过程,Travelife秘书处将进行非正式的在线审核。在线审核的目的是为了确定上交的文件和内容是否有需要改善的部分。非正式审核的结果将通过在线报告工具和 "备注报告 "的的方式向公司注明。如果情况需要,非正式审核的结果可能会导致初始认证报价的修改。组织必须在认证审核开始前改善非正式审核中所指出的错误。审核员将在认证审核期间审查所有改善后的内容。


II. 认证审核
在认证审核前三周左右,Travelife将公司报告和相关文件提交给审核员(已获公司批准)。 

第一阶段审核(在线)
第一阶段审核的目的是核实从公司收到的信息,并了解该组织的可持续发展的理念和相关操作。这也是在第一阶段审核期间对文件进行审查的目的。审核员可以要求进一步澄清。如果所提供的证据不完全符合标准的要求,Travelife将寄出一份评估报告并发送给该组织。在现场审核开始前,审核员可要求改善报告内容。在第一阶段审核的基础上,审核员准备好审核计划,包括要采访的人员名单。第一阶段审核的结果可能会导致第二阶段审核的暂停。

第二阶段审计
在审计前约两周,公司会收到审计计划供审查和同意。
在第二阶段的审核中,合格的审核员采用访谈和抽样调查的方法,对管理体系的实施和有效性以及可持续性绩效标准和指标进行现场审查。审计小组发现的偏差将被记录下来。  不符合要求的地方需要采取纠正措施,如后续审计或提交新的证据,才能颁发证书。跟踪审计的范围和程度仅限于受不符合项影响的要求。 

审核报告
根据第一阶段和第二阶段的审核结果,审核员准备一份正式的报告,向公司说明所有标准是否符合标准。不符合的地方有明确说明,纠正措施有设具体的期限。报告结果将与公司共享,公司有权提供纠正不正确的信息。在双方就审计报告中提出的事实和结论达成一致后,报告将被签署,首先由公司签署,然后由审核员签署。


III. 证书

证书的颁发
在Travelife认证经理对审核结论进行积极审查后,将颁发证书。该证书的有效期为两年,条件是该组织至少每年自行进行一次报告监督检查。 

监督检查
监督检查将至少每两年进行一次(在审核之间)。在监督检查之前,所有关于组织和认证要求的相关信息都应在线更新,以提供可能对组织的认证范围或其他问题产生影响的重大变化。除了重大变化之外,还要检查标准的某些要求,包括关键指标的更新、证书的使用以及针对可持续发展系统和要求的投诉。 
如果出现不符合要求的情况,将采用与认证审计相同的程序。如果出现严重的、重复的或未被关注的不符合项或违反认证合同的情况,证书可能被暂停或撤销。 

重新认证
在两年有效期届满之前,应进行重新认证审核,以将证书再延长两年。整个可持续发展系统的有效性在审计中得到检验。对合规性的改变必须由组织提前宣布。审核的方式与认证审核的方式相当。 

争议和上诉
如果组织有理由对Travelife的决定提出争议或上诉, 他们可以直接向Travelife认证经理提出。如果认证经理不能消除分歧,该组织可将其案件提交给上诉和申诉小组进行裁决。

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