All eligible SCC accredited Inspection bodies shall submit their documentation as required in a timely manner when requested to qualify for the mitigation process.
SCC accredited Inspection bodies (ISO/IEC 17020) that are due for witness audits in 2020-2021. The Inspection bodies with ongoing activities such as scope extensions and/or inspection following initial assessments do not qualify for this mitigation process.
The prevailing situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions has had a significant impact on SCC’s ability to complete witness audit activities. This situation has resulted in a considerable backlog of deferred witness audits. SCC, as an internationally recognized accreditation body, has an obligation to ensure that all accredited organizations continue to demonstrate competence and meet all requirements that appear on their scope of accreditation.
SCC is asking its accredited organizations to work together in navigating, and mitigate risks surrounding conformity to accreditation requirements. While adopting a risk-based approach, SCC will ensure that the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011:2017, section 7.9.3 are met, which states “the assessment programme shall ensure that the requirements of the international standards and other normative documents containing requirements for conformity assessment bodies and the scope of accreditation shall be assessed taking risk into consideration”. As a result, SCC will now be conducting select witness audits remotely. Remote Witness Audit eligibility will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
This interim measure will be in effect until June 30, 2021
This bulletin is in response to the latest developments and focuses on conformity to accreditation requirements by Conformity Assessment Bodies during this crisis. It complements the series of previously issued COVID -19 Response SCC Accreditation Services Bulletins, specifically the following:
- 2020-09 Initial Accreditation Requirement for witness audits
- 2020-18 Response to COVID-19
- 2020-19 Revised Edition of the SCC Requirements and Guidance for the Inspection Body Accreditation Program
- 2020-21 New Edition of CSA B149.3
- 2020-39 Response to COVID-19
To verify conformity of accredited Inspection Bodies to accreditation requirements, SCC will perform desk reviews in-lieu of witness audits for the inspections that are required to be witnessed during the fiscal year 2020-2021. (This applies to those due in this fiscal and those that may have been carried forward from 2019-2020). SCC will send a request for documentation to eligible inspection bodies. The list of documents will include but is not limited to inspection reports, findings reports, drawings, diagrams, markings, photographs, and video recordings of tests being performed on the equipment being inspected. SCC will consider the following factors when determining the types of inspection activities to be reviewed and accepted:
- Minimum complexity requirements (refer to SCC R&G-IBAP-2020-04-09 for additional guidance)
- The variety of products covered by the inspection activity
- The level of hazard inherent in those products
- Qualification, experience and skills needed by the inspectors; and,
- Any regulatory requirements.
The mitigation strategy described will come into effect immediately.
Please contact Abdel Kassou, Manager, Compliance and Assessment Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 613 238 3222 ext. 443 for more information.