» Change of Ownership, Name or Legal Entity
As per the UKAS Agreement all customers agree to notify UKAS of any circumstances which may affect their ability to fulfil the requirements of accreditation including any change in its ownership, name or legal entity.
Any notification to UKAS of a change of Ownership, Name or Legal Entity should be provided to UKAS satisfactorily in advance of any planned change to avoid the potential for accreditation to be suspended or withdrawn.
Change of ownership
If there is a change of who owns a controlling part, or all of an accredited conformity assessment body (CAB), this is considered to be a change of ownership.
Such a change would not normally result in a change of name, or a change to the legal entity which is accredited and responsible for the accredited activities. Therefore, there is no requirement to complete a transfer of accreditation form in this case. However, formal notification (letter or email) of the change of ownership should be provided in advance of any change and should detail the following minimum information:
- Full name and address of the new owner(s) including what their % share of the business will be.
- Details of any related bodies or conflicts of interest the new owner(s) introduce
- Details of any planned changes to the location, key personnel or operating model of the existing accredited CAB because of the change of ownership.
This information should be sent to the applicable UKAS Assessment or Case Manager who will review to determine if any assessment is required.
Change of Name
Where an existing accredited organisation is intending to change its name but the accredited legal entity is unaffected and there is no change to the conformity assessment body’s (CAB) accredited activities, a transfer of accreditation form is not required.
In the case of a name change please notify your Assessment and/or case Manager at the earliest opportunity and in advance of any change. This notification can be by email or letter and should include as a minimum the following:
- Details of the new name and a summary as to why the change is taking place
- Confirmation that the change of name has no impact on the legal entity of the CAB’s accredited activities.
A new UKAS Agreement will need to be signed and evidence of the new company name having been appropriately registered e.g. with companies’ house, charities commission. In the case of public bodies a press release/official memo or notice from the applicable government department should be supplied. Where the name change is the addition of a trading name to the existing accredited legal entity a new signed UKAS Agreement is not normally required provided the legal entity remains unaffected by the change of name. However, details should be provided or how the CAB has ensured that the trading name does not clash with the same or similar names used by other organisations operating in the same sector.
Change of Legal Entity
A change of Legal Entity is where there is a change to the entity which is financially and legally responsible for those activities performed under UKAS accreditation.
UKAS should be notified sufficiently in advance of any planned changes to the legal entity to avoid the potential for accreditation to be suspended or withdrawn.
Any change of legal entity should in the first instance be discussed with your Assessment Manager/Case Manager before any changes to the legal entity takes place, this should be as soon as possible in advance of the date of any planned change, ideally at least 2 months*. The initial notification/discussion will need to confirm why the legal entity is changing and when the change is expected to take place. It will also be necessary to confirm at this stage whether the new legal entity is prepared to accept all contractual, legal, financial and other obligations which relate to the both current and historic accredited activities. Where this acceptance is not possible, the accreditation cannot be transferred to the new legal entity and a new application for accreditation will need to be submitted. In such cases the new legal entity will not be able to retain the existing accreditation number or initial accreditation date from the existing legal entity. Although it is likely that the initial assessment process can be streamlined if there are not significant changes at the CAB as a result of the change of legal entity.
Where it is confirmed that the new entity is prepared to accept all contractual, legal, financial and other obligations which relate to current and historic accredited activities UKAS will request that a Notification Form for Change of Legal Entity (F323) is completed and submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org with the requested evidence contained in that form.
Where the change of legal entity does not impact on the accredited service provided (e.g. where the management, resources, management system and procedures remain unchanged), the transfer of accreditation may be relatively straightforward. However, if it is evident from the information provided that the accredited service could or will be affected by the change then UKAS shall determine whether any additional assessment effort will be required to confirm on going conformity with the requirements of accreditation.
UKAS will charge a minimum of 0.5 days effort to cover the cost of transferring accreditation to the new legal entity. However, if as detailed above it becomes evidence that the accredited service could or will be affected additional assessment and costs may be incurred.
If the change of legal entity requires additional activities or sites to be added to the accredited scope this will be dealt with separately and will require the submission of an extension to scope application.
*Should there be concerns about notifying UKAS due to concerns regarding the confidentiality of any changes for example, ability to impact companies share price or potential for staff redundancies then please be assured that UKAS will treat this information with the strictest confidence. Where required a Non-Disclosure Agreement specific to the change can be signed or discussion with senior members of UKAS staff arranged.