May 2021 FCB Meeting

It was a pleasure again to chair this week’s Federation of Certification Bodies (FCB) meeting which engages with more than twenty-five of the UK’s UKAS accredited certification bodies in its membership.

Of course a key topic was to focus on the ongoing handling of management system certification audits during the extraordinary times that we are all experiencing (Covid-19 pandemic).  It is clear however that the ongoing professional working relationship between the FCB, certification body members and the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) have a similar goal; to recognise the challenges, consider reasonable and compliant alternatives to auditing onsite, whilst maintaining confidence and integrity in the certification process.

Other key topics included for example:

  • Management system standards development
  • Methods of auditing temporary sites for ISO 22000 (food safety)
  • Continued recognition of UKAS accredited certification in Europe post Brexit
  • UKAS rebranding and communication to certified organisations
  • Updates and changes with accreditation body assessments on certification bodies
  • Verification of UKAS accredited certificates by interested parties
  • Guidance on blended approach to auditing
  • Planning to return to onsite auditing and risk assessment

Senior UKAS technical and operational members are invited and take the time to support discussion points at FCB meetings.  They attend a specific session at each meeting to present their feedback to members about technical and operational situations and questions relating to certification activities.

As a recognised trade association of UKAS, the FCB also takes part in policy, strategic and development activities such as:

  • Management system certification technical advisory committee (MSCTAC)
  • Engineering Inspection Technical Advisory Committee (EITAC)
  • Policy advisory forum (PAF)

In addition the FCB takes part in the following technical development committees:

  • HS/1 ongoing review and development of ISO 45001:2018
  • Quality in Construction (review of how ISO 9001:2015 is applied to the construction industry)

The FCB members meet three times per year and the membership is open to accredited certification bodies, accredited by an accreditation body recognised under the IAF MLA.