IAF updates

IAF Holds its 2020 General Assembly Virtually

IAF held its 2020 General Assembly (GA) virtually on 05 November with approximately 300 attendees. Topics of discussion included the ongoing challenge of COVID-19, the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, the establishment of a single organization for accreditation with ILAC, the status of IAF CertSearch, and committee activities.

Members welcomed four IAF MoU Members who had joined IAF since the 2019 GA: the Ghana National Accreditation Service, the Nigeria National Accreditation System, IFS Management GmbH, and the West African Accreditation System. One IAF Member, the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Service, was welcomed as a new IAF MLA signatory.

Many other Members achieved scope extensions in 2020 and were congratulated for their achievements; a full list is available in the meeting resolutions.  Most of the extensions were in the occupational health and safety management systems (OH&SMS) category, which was added to the IAF MLA on 30 October 2019.

Two leadership positions were up for review during the meeting, as the first terms of Peter Kronvall (Director Representing High Income Economy ABs, Accreditation Body Information Exchange Group Co-Chair), and Marcus Long (Director Representing CAB Association Members, Conformity Assessment Body Advisory Committee Chair), were both ending. Both Mr. Kronvall and Mr. Long were appointed for second terms ending at the 2023 GA.

Discussions on COVID-19 related to actions taken in response to the pandemic, the role of the IAF COVID-19 FAQs, the need for new document(s), and reports from IAF Regional Accreditation Group Members on their related experiences. Members adopted the following resolution relating to the FAQs:

IAF Resolution 2020-16 – (Agenda Item 9.1) IAF COVID-19 FAQs – The General Assembly, acting on the recommendation of the Executive Committee, endorses the IAF COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) as developed and published by the IAF COVID-19 FAQ Task Force.

The General Assembly further endorses the IAF COVID-19 FAQ Task Force to continue its work on a temporary basis dependent on the evolution of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The General Assembly acknowledges and accepts that standards and other normative documents do not cover specific requirements for all situations that can occur. In this case, IAF COVID-19 FAQs have regulated the unanticipated situation of the pandemic.

For this reason, when an Accreditation Body or a Conformity Assessment Body refers to an IAF COVID-19 FAQ, published by IAF, it is assumed to be operating not in contradiction or excluding any of the requirements included in the relevant international standards and/or other normative documents (see ISO/IEC 17011, § 4.6.2). Such assumption is on a temporary basis dependent on the evolution of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Conformity Assessment Bodies and Accreditation Bodies can implement the dispositions contained in IAF COVID-19 FAQs, but where the situation permits, priority should be given to the ordinary situation.

The IAF/ILAC Joint Working Group (JWG) A-Series Co-Conveners reported that the JWG A-Series would be developing a joint document for the remote peer evaluation of Regional Accreditation Groups and Accreditation Bodies during the COVID-19 pandemic. This document has since been published as an addendum to A1 and A2 and is available here.

Members adopted the following resolution for the transitional arrangement for ISO/IEC 27006:2015 AMD 1:2020:

IAF Resolution 2020-18 – (Agenda Item 10.1) Transitional Arrangement for ISO/IEC 27006:2015 AMD 1:2020 ­ The General Assembly, acting on the recommendation of the Technical Committee, resolved that the Transitional Arrangement associated with ISO/IEC 27006:2015 AMD 1:2020 – Information technology – Security techniques – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of information security management systems – Amendment 1, will be two years from the last day of the month of publication of the amended standard.

Within this transition timeline:

  • ABs shall be ready to carry out transition assessments for ISO/IEC 27006:2015 AMD 1:2020, within eight months from the last day of the month of publication of the amended standard.
  • CBs shall have completed the transition to ISO/IEC 27006:2015 AMD1:2020, through office assessment, within 24 months from the last day of the month of publication of the amended standard.

Note 1: ISO/IEC 27006:2015 AMD 1:2020, was published on the 27 March 2020.

Note 2: The transition is not a routine transition from one version of a standard to another. The transition only relates to the specific changes detailed in Amendment 1:2020.

Resolutions were approved by ballot following the GA. A list is available here.

Categories: IAF updates