How will COVID-19 affect your ISO certifications?

Allowing your ISO certifications to lapse can lead to high re-certification costs and breach of contract; negatively impacting your business and client relationships.

shutterstock 309866561 02.10.20 could your iso certifications be at risk of lapsing due to covid 19

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many interruptions to business, including the inability to conduct re-certification audits. Even though the UK’s national accreditation body UKAS permits an extension during times of pandemic, this has left many organisations in a precarious situation.

Thankfully, lapsing ISO certifications isn’t happening on a large scale just yet. This is in part down to the provisions of TPS73, a policy UKAS brought out due to COVID-19, which allows for audit deadline extensions of up to 12 months.

For those whose audits were due back when Coronavirus first hit the UK, this means they have a buffer zone of another six months – and these are likely to be needed. This is because many organisations are choosing to continue with remote work practices, making it currently impossible for certification bodies to go on-premise and undertake necessary audits in the classic fashion.

But even those that have re-opened their workplaces aren’t out of the woods; there may still be a long wait as certification bodies try to catch up on a backlog of audits caused by the lockdown. Furthermore, the virus hasn’t disappeared, and we don’t know how it much it could affect us going forward.

“How long might the situation last? I don’t know. Spanish Flu caused disruption for two years and its second wave was horrific compared to the first. It’s unappealing to think in such terms, but things could get worse before they get better,” notes Peter Rossi, co-founder and COO of InfoSaaS.

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