DAkkS adopts safety measures: suspension of on-site assessments
Given the spread of the coronavirus and taking into account the recommendations of the German Federal Government, the Robert Koch Institute and other competent authorities, the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS) has taken measures to protect employees, assessors and clients. DAkkS will continue to fulfil its authoritative task and is asking its clients for understanding for the changes the adopted measures will bring in relation to our procedures.
How does DAkkS deal with planned assessments within Germany?
Based on current developments and restrictions by authorities, DAkkS will replace all currently planned on-site assessments within Germany by alternative assessment methods (remote assessments) or, where possible, postpone these assessments. The case managers of DAkkS will successively contact the CABS for further planning.
How does the DAkkS deal with planned assessments outside Germany?
Based on the current situation, DAkkS will not carry out assessments outside Germany until further notice. Wherever possible, local accreditation bodies will be subcontracted. If the assessments can’t be subcontracted - and this is currently most likely - DAkkS case managers will examine and decide for each case individually whether alternative assessment methods can be applied.
Effects on activities of the conformity assessment bodies
DAkkS is aware that the effects of the corona crisis are particularly challenging for the market place and in general for all actors of the quality infrastructure. The accreditation body will therefore do everything necessary within its possibilities to reduce the negative effects on the accredited bodies as much as possible.
Conformity assessment bodies (CABs) have the responsibility to respond to the current situation with appropriate plans and by implementing appropriate measures. These must take into account the specifics of the body, its products, markets and regulatory requirements. The ability to react appropriately to crises is a competence of accredited bodies.
Accredited bodies may therefore analyse on a case by case basis how to deal with the corona pandemic and its effects in the context of conformity assessment and surveillance audits. This analysis will be based on legal requirements, local regulations and any provisions of contractual partners or scheme owners.
DAkkS reminds certification bodies for management systems of the provisions of the Informative Document for Management of Extraordinary Events or Circumstances Affecting ABs, CABs and Certified Organizations (IAF ID3:2011). This document provides a solid basis for the internal analysis. It allows for the postponement of a surveillance audit up to six months. If applicable, even longer periods may be covered by an appropriate special surveillance concept if combined with remote techniques. It is the understanding of DAkkS that in this exceptional situation the principles of IAF ID3:2011 apply similarly to all conformity assessment bodies.
All measures taken by conformity assessment bodies due to the effects of the pandemic and based on a risk-analysis as an alternative to regular procedures, have to be documented, justified and made available to DAkkS.
DAkkS will exploit its margin of discretion in the accreditation procedure so as to avoid unnecessary problems for the accredited bodies and the economy.
Dealing with events, client meetings and committees
Until further notice, DAkkS will refrain from participating physically in events and meetings with external participants. This also includes meetings in the offices of DAkkS, meetings of technical committees as well as information events of the divisions and training courses of all kind and individual appointments of the divisions.
All information events and training courses scheduled until the end of June 2020 will be postponed to a later date, probably as of September 2020.
The above measures enter into force immediately. DAkkS will closely monitor further developments around the pandemic and, if necessary, decide on further measures and update existing measures. In doing so, DAkkS will continue to give priority to the maintenance of its authoritative task and the protection of employees, assessors and customers.