The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) have published their final Informative Document on Information on the Transition of Management System Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 from ISO/IEC 17021:2011 (IAF ID 11:2015).
The final publication follows a period of consultation and voting & the guidance is, now, available for use by National Accreditation Bodies in relation to the assessment of their accredited Certification Bodies.
This Informative Document has important implications for any organisation that relies of accredited certification for a Management Systems Standard (MSS), such as ISO 14001, ISO 9001 & ISO/IEC 27001 as the document will inform the application of the consistent application of the new accreditation standard, ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 on the Certification Bodies, which issue the accredited-certificates for MSS.
This Informative Document is timely as readers of this post will recall the recent publication of IAF Informative Documents for the transition to ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015. These MSS are anticipated to be published in September 2015 at a similar time as the publication of ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015.
The key issues highlighted in the document are:
- Implementation of IAF General Assembly Resolution endorsing a 2 year transition period for the implementation of ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015
- Preparatory guidance for National Accreditation Bodies (NABs) with respect to the defined competence for their Assessors and the communication of their timelines for assessment
- Specific guidance for Certification Bodies, whether they are applying for initial accreditation or are already accredited
- Preparation time and development of transition by Certification Bodies
- Transition and implementation by Certification Bodies should be, where possible, undertaken without delay & any Transition Plans should be available for assessment by the NAB.
- Additional NAB assessment visits should not, normally, be required unless the Certification Body has requested an accelerated timescale or delays the normal scheduled surveillance assessment cycle or there are significant issues identified in the transition
- Non-conformities must be cleared before accreditation to ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 can be granted
- Any Certification Body that cannot demonstrate conformity to ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 by the transition deadline will no longer be accredited.
It should be noted that the revision cycle of ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 is at the FDIS (Final Draft International Standard) stage awaiting the final outcome of balloting within International Organization for Standardization (ISO) members. The anticipated timeline for the final publication is this Summer 2015.
A copy of the IAF Information on the Transition of Management System Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 from ISO/IEC 17021:2011 can be downloaded here.