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Global Britain and Future Business Opportunities

16 March 2021
We hosted a round table discussion between NQA’s MD, Nick Wright and UKAS’ CEO, Matt Gantley, where they discussed Global Britain and future opportunities for businesses with accredited certification.

Watch the recorded webinar here...

Please feel free to download the UKAS slides here.

During this live webinar, NQA's Managing Director, Nick Wright and his guest, UKAS CEO Matt Gantley, discussed:

  • The success of accreditation and mutual recognition of accredited certification across the globe

  • UKAS’ role, vision and mission to support businesses in 2021 and beyond

  • The role of EA and IAF in the global accreditation and certification industry

  • The challenges and opportunities of remote auditing within the certification industry

  • Lessons learnt from the COVID pandemic

  • Future challenges and opportunities for businesses with accredited certification

If you have any questions or would like to speak with a member of the NQA team please contact us.

Q&A Post Webinar

Following on from our webinar on Global Britain and the future of business opportunities for businesses with accredited certification. Presenters Nick Wright, NQA’s UK & EMEA Managing Director and Matt Gantley, UKAS’ CEO have very kindly taken the time to answer all of the outstanding questions below:

Q. What are UKAS doing to educate people on the value of third-party accredited certification versus the non-accredited second party certification bodies offering sometimes cheaper alternatives?

A. UKAS have an ongoing goal to promote the importance of accreditation within the certification industry. Matt touched on the forthcoming UKAS certificate database during this webinar and through UK Government addressing the issue of unaccredited certification as well as its own initiatives; involving increases in direct and social marketing activities to raise awareness; it’s clear this is at the forefront of everyone’s objectives as a priority. All certification bodies, consultants and management system managers play an important role in promoting accredited certification on a day-to-day basis. NOTE: this question is also answered during the webinar at the end during the Q&A session.
Q. What is UKAS' relationship with the ISO?
A. BSI is the UK’s national standard body and they are members of ISO and CEN/CENELEC. UKAS, BSI and NPL work closely together through UKQI to promote the value of the UK’s national quality infrastructure. In ISO there is a Committee On Conformity Assessment (CASCO); CASCO develops policy and publishes standards related to conformity assessment. Membership to CASCO is open to full and correspondent members. UKAS feeds into CASCO via BSI. UKAS also provides input on the development of national and international standards via BSI Committees as well as through EA, ILAC and IAF.
Q. Does UKAS produce any statistics regarding certifications to management system standards, for example the number of certificates by industry or an increase in certificates?  
A. UKAS do not provide statistics on standards or industries. This information is available through ISO via the annual ISO Survey which can be found here. In the future UKAS will publish data on the size and nature of the UK market under UKAS accredited certification.
Q. When undertaking a remote re-assessment of an ISO management system, some certification bodies have insisted the time taken for a site-based assessment is still the same as a remote. What guidance is there in place for remote re- assessments of ISO management systems?
A. The guidance in place for conducting assessments through the pandemic is set out in IAF document ID 3:2011 and IAF ID12:2015. UKAS have set their position out in document TPS62 “Management of Extraordinary Events or Circumstances” and TPS 73 “UKAS Policy on Accreditation and Conformity Assessment During the COVID-19 Outbreak”. All of these documents are publicly available on the IAF and UKAS websites.
The sector is currently setting out the boundaries by which remote auditing can be used in a post-COVID environment. UKAS has published a consultation document on Blended Approaches to Auditing for Management Systems.
Q. If a product is UKCA certified is a separate CE certification required for sales to the EU?
A. Yes, a separate CE marking is required if the product requires CE marking to be sold in the EU. There is no agreement on equivalence for UKCA and CE marking.
Q. Which Government Department is responsible for policy on accredited Certification Bodies and how can we lobby them?
A. BEIS is the main government department which appoints UKAS. NQA lobby BEIS as well as other departments through the Association of British Certification Bodies (ABCB).
Q. Historically we looked to the DTI register of certified organisations as a list of companies with ISO certification. Is the new UKAS database going to be direct replacement and will it be publicised to specifiers, government departments etc?
A. The new UKAS database of management system certificates will be promoted widely to specifiers and Government Departments.
Q. Under the topic of accreditation and regulation, what is the nature of the relationship between UKAS and the Financial Conduct Authority (if any)? Is there any collaboration?
A. Whilst UKAS has had dialogue with the FCA, there are currently no firm plans for UKAS accredited conformity assessment to be involved in the regulation of financial products, services or organisations. NOTE: this question is also answered during the webinar at the end during the Q&A session.
Q. I appreciate that you cannot definitively answer but do you believe that EA will enable UKAS to remain a full member?
A. UKAS has an extension for their EA membership until 2022. EA and UKAS have stated their commitment to secure a long-term relationship. More info on this topic can be found here: NOTE: this question is also answered during the webinar at the end during the Q&A session.
Q. If a product is sent to the UK that has CE certification does it need to be UKCA certified as well?
A. There is a short transition period in which CE marked products without the UKCA mark are accepted in most cases within the UK, this ends on 1 January 2022. After which a product will need to be UKCA marked. Therefore, if a product is sold within the UK and EU it will need both UKCA and CE marking. More info is available on the government website here.
Q. Certification Bodies used to be able to claim they were "accredited" through their own "accreditation body" (not UKAS). This was discouraged by UKAS and Government guidelines; but was never illegal as such. Has this changed?
A. Accreditation ensures that those who carry out testing, certification and inspection are competent to do so. If a conformity assessment body is based in the UK it shall seek accreditation from UKAS
BEIS is aware that UK certification bodies and representative associations are concerned at the increase in the number of organisations offering certification when they are not accredited to do so. BEIS has advised certification representative organisations in the UK that: the only ‘authoritative statement’ of competence, that has public authority status – providing the last level of control in the conformity assessment chain – is from the UK’s sole national accreditation body, UKAS.
Q. ABMS is not included in MLA today. Is it a matter of time or is the Anti Bribery Standard not going to be included in MLA?
A. ABMS ISO 37001 is a new accreditation and there are very few other accreditation bodies offering this. As uptake increases amongst accreditation bodies it is likely that this will be included in the IAF MLA process.
IAF MLAs are based upon sub scopes and as a mentioned below UKAS provides ABMS accreditation for CBs, but because there are only a few other ABs that provide this there is no demand for an MLA globally.
However, EA MLAs are done at a higher level and so UKAS’s ABMS accreditation under ISO17021 is covered by the European/EA MLA. In short, NQA’s UKAS accredited ABMS certificates are mutually recognised by other AB in European for technical equivalence. NOTE: this question is also answered during the webinar at the end during the Q&A session.