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ABCB CHIEF EXECUTIVE ELECTED A DIRECTOR OF IAF

ABCB Chief Executive, Trevor Nash, has been elected as a Director of the International Accreditation Forum to represent conformity assessment body associations.  The appointment is for an initial three year term commencing immediately after the IAF General Assembly in Vancouver in October and concludung at the end of the 2017 General Assembly.

Trevor has been an active participant in IAF for almost fifteen years and is currently deputy Chair of its Technical Committee.  He said ' I am very pleased and proud to to have been elected to this position.  My role will be to represent the interests of accredited certification bodies at IAF and to ensure their voice is heard.  I am looking forward to working closely with the other Directors of IAF to promote the benefits of accredited certification, protect its impartiality and integrity and ensure it meets maarket needs.'

ISO/IEC 17021 THE LATEST

ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 was published on 15 June. A two year transition period for implementation of the revised standard has been agreed and accredited certification bodies, therefore, have until 15 June 2017 to achieve compliance.  ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 may be purchased from BSI Shop http://shop.bsigroup.com.

ISO 14001:2015 PUBLISHED

ISO 14001:2015 was published in September.  ISO TC 208 and IAF have agreed a three year transition period for implementation of the revised standard, from the date of its publication.  This means that organisations holding accredited certification to ISO 14001:2004 have until September 2018 to implement the revised standard and upgrade their certification.  Any remaining accredited certificates to ISO 14001:2004 will cease to be valid at the end of the transition period.

Accredited certification bodies also need to have their accreditation upgraded to ISO 14001:2015 before they can issue accredited certification to the revised standard.

ISO 9001:2015 PUBLISHED

ISO 9001:2015 was published in September.  ISO TC 176 and IAF have agreed a three year transition period for implementation of the revised standard,from the date of its publication.  This means that organisations holding accredited certification to ISO 9001:2008 have until September 2018 to implement the revised standard and upgrade their certification.  Any remaining accredited certificates to ISO 9001:2008 will cease to be valid at the end of the transition period.

Accredited certification bodies also need to have their accreditation upgraded to ISO 9001:2015 before they van issue accredited certification to the revised standard.

ABCB CONTINUING TO PROMOTE NATIONALLY ACCREDITED CERTIFICATION

Recently it came to the Association’s notice that in Northern Ireland the Buildsafe-NI Action Plan had a requirement that all contractors seeking to tender for public sector works contracts shall have a health and safety management system certified by a third party.

Government Construction Clients shall recognise third party certification of a health and safety management system, provided:

  • It is based upon ILO OSH 2001; BSI’s OHSAS 18001 and 18002; BS 18004; HSG 65 or equivalent.
  • It is construction focused and incorporates site inspections.
  • The third party certification body is accredited and /or is recognised by a professional health and safety body or institution as having the knowledge and skill to undertake construction focused third party health and safety audits.

Unfortunately a number of the certification bodies on their list of health and safety certification scheme providers were not accredited by a national accreditation body, such as UKAS. ABCB passed this information to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills who liaised with the appropriate Northern Ireland government department. Action has now been taken to ensure that in the future only certification bodies accredited by UKAS or another national accreditation body will be included in the list of health and safety scheme providers.

CAMPAIGNING AGAINST MISREPRESENTATION AND MISLEADING CLAIMS

It came to the Association’s notice that there was a certification organisation using the name ISO in its company name. It was quite likely that some people reading this organisation’s web site and promotional literature could believe that it was part of ISO. This organisation was not accredited by a national accreditation body.

The ISO acronym is owned by the International Organisation for Standardisation and its use is carefully controlled. ABCB passed details of this organisation to ISO, who in conjunction with BSI, are actively seeking to prevent this organisation continuing to use the ISO acronym.

The Association also became aware of a certification body in India that was claiming, on its website, to be accredited by UKAS, JAS-ANZ (the joint Australia/New Zealand national accreditation body) and KAN (the Indonesian national accreditation body). All three accreditation bodies were advised of these misleading claims and they contacted the certification body in question which has now removed all references to these accreditations from their website.

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills issues guidance to UK businesses encouraging them to use nationally accredited certification.

ABCB has been successful in prompting the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) to state the UK Government's support for UKAS accredited certification. BIS has published a statement on its website in which it encourages UK businesses, Government and local authorities seeking third party certification to do so with a certification body that is accredited by the UK's national accreditation body, UKAS.

Accreditation is covered by a European Regulation EC 765/2008 which requires each EU Member State to appoint a national accreditation body. The UK Government has appointed the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) as the UK's national accreditation body. Article 7(1) of this regulation states that;

  • 'Where a conformity assessment body requests accreditation it shall do so with the national accreditation body of the Member State in which it is established or with the national accreditation body to which the Member State has recourse in accordance with Article 4(2)'

BIS has clarified the position, under Regulation 765, of certification bodies that are claiming to be accredited by organisations other than UKAS or other national accreditation bodies appointed by Member States. They state that:

  • 'Accreditation within the meaning of the Regulation (765) can only be obtained (in the UK) from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service by virtue of the Regulation.
  • An organisation therefore that is suggesting it is accredited in the sense of the Regulation when they are not is likely to be guilty of an offence under the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations (2008).'

The full content of the BIS statement can be viewed through the following link: www.bis.gov.uk/

The government response to consultation on transforming regulatory enforcement

In the middle of 2011 the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills issued a consultation document on transforming regulatory enforcement. ABCB responded to the consultation to promote the use of accredited certification to support regulatory enforcement. The executive summary of the government's response to the consultation recognizes the opportunity for certification and accreditation to contribute to a co-regulation approach and states:

  • 'There is a huge untapped potential for business and others to be more involved – co-designing enforcement strategies with the regulator, using certification or accreditation so as to tailor regulation with the business in mind, rather than the state – and, while a start has been made, we need to see more.'

The full government response can be accessed through the following link http://www.bis.gov.uk/ (pdf)

UKAS CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY

The results of the UKAS customer satisfaction survey for quarter 1,of 2015/16 are available through the following link http://www.ukas.com/news/q1-2015-customer-satisfaction-results