News

ABCB OPENS ITS DOORS

In its 35 year history ABCB has traditionally focused on Management Systems, representing third party accredited CB’s that specialise in ISO/IEC 17021, such as ISO/IEC 9001. However, in today’s global marketplace, it is important that all aspects of accredited certification included the IAF Multilateral Recognition Agreement (MLA) is reflected in the activities of ABCB membership.

ABCB is now widening its membership to mirror that of IAF including Management Systems (ISO/IEC 9001, 14001, 22001, 27001), Product & Services (ISO/IEC 17065) and Certificates of Persons (ISO/IEC 17024).

By way of example, working with UKAS, ABCB has initiated a new UKAS committee, the ‘Product Certification Technical Advisory Committee’, to make sure that all accredited bodies who operate in the wide sphere of Product Certification have their views represented both nationally and internationally.

Wayne Terry, ABCB Chief Executive stated, “ABCB has worked effectively representing the views of its members here in the UK, Europe and worldwide since 1984 but it is important in an ever changing marketplace that we open membership to a wider range of accredited CB’s to make sure all interests are represented”.

Matt Gantley, UKAS CEO is supportive of the ABCB initiative stating “ABCB play a critical part of the UKAS stakeholder engagement so we are delighted that ABCB are opening their doors to a wider range of membership”.

So, if you are an accredited CB and operate in any of the aforementioned standards, and interested to learn how ABCB can benefit your organisation please visit the ABCB website http://www.abcb.org.uk/ .

ABCB Celebrates World Accreditation Day

The 9th June marked World Accreditation Day, an initiative jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), to promote the value of accreditation, accredited conformity assessment and standards.

This year the theme focuses on how accreditation adds value to supply chains and procurement activities and to help mark the day and ABCB worked in conjunction with UKAS and other stakeholders to publish ‘Quality in the Supply Chain’ - A guide to what makes a ‘good’ ISO 9001 audit from the perspective of the customer and an organisation certified by an accredited certification body https://www.ukas.com/news/launch-of-publication-quality-in-the-supply-ch....

Supply chains provide a vital role in delivering products and services for consumers, business and the public sector in a timely, cost-efficient and quality manner. Accreditation and, with it, other quality infrastructure tools such as standards, metrology and conformity assessment, provide widely accepted tools that help deliver value to the supply chain. These tools help with trust and assurance, enabling confidence in both final products and services and the manner in which they are placed on the market and used.

EA & THE IMPACT OF BREXIT STATEMENT

EA is the association of National Accreditation Bodies in Europe.

UKAS, the National Accreditation Body (NAB) of the United Kingdom, is a member of EA and a signatory to the EA Multilateral Agreement (MLA). With the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, UKAS will no longer meet the EA membership criteria as they are not a NAB in a Member State or candidate country. EA has expressed the importance of having UKAS as member, even after the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Accordingly, EA has revised its Articles of Association and introduced the option of a transition period, which will allow UKAS to maintain its membership for further 2 years. During this transition period EA will analyze together with UKAS the results of the negotiation between the EU and the UK and then revise the EA membership criteria with the aim that UKAS remains an EA member. That means also that UKAS will continue to be peer evaluated by EA in order to maintain its MLA signatory status.

NEW UKAS CHIEF EXECUTIVE

ABCB Chairman and Managing Director of NQA, Matt Gantley, has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of UKAS, taking over from Paul Stennett on 1 September 2018.  ABCB would like to thank Paul Stennet for his support and assistance in significantly improving the relationship between ABCB and UKAS over recent years and wish him a long and happy retirement.  We also wish Matt Gantley every success in his new role and look forward to continuing to work closely with UKAS in the future.

NEW ABCB CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Trevor Nash will be retiring as Chief Executive of ABCB at the end of 2018, after nine years.  He will be replaced by Wayne Terry who will take over on 1 January 2019. 

Wayne brings with him extensive experience of conformity assessment as well as working at Director level in a major trade association.  Wayne's experience in conformity assessment includes holding senior management positions in GASTEC (now KIWA UK), Zurich Certification, NICEIC and NQA.  During this period he was involved in the operation of personnel, product and management systems certification.  Wayne has worked within accreditation and regulatory standards, both in the UK and internationally.  He has been a member of various national and international standards and certification committees, including holding the position of secretary to the IAF ISO/IEC 17024 Working Group and representing the UK on ISO CASCO WG 30 that developed the 2012 revision of ISO/IEC 17024 and developed ISO/IEC 17027:2014.  He is a current member of the ISO/IEC 17024 Maintenance Committee

Wayne's most recent role has been as Membership Director of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), the premier trade association in the built environment sector, where he was responsible for all member services for circa 1000 members ranging from sole traders to multinational organisations.  This included developing a new strategic direction and personalising the value proposition, whilst providing selected and valued services to support and enhance the association's members.

