UKAS have updated their earlier Technical Bulletin to provide further clarity for UKAS accredited Certification Bodies with activities in regions affected by coronavirus. (Covid-19).
I am sure that you will have read about the current situation regarding the escalating effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak across the world. In response, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has taken action that affects visits to affected regions in their earlier publication of their Technical Bulletin (25 February 2020).
The Technical Bulletin outlines how Certification Bodies should deal with any commitments that they have in affected areas while travel restrictions are in place.
It highlights UKAS Technical Policy Statement 62 – Management of Extraordinary Events or
Circumstances Affecting UKAS Accredited Certification Bodies and their Certified Organisations, which sets out Certification Body obligations when dealing with such situations. This TPS draws heavily on the Iinternational Accreditation Forum (IAF) Informative Document IAF ID 3 Management of Extraordinary Events or Circumstances Affecting ABs, CABs and Certified Organizations.
Certification Bodies should take TPS62 into consideration when developing their strategy for maintaining certification in areas that cannot be accessed and, specifically, they will need to have assessed the overall size of the problem for their UKAS-accredited activities for submission to their UKAS Assessment Manager by 15th March 2020.
As part of their assessment process in developing their strategy, the Certification Body will need to provide monthly updates to their UKAS Assessment Manager of the status of their affected operations.
In turn, UKAS will assess the implementation and ongoing effectiveness of the management of any special arrangements.
Certification Bodies and their certified clients should be aware of the accreditation assessment processes during the current coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic by:
- Obtaining copies of the UKAS TPS62 & IAF ID3:2011
- Taking appropriate action in response to the development of their strategy for the management of audits during the current situation
- Monitoring the situation and status of their strategy with monthly reporting to UKAS