IAF Frequently Asked Questions

COV-ID-19 Outbreak

The FAQs are some of the questions that we are frequently asked in some (but not all) of the areas in which IAF Accreditation Body (AB) members and their accredited Certification Bodies (CBs) practice. The questions and answers are not intended to be exhaustive; however, they constitute a common understanding and a guidance to manage, in a harmonized way, the conformity assessment activities under the specific situation of COVID-19.

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Q23: In consideration of this extraordinary period, if a Management Systems Certification Body is not able to perform audits, physically or with remote audit technique, can an Accreditation Body replace a witness assessment, as required in IAF MD17, with a remote office assessment or with other assessment activities (IAF MD17, § 2.2.1)?

Q20: What will happen to the Transition periods (e.g. ISO 22000:2018, ISO 50001:2018); will these be extended?

Q19: According ISO/IEC 17021-1, § 7.2.4, “The initial competence evaluation of an auditor shall include the ability to apply required knowledge and skills during audits, as determined by a competent evaluator observing the auditor conducting an audit”. Is it possible to conduct this observation if the observer is using remote audit techniques?

Q17: During the COVID-19 crisis, if a CAB conducts a part of the initial certification of a management system with remote audit activities and plans to complete the remainder of the audit onsite within six months, is it possible to issue the certificate at the conclusion of the remote audit activities?

Q15: What will happen to the Migration period for ISO 45001; will it be extended?

Q14: For OH&SMS, according to IAF MD5:2019 (applicable from 7 May 2020), remote auditing techniques shall be limited to reviewing documents/records and to interviewing staff and workers. In addition for OH&SMS, process control and OH&S risk control cannot be audited using remote audit techniques. Considering the specific circumstances, is this valid?

Q13: In consideration of this extraordinary period, may all of:

  • the conformity assessment activities (e.g. surveillances, recertification) be postponed for up to 6 months, and 
  • the validity of any output of any conformity assessment activity (e.g. a certificate or report) be extended for a corresponding period of up to 6 months?