Frequently asked questions and answers
Impact of the pandemic on assessments
In which cases is DAkkS currently carrying out on-site assessments?
Since May, DAkkS has again been carrying out a growing number of assessment activities on site where they cannot be undertaken as remote assessments for technical or operational reasons.
The main focus of the increased resumption of on-site assessments is on the processing of initial accreditations and important extensions, in each case including any witness audits that may be required and which cannot be carried out by remote assessment.
In which cases is DAkkS currently using remote assessments?
At present, DAkkS is using remote assessments as part of its surveillance activities, including reassessments, and extensions where this is operationally and technically feasible.
What do conformity assessment bodies need to consider with regard to the implementation of remote assessments?
For how long will DAkkS continue to use remote assessments?
At this point in time, DAkkS is planning to again give priority to on-site assessments from autumn 2021.
Under what conditions does DAkkS carry out on-site assessments?
DAkkS checks the feasibility of on-site assessment on the basis of a checklist that is sent to the body to be assessed as part of the assessment planning process. As a general rule, compliance with the rules governing the wearing of face masks, as well as hygiene and social distancing, rules is required.
To protect the health of all parties involved in an on-site assessment, DAkkS relies on the consistent use of self-tests or rapid tests.
What does this mean for the bodies to be assessed?
DAkkS asks conformity assessment bodies to make arrangements for the use of self-tests or rapid tests in the course of their preparations for the assessment. It should be noted that these bodies are themselves responsible for ensuring that appropriate self-tests are available to their staff and that some of these tests are held in reserve.
Approach to self-tests or rapid tests
To ensure that they are valid, the test results should not be more than six hours old. For assessments lasting several days, the tests are repeated each day. The test results are not documented in writing.
In the event of a positive test result, steps must be taken to ensure that the person concerned does not take part in the assessment and has had no contact with people taking part in the on-site assessment for at least one week.
What approach does DAkkS take to vaccinations and recovery from coronavirus in this context?
Staff, assessors and employees of the clients to be assessed who have and can provide evidence of full vaccine protection with a two-week interval from the date of their last vaccination, or who have survived a coronavirus infection (for a period of six months after overcoming the infection) and can provide evidence of this, are exempt from the obligation to carry out rapid tests/self-tests as a prerequisite for a preliminary assessment.
This rule does not apply to participants showing symptoms of coronavirus infection, who are not allowed to take part in an on-site assessment.
Here again, compliance with the rules governing the wearing of face masks, as well as hygiene and social distancing rules, is required.
What plans does DAkkS have for assessments abroad?
In view of the various travel restrictions in place in the relevant countries and the regulations in place on returning to Germany, DAkkS is carrying out only a limited number of arrangements abroad.
Impact of the pandemic on transition periods
Conversion to ISO 45001:2018, ISO 22000:2018, ISO 50001:2018 and ISO 22301:2019
For certification bodies in the areas of ISO 45001:2018, ISO 22000:2018, ISO 50001:2018 and ISO 22301:2019, the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has made the transition easier. All conversion periods are being extended by six months.
The IAF’s decision is based on an answer to a question published by the IAF as part of its “Frequently Asked Questions Covid-19 Outbreak”. For the following certification standards, the new conversion deadlines are therefore as follows:
- ISO 45001:2018 – 30 September 2021
- ISO 22000:2018 – 31 December 2021
- ISO 50001:2018 – 20 February 2022
- ISO 22301:2019 – 30 April 2023
Information from DAkkS on working with the extended deadlines
DAkkS would like to point out that a document review is always required for the conversion and that supplementary remote audit techniques can be used, provided that the conditions set out in IAF ID 3, IAF MD 4 and IAF FAQ 5 are met by the certification body and the company. The annual surveillance audits or reassessments must be carried out independently of this. The extensions also apply to the relevant interim dates for each of the transitions (e.g. ISO 50001:2018). DAkkS will not be updating the transition instructions published on its website.
In the information published in its FAQs, the IAF has also confirmed that the binding application of the following IAF Mandatory Documents has now been extended in each case by six months:
- IAF MD 5:2019 – 7 November 2020
- IAF MD 17:2019 – 7 November 2020
- IAF MD 22:2019 – 7 November 2020