With the well-publicised 3-year long-transition period to move to ISO 14001:2015 & ISO 9001:2015 certification comes further news that the deadline of 15 September 2018 may not be a “hard deadline” after all as announced by the IAF in previous communications (see ISO 9001:2015 & ISO 14001:2015 Transition Deadline Approaching – only two months ago, One year to ISO 9001 and 14001 transition deadline, ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 Transition Arrangements & Final IAF Guidance on the transition to ISO 14001:2015)
It appears that discussions at the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Technical Committee has led to the IAF has published a further statement regarding the process to be followed by certified organisations for whom the audit process has been started but will not be completed by the deadline.
It has long been recognised from earlier articles (see Has ISO 14001:2015 stalled?) that the take-up of the revised ISO 14001:2015 (and ISO 9001:2015) has not been successful with only 6.7% of organisations have updated their ISO 14001 certification to the 2015 edition & 7.3% to ISO 9001:2015 by 31 December 2016 according to an ISO Survey.
A further ISO Survey expected to be published later in July 2018 will un-cover more about the state of the transition process.
In the meantime, organisations holding accredited ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 9001:2008 certification have a further lifeline to make their transition by 15 March 2019 provided that they have had an transitional audit prior to 15 September 2018.
The full text of the IAF statement, as published in a Technical Bulletin by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) reads: –
“It was confirmed that on 15 September 2018 all ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 certificates will expire and will no longer be valid.
When transition activities are successfully completed prior to 15 September 2018, the expiry date of the new certification can be based on the expiry date of the existing certification. The issue date on a new certificate shall be on or after the certification decision.
If the certification body has not completed the transition audit or the certification body is unable to verify the implementation of corrections and corrective actions for any major nonconformity prior to 15 September 2018, then certification to the new versions shall not be recommended. The client shall be informed and the consequences shall be explained i.e. their certification has expired and is no longer valid.
Following 15 September 2018, the certification body can issue certification to the new versions within 6 months (15 March 2019) provided that the audit process has been initiated by 15 September 2018 and the outstanding transition activities are completed (by 15 March 2019). The effective date on the certificate shall be on or after the certification decision and the expiry date shall be based on prior certification cycle.
If the transition audit process has not been initiated by 15 September 2018 and/or not completed by 15 March 2019 an initial audit shall be conducted. The effective date on the certificate shall be the date of the certification decision.”
It should be noted that “provided that the audit process has been initiated” means that auditing has already taken place in accordance with the agreed process for that client i.e. at least the document review and/or head office audit (depending on their documented transition plan/process) needs to have been started prior to 15 September 2018 for the 6 months rule above to apply. It is not enough for the contract review to have been completed or the visit booked, audit activity must have started. Therefore, where client certificates include historic dates they will need show a gap in certification.
A copy of the UKAS Technical Bulletin – Important Further Information for Certification Bodies regarding transition to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 (22 June 2018) can be freely downloaded here
- If your organisation has yet to make the transition to ISO 14001:2015 and/or ISO 9001:2015 then you should obtain a copy of the UKAS Technical Bulletin – Important Further Information for Certification Bodies regarding transition to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 (22 June 2018)
- Discuss the opportunities for a transition audit to ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015 before the transition deadline of 15 September 2018.
- Work towards meeting any outstanding transition activities by 15 March 2019.