Q31: According to ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 Clause, planning for recertification shall conducted in due time to enable for timely renewal before the certificate expiry date. Is this clause still valid?

A31: IAF FAQ 10 allows the recertification date to be extended up to six months, which would allow the planning to be extended accordingly. If that six months may not provide sufficient opportunities for CBs to conclude recertification audits, 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 time-frame, from the certification date exceeds 12 months, the CB should complete the reassessment as possible using remote means for witnessing the certified processes during their execution (real-time video of production and workplaces remotely guided by the auditor and/or review by the auditor of recorded videos in those areas where no direct connection is available, with a possible request of specific new partial video, when deemed necessary). In all those cases where the processes cannot be remotely assessed in an effective way to the satisfaction of the team leader, the certification scope shall be partially reduced consequently or the certificate shall be completely withdrawn, and a new initial audit will be required. In any case, a decision shall be made taking also into consideration the updated risk associated with the operational control capability of the organization in the COVID 19 emergency conditions and the type of certification scheme.

Q28: Based on the answer to IAF COVID-19 FAQ Q20 which has extended the transition arrangements of such standards as ISO 50001: 2018 and ISO 22000:2018 by 6 months, can it be confirmed that the dates related to all intermediate requirements contained in these transition arrangements, for example the dates to stop auditing against the previous version of the standard, are also extended by 6 months?

A28: Yes, the extension to the transition arrangements applies to all dates quoted within these arrangements so all dates are extended by 6 months.

Ref: FAQ20

Q26: If the certificate has already expired, can the period during which the certification body may restore certification (according to ISO/IEC 17021-1 § be extended by a further 6 months (to a maximum of 12 months from certificate expiry) provided that the outstanding recertification activities are completed?

A26: Yes. Otherwise at least a stage 2 shall be conducted. (See Q8 for details of certificate validity and possible modifications to subsequent surveillance activities).    

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

Posted on April 11, 2020

Revised on June 02, 2022

A20: Yes,  transition periods are extended for six months. The audit for transition can be done with remote audit techniques, following what has already been clarified in Q5.

The extended transition period of six months allowed in COVID FAQ Q20 applies to all transitions resolved during an IAF General Assembly (e.g. GA Resolution) prior to the FAQ publication of April 11, 2020.  Any transition period published after the COVID FAQ Q20 publication of April 11, 2020, shall not be allowed an additional six-month transition period.

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

A15: OHSAS 18001 certification can be extended by up to six months as detailed in FAQ 10. This means that transition period for migrating accredited certifications from OHSAS 18001:2007 to ISO 45001:2018 is extended to: 30 September 2021.

The audit for migration can be done with remote auditing techniques, following what was already clarified in Q5.

(Answer published on 3 April and updated 11/04/2020 with blue text)

A13: No. In cases where CABs are still able to perform evaluation activities physically or when these can be fully replaced with evaluation activities as per IAF MD 4, then normal scheduled conformity assessment activities (e.g. surveillances, recertification) should be performed. Otherwise, if the conditions recommended by IAF ID 3: 2011 are satisfied, the normal scheduled conformity assessment activities may be postponed for up to 6 months, and the validity of any output of the conformity assessment activity (e.g. a certificate or report) may be extended for a corresponding period of up to 6 months.

Q10: For schemes under IAF MLA (Management system certification, Product certification, Certification of persons, Validation and Verification), how are conformity assessment activities to be managed in this extraordinary period?

A10: In consideration of this extraordinary period, for schemes of management system certification, product certification and certification of persons under IAF MLA, if it is not possible to perform evaluation activities (physically or as per IAF MD4: 2018), such as  audits or exams, and if the conditions recommended by IAF ID3: 2011 are satisfied, all the conformity assessment activities (e.g. surveillances, recertification) may be postponed for up to 6 months, and the validity of any output of any conformity assessment activity (e.g. a certificate or report) may be extended for a corresponding period of up to 6 months. In this last instance, in order to document this to the client, if applicable, it is strongly suggested to issue an extension letter, which ratifies this extended validity and its period. This is essential to guarantee transparency and a correct communication to the external market. Appropriate records should also be updated. However, this could change for specific schemes. For validation and verification, particularly the greenhouse gas (GHG) validation and verification at project or organizational level, they are normally one-off conformity activities, therefore the IAF ID3 guidelines related to surveillance, recertification, extension of certification and recertification cycle etc. may not be applicable. However, for the assessment and accreditation of validation and verification bodies (VVBs), IAF ID3 can be used (see A11), and the remote approaches as per IAF MD4:2018 can be used by both ABs and VVBs (see A12).

Updated on 23/03/2020 to include all IAF MLA main scopes.