The last couple of weeks have seen key IAF meetings replace the usual block of IAF-ILAC Joint Annual meetings, as they switch from on-site to remote meetings.
The key meeting amongst these was the IAF General Assembly. Since this was the first IAF General Assembly since the Covid-19 pandemic, it gave IAF the perfect opportunity to examine its pandemic preparedness and response.
Most significantly an IAF General Assembly Resolution endorsed the work of the IAF Covid-19 FAQ Task Force and its output of IAF FAQs, currently numbering 33. These FAQs have enabled accredited certification bodies to be able to continue to provide accredited certification, with accreditation from IAF member accreditation bodies.
In particular the Covid-19 pandemic has meant the shift from on-site to remote auditing and assessment, when restrictions do not make it possible for these activities to be carried out using the more traditional on-site methods.
The FAQs have sought to achieve two key aims:
- Keep accredited certificates live
- Ensure the continued trust in the audit and assessment activities and thus the certificates.
These two aims are absolutely inseparable and seek to assure all stakeholders of the value of accredited certificates, regardless of method used to evaluate certificates and accreditations.
IIOA continued its active participation in IAF meetings, participation which culminates in these annual meetings, but more importantly, is year-round.
Of particular note was IIOA Chief Executive Marcus Long’s re-election as IAF Director representing the Conformity Assessment Body association members of IAF. As with his first term, in this role Marcus is on the IAF Board, IAF Executive Committee and Joint IAF/ILAC Executive Committee and chairs the IAF Conformity Assessment Bodies Advisory Committee (CABAC).
At the IAF General Assembly, Marcus presented on the range of actions IAF CABAC is working with IAF to maintain accredited certificates during the pandemic, such as the above Resolution. With the pandemic still set to be a dominate factor in the foreseeable future, IAF CABAC will continue to drive the best solutions for accredited certification forward.
Other substantial input from IIOA was to the IAF Technical Committee and within the Technical Committee, IIOA has had significant input into work on issues such as transitions and audit time.