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ISO/IEC 17043:2023 – Guidance for accredited and applicant Proficiency Testing Providers

Following the publication of ISO/IEC 17043:2023, this bulletin has been produced to update Proficiency Testing Providers (PTPs) and other stakeholders on the UKAS transition process and overall timelines for transition of proficiency testing (PT) accreditation from ISO/IEC 17043:2010 to this new version of the standard.




UKAS transition process for accredited PTPs

PTPs may request that their assessments are conducted against the requirements of ISO/IEC 17043:2023 from 01 September 2023.  However, assessments to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17043:2023 will not be mandatory until 01 May 2024. This is to allow accredited PTPs a full 12 months from publication to prepare.  Therefore, during the period of 01 September 2023 to 31 April 2024, PTPs have the option of either deferring their transition until the next surveillance/reassessment or bringing it forward. It is proposed that the transition assessments be undertaken with the scheduled UKAS surveillance/reassessment, although if the PTP wishes this to take place earlier then they should contact their assigned UKAS Assessment Manager to discuss.

When arrangements are being made for surveillance/reassessment visits during September 2023 to April 2024, PTPs will need to inform UKAS if they wish the assessment to be conducted to the 2023 version of the standard. UKAS will contact customers directly; there will be no need for a formal application requesting transition to be undertaken.

If a PTP does not wish to transition early, its UKAS assessment team will continue to assess against the 2010 version, but may highlight any areas that will need to be addressed before the next assessment in order to comply with the revised version – these shall be recorded as ‘recommended’ findings in the Improvement Action Report.

From the beginning of May 2024, all UKAS assessments of accredited PTPs will be conducted against the requirements of ISO/IEC 17043:2023. These will be combined with the PTP’s surveillance/reassessment visit.

In preparation for the transition assessment, each accredited PTP will be required to complete an ‘assessment readiness’ gap analysis proforma and return it to UKAS at least 1 month prior to the assessment. This proforma will be provided by UKAS at the time the transition assessment is arranged and will also be made available on the UKAS website the week beginning 12 June 2023.

The proforma will identify where changes have been made to ISO/IEC 17043 requirements, and it will be the responsibility of the PTP to consider the extent and impact of these changes, and to complete the form to state what changes (where necessary) it has made in order to meet revised and new requirements of ISO/IEC 17043:2023.

Additional office time will be required by UKAS to review any changes made by the PTP, as highlighted in the proforma. Subject to the extent of the changes made by the PTP, it is not anticipated that additional site time will be required for most PTPs. The additional time required as part of the transition will be chargeable, with a fee to cover the desktop assessment, primarily of the assessment readiness questionnaire and submitted supported documentation.  This may vary depending on the size/complexity of the PTP and hence the expected time to complete the review. This is to be a minimum of 1.00 day office time for most PTPs but possibly more for those that are more complex (e.g., multi-site, broad accredited scope). In all instances an Effort Estimate to confirm will be provided before the transition assessment.

Any additional site visits arranged to specifically assess the transition to ISO/IEC 17043:2023 outside of the routine Surveillance / reassessment site visit will need to cover changes to both the management system and technical requirements for PTP accreditation and, as such, will require input from both UKAS Lead Assessors and Technical Assessors/Experts as required. Such visits will be chargeable at the rate in force at the time (see UKAS Terms of Business).

The implementation of the changes shall be assessed for effectiveness by the UKAS team during the site visit.  If areas are identified that do not adequately fulfil the requirements, then these will be raised as mandatory findings, with the standard one-month deadline for evidence submission.  All mandatory findings must be addressed by the PTP via the normal process, and an independent decision on transition made by UKAS, before accreditation can be formally transitioned to ISO/IEC 17043:2023.

The deadline for transition to the new version has been internationally agreed as three years from the date of publication, meaning that from 09 May 2026 only accreditation to the 2023 version will be valid. It is therefore imperative that all accredited PTPs are fully transitioned before this date, and the UKAS transition timeline is based around this.

A new Certificate and Schedule of Accreditation referencing ISO/IEC 17043:2023 will be issued to each PTP following the successful decision on its transition.  Annual assessment dates, current year in the accreditation cycle, initial accreditation dates, accreditation expiry dates and UKAS accreditation number will remain unchanged.

If the accredited PTP fails to demonstrate conformity to ISO/IEC 17043:2023 and/or clear improvements actions before the transition deadline, then their accreditation shall lapse and be treated as suspended (this shall be published on the UKAS website). Such suspensions can only be in place for a maximum of 6 months; if the PTP fails to address those actions required to complete the transition process within this timeframe, this will result in the withdrawal of accreditation for ISO/IEC 17043:2010.


UKAS transition process for applicant PTPs

PTPs that have already applied to UKAS for accreditation to ISO/IEC 17043:2010 but have not yet had their accreditation granted, may continue with the accreditation process to ISO/IEC 17043:2010. Following grant of accreditation these PTPs will need to transition to ISO/IEC 17043:2023 before 09 May 2026. However, if the assessment has not been conducted by 01 May 2024, then the applicant will need be to change to, and be assessed against, the requirements of ISO/IEC 17043:2023, with any mandatory findings being satisfactorily addressed before initial accreditation can be granted.

PTPs that are considering applying to UKAS for accreditation under ISO/IEC 17043 should develop their systems and processes in accordance with ISO/IEC 17043:2023.  Those that have already prepared an application against the 2010 version can still submit it, but should be aware of the dates specified above, and that they will then need to transition to the 2023 version before the deadline.

UKAS will not accept any new applications for accreditation to ISO/IEC 17043:2010 after 31 December 2023.


Further details and contact

Further details on the transition of ISO/IEC 17043:2023, including how to obtain a copy of the new version, can be found in the Proficiency Testing Provider Accreditation customer area of the UKAS website.

Queries regarding the transition process should be directed to the PTP’s appointed UKAS Assessment Manager.


Download this bulletin as a pdf here.