The current COVID-19 situation is causing unprecedented levels of uncertainty for businesses, consumers, regulators and governments.
In IIOA members’ role to deliver assurance to these organisations through the certification and other assurance services they offer, IIOA members are making two fundamental, simultaneous commitments:
- IIOA members will do their utmost to protect the health and safety of all those involved in the delivery of the assurance services they provide, whether customers, employees, others delivering the services, stakeholders or anyone else IIOA members work with and for
- IIOA members will attempt to provide the best quality of service possible, helping its customers maintain their certifications and delivering assurance with rigour and confidence so customers can – as far as possible – maintain their services to the same levels of confidence they always do to their own customers and clients.
In the instance of certification, IIOA members are continuously in communication with their customers to ensure that services are maintained with the optimum level of rigour and control. Through the use of remote auditing tools and employing other means of flexibility, IIOA members are working to maintain accredited certifications with the use of established process and procedures.
The key industry documents IIOA members are using are produced by organisations such as the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). Most importantly at this unprecedented time, these documents include IAF ID3:2011 (Informative Document for Management of Extraordinary Events or Circumstances Affecting ABs, CABs and Certified Organizations) and IAF MD4:2018 (IAF Mandatory Document for the Use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Auditing/Assessment Purposes). Backing up the wide range of other standards and policies, these documents help ensure the robustness of the alternative methods being used by IIOA members under these exceptional circumstances.
Additionally, IIOA is working and communicating with a range of stakeholders to ensure that the efficacy and solidity of the accredited certification system is maintained. This involves dialogue with such key organisations as the IAF, Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), International Automotive Quality Group (IAQG) and individual accreditation bodies. Helping assure such vital things as supply chains becomes even more significant at this point and working with partners will help in this aim.
All these efforts will focus on the two fundamental commitments of maintaining health & safety of those involved in delivering these assurance services and maintaining the levels of rigour and confidence all customers and stakeholders demand.
IIOA and its members are committed to assisting as much as it can and will continue to strive to achieve this.