Further to our update on September 4, 2020 and with regard to the continuing pandemic, IOAS has taken the following decisions.
1.New CB applications and scope extensions to be performed remotely – Given the overall positive experience IOAS has had with the now many remote activities we have performed over the last 6 months, we have decided to change our policy to allow new CB applications and scope extensions to be performed fully remotely. Where possible we will use local resources and other techniques to be on-site or partially on-site. We will of course reserve the right to require either additional assessment activities, whether remote or on-site (when access becomes possible) before accreditation or scope extension, if the result of any assessment indicates that we have been unable to verify any scheme or IOAS requirements.
2.Closure to new applications – Concomitant with the pandemic we have seen an uptick in new applications in the last 9 months. That alongside the additional time needed to reschedule work with current accredited CBs has increased pressure on our resources and although we have and are hiring new people and linking with other ABs we have decided we need to put a hold on new applications so as not to overstretch ourselves and to ensure we maintain integrity of our work. We propose to close to new applicants across all schemes for the next 3 months until the end of 2020 at which time we will review our status. We will proceed with all CBs that have submitted an application to us as of September 30, 2020 but inform any new applicants that new applications will not be accepted until 2021.