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Technical Bulletin – ISO 45001 – Process and Requirements for Migration from OHSAS 18001

ISO 45001:2018 is expected to be published shortly. This new standard will replace OHSAS18001:2007 – Occupational Health and Safety Management System Requirements.

At its General Assembly in India (November 2016) the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) agreed that the migration period for this new standard would be 3 years from the date of publication. This means that all bodies currently certified under OHSAS 18001: 2007, and that wish to maintain a recognised OHSMS, must have their certificates migrated to the new standard by their certification body (CB) by the agreed deadline. As a consequence, the migration of a CB’s accreditation to provide OHSMS certification must be migrated prior to this in order to allow accredited ISO 45001 certificates to be issued. Therefore, to ensure that the certification sector can achieve the deadline, UKAS will be planning the migration of CBs to be completed by 2 years from the date of publication.

When considering the actions required for a CB to migrate its service, the requirements within the new IAF mandatory publication, IAF MD22: Application of ISO/IEC 17021-1 for the Certification of OH&SMS, must be taken into account. CBs offering OHSMS certification will need to implement the requirements in this.


Migration Process

In accordance with IAF MD21: Requirements for the Migration to ISO 45001:2018 from OHSAS 18001:2007, all CBs wishing to migrate from OHSAS 18001:2007 to ISO 45001:2018 will require, as a minimum, a desk-based document assessment: Further guidance on this will be published by UKAS shortly. The guidance will clarify what documentation and evidence will need to be submitted to allow an effective review to be undertaken resulting in a clear recommendation on migration.

If the outcome of the document review is successful in that a CB can demonstrate its competence and compliance via the documentation submitted then, subject to independent review and decision, accreditation for ISO 45001:2018 will be granted.

In the case that it is not possible to confirm competence and compliance via the document review then a witnessed assessment and/or head office assessment of the CB are likely to be required.

Where a migration is granted based on a document assessment, UKAS will still need to conduct a witnessed assessment shortly afterwards to confirm implementation. Therefore, as a witnessed assessment will be required whether desktop review is accepted or not, UKAS and the CB will need to set and agree dates for a witnessed assessment at the planning stage for the migration, to ensure that the process does not become protracted.

Witnessed assessments, (whether prior to, or following, grant), will ideally be a migration audit of an existing customer or audit of a new customer, but must in any case demonstrate that the CBs processes and audit approach cover all aspects of the new standard. This witnessed assessment will count towards the annual witnessed assessment programme for the CB.

UKAS has set aside time according to each assessor’s commitments, from expected date of publication through to 31st May 2018, for its technical assessors to carry out desktop reviews for all CBs who submit within that timescale. Decisions on grant of accreditation for CBs who have a successful document review will be completed shortly after this date. Exact date will depend on the number of applicants and successful document reviews. Where CBs submit documentation after the 31st May 2018 their reviews will be completed on an ongoing basis (see below). CBs migrating from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 and wanting to be included in the initial tranche of desktop assessments are required to submit their information to [email protected] by 30th April 2018 and their submissions will be reviewed for general content before passing to a Technical Assessor: Any applications not containing the required information (guidance will be provided) will not be processed until more information is received.

Where the desktop assessment identifies areas where the capability to deliver competent audits to the new standard is not demonstrated, these will be raised as mandatory improvement actions. In some cases, this may result in a CB office assessment and/or witnessed assessment being required.

To help UKAS ensure that suitable resources are available in a reasonable timeframe all CBs migrating form OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 are asked to provide information as to when they expect to be ready for the document review stage of the process. This information should be sent to is [email protected].

For new OHSMS applicants, all assessments from 15th September 2018 will be for ISO 45001:2018. For any applications received before that date, the use of either ISO 45001:2018 or OHSAS 18001:2007 will be discussed and agreed on a case by case basis, depending on the date of application, timing of the assessment activities, and needs of the applicant.


Accreditation Decision and Grant

All migration assessments require an independent decision to be made, based upon the recommendation of the assessment team, in order to confirm that accreditation can be migrated to ISO 45001:2018. Actual migration of accreditation cannot take place until all mandatory findings (relating to this migration) have been addressed to the satisfaction of the UKAS assessment team, and a decision on grant of accreditation has been made.

Please note that accreditation for OHSMS certification to OHSAS 18001:2007 will remain valid for each CB until either its migration is achieved, or until the migration deadline. Any CB that fails to successfully migration before the migration deadline will have its accreditation for OHSMS certification withdrawn. The status of OHSAS 18001 certificates during the transition is addressed in IAF MD21 section 2.2.

Should you require any clarification on the above, please contact your Assessment Manager; Leanie Du Toit: UKAS Technical Focus Person for OHSMS – [email protected]; or Kevin Belson: Technical Manager – [email protected]


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