Over recent weeks during the Coronavirus outbreak, UKAS has been in regular contact with NHS England Improvement, devolved governments and the Department of Health and Social Care in order to adapt to the needs of the healthcare system in this period of unprecedented pressure.
It is recognised that laboratories and stakeholders are keen to seek accreditation to give additional assurance to the quality of the COVID-19 testing performed. To support this, UKAS has worked with NHSEI and DHSC to produce a template to submit which aims to simplify the application process and specify the documentation required. This form is named the AC COV and is available on the UKAS website.
Where laboratories have already submitted an extension to scope application using an AC6 or AC4 form, there is no need to complete this new form. UKAS has assigned a Technical Focus Person within UKAS who will work with Assessment Managers and co-ordinate all applications through to grant of accreditation. Each application will be reviewed to plan the assessment. Assessments will be conducted remotely, in line with our current assessment approach during the Coronavirus outbreak (see also UKAS Publication TPS 73)
UKAS is working closely with government to support the national effort to increase capacity of reliable testing. As a result, UKAS will liaise with DHSC/NHSEI and PHE, to ensure that the appropriate priority is assigned to requests and therefore UKAS will request permission from applicants to notify DHSC of applications received.
On receipt of your application your Assessment Manager will be in contact to discuss the next steps. UKAS has dedicated technical resource set aside for the assessments which should ensure a fast turnaround.