The year 2020 demanded that we take our digital work to the next level. A wide range of procedures could no longer be conducted in person as they normally are, and had to be completed digitally – sometimes successfully, sometimes less so. The accreditation field was no exception when it came to this development, as laboratories could no longer allow visits from assessors as they normally would. At first, accreditations were postponed for as long as possible. But then, as it transpired that there is no quick fix for beating the Covid-19 pandemic, alternative solutions had to be found. In this respect remote assessments are an alternative to in-person assessments, and are permitted pursuant to ISO/IEC norm 17011:2017. Previously, remote accreditations would be conducted occasionally, but remained the exception to the rule.
As part of the PTB project “Upgrading of African Quality Infrastructure”, the guidelines for remote assessments have been laid out by Dr. Ron Josias, Chairperson at the African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC) and an advisory expert involved in this initiative. These guidelines shed light on the challenges inherent in the remote assessment process, explain various completion methods and also contain practical recommendations. The guide also proposes beneficial approaches for the fields of conformity assessment and evaluation.
The Remote Assessments | Guidelines for Accreditation Bodies are available on the website of our partner organisation, the Pan-African Quality Infrastructure, and can also be downloaded for free here.
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