UKAS CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY

The results of the UKAS customer satisfaction survey for quarter 1,of 2015/16 are available through the following link http://www.ukas.com/news/q1-2015-customer-satisfaction-results

THE GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO CONSULTATION ON TRANSFORMING REGULATORY ENFORCEMENT

In the middle of 2011 the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills issued a consultation document on transforming regulatory enforcement. ABCB responded to the consultation to promote the use of accredited certification to support regulatory enforcement. The executive summary of the government's response to the consultation recognizes the opportunity for certification and accreditation to contribute to a co-regulation approach and states:

  • 'There is a huge untapped potential for business and others to be more involved – co-designing enforcement strategies with the regulator, using certification or accreditation so as to tailor regulation with the business in mind, rather than the state – and, while a start has been made, we need to see more.'

The full government response can be accessed through the following link http://www.bis.gov.uk/ (pdf)

THE DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS, INNOVATION AND SKILLS ISSUES GUIDANCE TO UK BUSINESSES ENCOURAGING T...

ABCB has been successful in prompting the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) to state the UK Government's support for UKAS accredited certification. BIS has published a statement on its website in which it encourages UK businesses, Government and local authorities seeking third party certification to do so with a certification body that is accredited by the UK's national accreditation body, UKAS.

Accreditation is covered by a European Regulation EC 765/2008 which requires each EU Member State to appoint a national accreditation body. The UK Government has appointed the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) as the UK's national accreditation body. Article 7(1) of this regulation states that;

  • 'Where a conformity assessment body requests accreditation it shall do so with the national accreditation body of the Member State in which it is established or with the national accreditation body to which the Member State has recourse in accordance with Article 4(2)'

BIS has clarified the position, under Regulation 765, of certification bodies that are claiming to be accredited by organisations other than UKAS or other national accreditation bodies appointed by Member States. They state that:

  • 'Accreditation within the meaning of the Regulation (765) can only be obtained (in the UK) from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service by virtue of the Regulation.
  • An organisation therefore that is suggesting it is accredited in the sense of the Regulation when they are not is likely to be guilty of an offence under the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations (2008).'

The full content of the BIS statement can be viewed through the following link: www.bis.gov.uk/

CAMPAIGNING AGAINST MISREPRESENTATION AND MISLEADING CLAIMS

It came to the Association’s notice that there was a certification organisation using the name ISO in its company name. It was quite likely that some people reading this organisation’s web site and promotional literature could believe that it was part of ISO. This organisation was not accredited by a national accreditation body.

The ISO acronym is owned by the International Organisation for Standardisation and its use is carefully controlled. ABCB passed details of this organisation to ISO, who in conjunction with BSI, are actively seeking to prevent this organisation continuing to use the ISO acronym.

The Association also became aware of a certification body in India that was claiming, on its website, to be accredited by UKAS, JAS-ANZ (the joint Australia/New Zealand national accreditation body) and KAN (the Indonesian national accreditation body). All three accreditation bodies were advised of these misleading claims and they contacted the certification body in question which has now removed all references to these accreditations from their website.

ABCB CONTINUING TO PROMOTE NATIONALLY ACCREDITED CERTIFICATION

Recently it came to the Association’s notice that in Northern Ireland the Buildsafe-NI Action Plan had a requirement that all contractors seeking to tender for public sector works contracts shall have a health and safety management system certified by a third party.

Government Construction Clients shall recognise third party certification of a health and safety management system, provided:

  • It is based upon ILO OSH 2001; BSI’s OHSAS 18001 and 18002; BS 18004; HSG 65 or equivalent.
  • It is construction focused and incorporates site inspections.
  • The third party certification body is accredited and /or is recognised by a professional health and safety body or institution as having the knowledge and skill to undertake construction focused third party health and safety audits.

Unfortunately a number of the certification bodies on their list of health and safety certification scheme providers were not accredited by a national accreditation body, such as UKAS. ABCB passed this information to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills who liaised with the appropriate Northern Ireland government department. Action has now been taken to ensure that in the future only certification bodies accredited by UKAS or another national accreditation body will be included in the list of health and safety scheme providers.

ISO 45001 PUBLISHED

The long awaited ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety management systems - Requirments for Guidance and use was published in MArch 2018.  A three year period has been agreed for OHSAS 18001 accredited certification bodies to upgrade their accreditation to ISO 45001 and for them to migrate their clints' OHSAS 18001 certification to ISO 45001.