We are all aware of the restrictions that the Coronavirus pandemic is placing on our businesses and personal lives. In these unprecedented times, the need to protect the health and safety of all individuals is of paramount importance.
Whilst we continue to operate as normal as possible, like many businesses, UKAS has implemented a number of precautionary measures in line with Government advice and guidelines:
- The UKAS workforce is now, where they can, working from home
- All UKAS assessments are being evaluated to determine the best approach, under current conditions, to ensure accreditation can be granted, maintained or renewed. The amount of on-site assessment required, if any, will be determined on a case by case basis and communicated to the customer when appropriate.
- UKAS Training Courses scheduled to take place will now be Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT)
- New guidance and publication documents have been issued for customers
- Accreditation for COVID-19 testing
- Government announces minimum standards for C-19 testing
- Requirements for private providers of C-19 testing – Stage 2: UKAS Appraisal
- FAQs for private providers of Covid-19 testing
- Government Guidance: Minimum standards for private sector providers of COVID-19 testing for ‘Test to release for international travel’
- Applications to include COVID-19 Testing
- Application forms
- Information & guidance for customers
During the Coronavirus pandemic there has been a lot of information and guidance published regarding the maintenance of accreditation. Accredited bodies are required to familiarise themselves with the content of these documents, as applicable to them, and ensure that they take the appropriate actions.
- Remote assessments
The current situation means that UKAS cannot continue assessments in their traditional form so all UKAS assessments are being evaluated to determine the best approach to ensure accreditation can be granted, maintained or renewed. The primary method will be remote assessment but under certain circumstances we will use a blended approach if it is safe and practical to do so.
- UKAS' virtual training courses
In these unprecedented and uncertain times, UKAS’ Training Academy remains committed to safely supporting our customers’ learning needs. We have implemented new technology to deliver our scheduled courses as Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) until May 2021.
- Drop-in sessions for Private Providers of COVID-19
UKAS has been working with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to develop a three stage UKAS accreditation process for private providers of COVID-19 testing. For providers who are working through Stage 2 or towards Stage 3, UKAS have released a series of weekly drop-in sessions. During these sessions there has been a lot of information and guidance regarding the accreditation process. The Q&A for these can be found here.