Latest update: UKAS policy on recertification audit timescales during COVID-19
Covid-19 has produced many unique challenges for business, with each industry being impacted differently. Between companies being forced to shut their offices and on-site visits being almost abolished entirely, it has become difficult for many industries to operate as they would under normal circumstances. Of all the industries that have been impacted the hardest, certification bodies, aren’t exactly the first one to spring to mind. However, with auditors being unable to travel to company premises and conduct re-certifications, many companies are at risk of their ISO certifications lapsing.
The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has updated their policies and released the following statement on their website regarding the matter:
Covering timescales for recertification visits, Clause 4.6 of TPS 73 states that: “Management system recertification audits are normally expected to be completed and recertification decisions made prior to expiration to avoid loss of certification. IAF ID3 allows for the extension of the certification for a period not normally exceeding 6 months beyond the original expiry date providing that sufficient evidence has been collected to provide confidence that the certified management system is effective. Given the unprecedented nature of the coronavirus outbreak, and the uncertainty over the potential impact this will have on the imposed time restrictions relating to travel and social contact, it is anticipated that 6 months may not provide sufficient opportunities for Certification Bodies to conclude recertification audits.As a consequence, “UKAS policy for this outbreak is that the decision on recertification must be made within 3 months of the lifting of restrictions (e.g. travel) that were preventing the on-site audit taking place. However, if this timeframe exceeds 12 months then the certificate should be withdrawn, and a new initial audit will be required.” Read the full article on their website: https://www.ukas.com/news/ukas-policy-on-recertification-audit-timescales-during-covid-19/