SCC continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and take appropriate measures in response. Our decisions and actions align with directives we are receiving from our Federal and provincial governments, the Public Agency of Canada (PHAC), and municipal public health authorities. The safety of our staff, contract assessors and accredited organizations is paramount in all decisions being made. We will continue to issue Bulletins to keep everyone aware as this crisis continues to evolve.
We invite you to continue communicating with your SCC Scheduler/Planner and Account Manager to verify if your assessment might be impacted by the current situation which is changing daily or about any other related accreditation issue.
What further measures is SCC taking?
- All SCC staff including the full Accreditation Team is currently working remotely until further notice. We are fully connected to our systems and expect to maintain all customer services during this period as best as possible. However, service standards may be impacted – SCC will do our best to respond promptly to all customer inquiries.
- If you are uncertain about matters pertaining to your Accreditation (i.e. upcoming activities, expiry dates, etc.), please contact your assigned Account Manager. The best way to communicate with them is by email. However, they are still able to receive phone calls.
- All international and domestic travel has been suspended (be it by air, train or car) immediately for the next three weeks (until April 5th, 2020 at the earliest). It will be re-evaluated at that time and extended based on Government and Public Health directives.
SCC is encouraging assessments and partial assessments remotely during this period in situations where:
- the feasibility of such fulfills the technical requirements of the accreditation program; consequently, for all programs NO witness audits and NO initial assessments will be conducted; GLP inspections will also NOT be conducted remotely
- assessors are comfortable with this methodology
- customers have the necessary technical capabilities and can readily access to their documentation and records
- customers are open to the approach and this is not adding an undue burden on the organization
- Given the challenges accredited organizations are also facing during the COVID-19 crisis, organizations may be delayed submitting and reviewing action plans (30-day target) and closing NCRs with corrective actions and evidence (90-day target). SCC will be flexible and address these on a case by case basis.
- For customers who have not yet paid their annual fees for the upcoming fiscal year (which are due April 1st, 2020), SCC will offer a 90 day interest-free grace period.
This bulletin concerns all SCC accredited organizations with an update to the earlier SCC Accreditation Services Bulletins (dated 2020-03-04 and 2020-03-16) given the fast-evolving turn of events in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SCC is ensuring that SCC accredited organizations are aware of what measures SCC is taking at this time and what expectations SCC has from their accredited organizations. This is aligned with the IAF informative document ID3:2011 (Informative Document for Management of Extraordinary Events or Circumstances Affecting ABs, CABs and Certified Organizations for Management of Extraordinary Events or Circumstances Affecting accredited organizations).
IAF has also published a Frequently Asked Questions page about the COVID-19 pandemic; we invite you to read it here: https://iaffaq.com/
For any further questions, please contact Abdel Kassou, Manager, Compliance and Assessment Services, Accreditation Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 613 238 3222 ext. 443.