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IAF MD17 – Witnessing Activities for the Accreditation of Management Systems Certification Bodies

Certification Bodies will be aware that IAF Mandatory Document 17 (Referred to in this bulletin as MD17) was published in 2015; this bulletin is to update CBs regarding UKAS’ adoption of this MD.

MD17 has a stated application date of 07 January 2018, since publication UKAS has been considering the most effective approach to its implementation and use.

MD17 introduces a clustering approach of IAF scope codes in an attempt to provide consistency for selection sampling for witnessing of accredited scopes when a CB has demonstrated effective operation.    The document allows a degree of flexibility on the selection and development of clusters and critical scopes. UKAS is currently developing its detailed approach and scope clusters to ensure that those adopted fulfil our obligations contained in MD 17 and provide confidence to the end users of accredited certification through their implementation.

The process of developing the UKAS policy and approach will involve consultation with stakeholder groups including the Certification Body associations. Following the implementation of the policy the assessment programme for each CB will be revised as appropriate to assure the coverage of the accredited scope within the accreditation cycle in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011.

As soon as the UKAS system has been finalised a detailed communication will be circulated to all accredited certification bodies to allow for comment.

The intention is for the UKAS policy and processes to be in place by the end of 2016.  In the meantime witness activities will continue in line with current UKAS procedures.

If you have any queries regarding this technical bulletin please contact Kevin Belson – UKAS Technical Manager – [email protected]