IAF Frequently Asked Questions COVID-19 Outbreak

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

Q27: In consideration of this extraordinary period, may all assessments (e.g. surveillances, reassessment) be postponed for up to 6 months, and the validity of all output of accreditation activity (e.g. a certificate) be extended for a corresponding period of up to 6 months?

A27: No. In cases that ABs are still able to perform evaluation activities physically or when these can be fully replaced with evaluation activities as per IAF ID 12,  normal scheduled conformity assessment activities (e.g. surveillances, reassessment) 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 all output of the conformity assessment activity (e.g. a certificate) may be extended for a corresponding period of up to 6 months.

This means that an accreditation certificate would be valid for a maximum for 5 years (see ISO/IEC 17011, § 7.9.1) plus 6 months.

If there is a postponement of 6 months in the deadline of a certificate, according to Q8, the next accreditation cycle starts from the original one and not from the new accreditation decision.

Q26: If the certificate has already expired, can the period during which the certification body may restore certification (according to ISO/IEC 17021-1 § 9.6.3.2.5) 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).    

Q25: During the COVID-19 crisis, if a CAB conducts a part of the recertification 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 reissue the certificate at the conclusion of the remote audit activities?

A25:

  • If the CAB is not able to perform evaluation activities physically or when these cannot fully be replaced with evaluation activities as per IAF MD 4, then the normal scheduled recertification activities may be postponed for up to 6 months (see Q13)
  • A certificate can only be renewed if the CAB is able to evaluate all the applicable requirements of ISO/IEC 17021-1 (9.6.3.2) through a complete and effective audit of the client’s management system, followed by a successful review and decision making activities

Updated 14/05/2020

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)?


A23: If witnessing cannot be delayed, instead of observing a CAB carrying out conformity assessment services, an Accreditation Body may either :

  • use other mechanisms (office assessment activities or other assessment activities IAF MD17, § 2.2.1) to assess the scope of accreditation. 
  • or maintain the scope of accreditation providing that the witnessing assessment shall still be conducted immediately once it is possible.  

Q22: Could time duration for closure of Non Conformities be prolonged taken into consideration the COVID-19 outbreak? If so, what will be the mechanism / procedure and who is responsible for decision making?

A22: Yes, If it is not possible to perform evaluation activities to effectively close the nonconformities (physically or as per IAF MD4: 2018), and if the conditions recommended by IAF ID3: 2011 are satisfied, closure of nonconformities could be prolonged. However, the postponement of any conformity assessment activity (e.g. surveillances, recertification) can only be postponed for up to 6 months in accordance with FAQ 10.