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The Water Quality Association : Gold Seal Product Certification Program : Complaints & Appeals


WQA appreciates receiving notification of potential WQA Member and Gold Seal Logo misuse but the complaints forum is also open to submit feedback regarding any scenarios that could be considered a Complaint. To dispute a certification decision and/or test results please follow the steps for filing an Appeal.


Appeal - A written request by a WQA Member or Gold Seal Certified Company for reconsideration of any decision made by the Certification body related to its Certification status.

Appellant – Company presenting an appeal.

Complaint - Expression of dissatisfaction related to Gold Seal Certification practices including certification decisions, laboratory practices or results, professionalism, and/or misuse of the WQA Gold Seal mark by an individual or company.

Complainant – The person individually or on the behalf of a Company who presents the Complaint. If Complaint is entered via the Unauthorized Gold Seal and Logo Misuse List, Complainant may be anonymous.

Company – May refer to a corporation or individual.

Dispute - A disagreement over a Gold Seal Certification decision.

Gold Seal Certified Company – A company that has a contract with WQA Gold Seal Certification and manufactures, designs, sells, assembles, distributes, or markets Certified Products.

Public Health Review Board – Established by the WQA to provide independent expert oversight and approval for the Gold Seal Certification Policies and activities to ensure the integrity of the Gold Seal Certification Program. (See Public Health Review Board Policy for broader definition)

Respondent – Person or Company answering to a Complaint (or Appeal) including WQA.

WQA Member – see WQA By-Laws

WQA.org Unauthorized Use of Gold Seal or Member Logos List – Compilation of Companies that are using the Gold Seal or Member Logo either without a signed agreement with WQA or failure to maintain their certified product listing.


Step 1: Write a detailed description of the grievance including any evidence you might have.

Step 2: Forward description of grievance and evidence to complaints@wqa.org.

Step 3: WQA will respond within two business days indicating whether or not the Complaint has been substantiated with enough evidence. At that point, the Complaint may be closed without further action or WQA staff will inquire with the Respondent.

Step 4: In many cases Complaints are a result of simple error and will be resolved expediently however, Respondents are offered three opportunities to make required changes in the case of logo misuse before being placed on the Unauthorized Use of Gold Seal or Member Logo List. If the Complaint is against WQA, a resolution is dependent on the circumstance.

Step 5: Complainant should expect a follow up notification from WQA within sixty business days detailing the Respondent’s mitigation efforts at which point, the Complaint will be considered closed.

Step 6: If the complaint has been closed and the Complainant isn’t satisfied by the actions presented, an Appeal may be filed.


Step 1: Send a brief description of project in dispute attaching any associated documentation to appeals@wqa.org. Examples included a delisting letter or test reports. WQA will respond within two business days to confirm that an Appeal has been filed.

Step 2: The Director of Product Certification (DOPC) will review the Appeal within sixty days of the filing date. WQA will respond within this timeframe to set up a date for the Appellant to present their case either by phone conference or in person. Travel expenses are the responsibility of the Appellant.

Step 3: A final decision will be provided within ten days of the presentation.

Step 4: If Appellant is unsatisfied with the decision entered by the Director of Product Certification, then the dispute may be submitted to the Public Health Review Board for review. The Director of Product Certification or designee will facilitate this process.

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