This bulletin is to update you regarding aspects of the implementation of IAF MD5: 2015 Determination of Audit Time of Quality and Environmental Management Systems.

The new version of MD5 has an application date of 9th June 2016; UKAS Assessment Teams will from now be reviewing the status of implementation and use by each accredited CB. This bulletin highlights a few areas where UKAS has identified inconsistences in application or where there are new requirements to consider, UKAS assessments will of course cover all requirements.

This is a Mandatory document for use with ISO/IEC 17021-1, meaning that CBs must use it as part of their contract review and audit planning processes. However please note that the primary clause on which the UKAS assessment will concentrate is ISO/IEC 17021-1 clause 9.1.4.1: “The certification body shall have documented procedures for determining audit time. For each client the certification body shall determine the time needed to plan and accomplish a complete and effective audit of the client’s management system.” Therefore the expectation is that the CB is able to demonstrate to the UKAS assessment team that they have considered the required activities for the audit and based the duration on being able to effectively complete these activities, MD5 should be used to identify if the calculated audit time to achieve this clause is within the time guidelines presented.

Please also note that, as stated in MD5 clause 0.5:  “Although this document is set up for EMS/QMS certification, a number of elements may be used for other ISO/IEC17021-1: 2015 based certification schemes. Examples of these elements are the application of audit time duration or audit day and effective personnel.”

The following points relating to the document are highlighted with regard to the use of the tables and calculations for audit time: -

  • Clause 2.1.3 – Please note that travel is not included in the on-site duration.

  • Clause 2.2.1 - Please note that the information provided in the tables represents “average” audit time, it is not a minimum figure and time allocation should be based on the specific organisation being audited.

  • Clause 2.2.4 - UKAS is considering the application of Note 1 to clause 2.2.4; we are considering requiring information to be available to demonstrate the relationship between average audit time allocated and that shown in the MD5 tables, this will be discussed with the UKAS stakeholder groups to gain guidance and opinion.

  • Clause 2.3.2 – This clauses requires the availability of the justification of the determination of the effective number of personnel, also taking into account clause 2.3.4 regarding repetitive processes.

  • Clause 3.4 - This clause describes the overall use of the tables and highlights that the tables covering numbers of personnel and complexity cannot be used in isolation. 

  • Clause 3.7 – Please note the requirements regarding consideration of shifts.

  • Clause 4.4 – This clause requires the calculation and justification of audit time to be provided to the client organisation and made available to the AB.

  • Clause 5 - Notes to clauses 5 (Surveillance) and 6 (Recertification) state that: “It is unlikely that a surveillance/recertification audit will take less than one (1) audit day.”

If you have any queries regarding this technical bulletin please raise them through your Assessment Manager or contact Kevin Belson - UKAS Technical Manager – kevin.belson@ukas.com

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