In these uncertain and unsettling times, there are many elements of your organisation that will change and adapt to make sure you keep running. If you have an ISO Certification, one of those elements is your external audit arrangements. So what happens now?
Traditionally Certification Bodies have been reluctant to conduct audits remotely, due to UKAS rules. However this position is now changing.
UKAS & Certification Body Responses to Coronavirus
For information, here are the positions of UKAS and some Certification Bodies:
UKAS: “To ensure that UKAS continues to provide an appropriate level of trust and confidence to the marketplace, with immediate effect UKAS will be conducting all our assessments remotely. This will be the case until at least 31st May 2020. This duration will be subject to ongoing review and may be updated as the situation develops.”
Alcumus ISOQAR: All audits to be conducted remotely from Thursday 19th March 2020. Clients are being contacted directly and further information will be provided whenever available.
BAB (British Assessment Bureau): Remote auditing is to begin on the 23rd of March 2020.
BSI: “Clients will be contacted to arrange suitable alternatives to scheduled on-site assessments. During the period preceding any rescheduled visits, clients should contact BSI and inform us immediately of any potential issues, such as temporary closure of sites, which may prevent delivery of the assessment.”
LRQA: Alternatives to on-site auditing are available, including remote auditing. LRQA are contacting their clients directly to discuss the best method, and people are encouraged to seek the latest information from their local LR office.
NQA: Remote Auditing will begin on the 30th of March 2020, with clients being contacted in due course. For more information, you can contact NQA.
SGS: Remote auditing is already taking place.
URS: All audits to be conducted remotely from 17th March 2020.
Of course, the position of certification bodies will change along with the current recommendations and advice given by governments, scientists and the World Health Organisation. You can keep up to date via your certification body’s website, and if you have any doubts or concerns always contact them directly for help.
What Should I Do Next?
If you have a certification audit booked, or due imminently, then you should first contact your certification body directly to find out if it is still going ahead.
If you are still confused about the situation or would like additional support to prepare for a remote audit, contact us at Assent.
We can advise you on the certification process, help you maintain your ISO Management System during this time of disruption and attend your external audit remotely to provide support.
Don’t Fall Behind: It’s important to keep internal audits, management reviews and other processes operating as far as possible during this time of social isolation caused by the Coronavirus. Contact us for Remote ISO Assistance.