FAQ 22

What is the role of Annex A? Is it informative in the document but normative in interpretation of clause 6.1? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: Annex A  ·  TOPIC: Competence of AB personnel Answer: As stated in the standard, Annex A serves as a summary of the competence requirements found in sections 6.1.2.2 to 6.1.2.8. It is an informative annex…

FAQ 21

What is sufficient evidence that risk was considered in the development of an assessment programme for accreditation schemes established prior to the publication of ISO/IEC 17011:2017? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 7.9.2 & 7.9.3  ·  TOPIC: Assessment program and accreditation cycle Answer: The first exercise of establishing an assessment program based on risk will probably have to accept assumptions and…

FAQ 20

Must the accreditation decision be made within the maximum 5 years’ assessment cycle? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 7.9.1  ·  TOPIC: Assessment program and accreditation cycle Answer: Accreditation cycle begins (according to 7.9.1) at or after the date of decision for granting or decision after the reassessment. Accreditation cycles shall not be longer than 5 years. Clause 7.9.4 requires the…

FAQ 19

If accreditation information/certificates are issued by an Accreditation Body to the previous version of an accreditation standard, must the expiration date (if listed) be listed up to but not exceeding the stated transition deadline established by ILAC/IAF? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 7.8.1 f)  ·  TOPIC: Validity of accreditation information Answer: No, the date listed on the accreditation information/certificate can…

FAQ 18

Must an accreditation decision have an expiry date? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 7.8.1 f)  ·  TOPIC: Assessment program and accreditation cycle Answer: No. An expiry date is not required, meaning that a CAB will remain accredited as long as the CAB continues to meet the requirements of the accreditation scheme and of the AB.

FAQ 17

What is considered as too long time wise in interpreting “undue delay”? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 7.7.5, 4.3.1 e), 7.6.6 b)  ·  TOPIC: Assessment program and accreditation cycle Answer: Each AB with its interested parties will define what undue delay is.

FAQ 16

What is minimally required to be included in the assessment plan? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 7.4.7  ·  TOPIC: Assessment plan Answer: The goal of the assessment plan (also known as “agenda”) is to enable the assessment team to perform an efficient assessment, and for this the information included must be sufficient for the CAB to be prepared to perform…

FAQ 15

ABs will be adopting different and varying practices to cover and “record” the risks taken into consideration when preparing for an assessment.  What are types of records are acceptable evidence of compliance to this clause of the standard? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 7.4.6  ·  TOPIC: Preparation for assessment Answer: It is not possible to provide a prescriptive list of…

FAQ 14

What kind of records are required to demonstrate the competence requirements of ISO/IEC 17011:2017 have been met? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 6.3  ·  TOPIC: Competence of AB personnel Answer: Records to demonstrate that the competency requirements have been met, include competence matrix/profile per function, records for individuals which may include CV’s, proof of trainings, proof of authorisations, qualifications, evidence…

FAQ 13

Does an assessor need to be observed on-site for each accreditation scheme for which the assessor is authorized? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 6.1.3.5  ·  TOPIC: Competence of AB personnel Answer: No. However, if on-site monitoring/observation is not performed for one of the schemes that the assessor is authorised, then some other form of monitoring needs to be done for…

FAQ 12

What is the meaning of “familiarizing technical experts with the relevant requirements and procedures used in the accreditation process” as used in the standard? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 6.1.3.2  ·  TOPIC: Competence of AB personnel Answer: This will vary based upon how a technical expert is used by each AB in the accreditation process. The technical expert should be…

FAQ 11

Can roles and responsibilities defined in a job description meet the requirement for the AB to “authorize personnel”? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 6.1.3.1 c)  ·  TOPIC: Competence of AB personnel Answer: It depends on the documented process of the AB, but this could be a means of authorizing personnel for certain activities if the job description identified the concerned…

FAQ 10

How can an AB demonstrate competency of the assessment team for procedures/methods developed and validated by the CAB? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 6.1.3  ·  TOPIC: Competence of AB personnel Answer: The assessment team must have knowledge of the principles (competence with similar standard methods, technology, technique, relevant technical experience, etc.) of the CAB developed procedures/methods. The assessment team must…

FAQ 9

How can an accreditation body effectively manage competency for all technical areas of accreditation when the AB itself may not have staff that are technically competent in every area? What approach can be taken and is it acceptable for someone to deem competency when not competent in that area themselves? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 6.1.3  ·  TOPIC: Competence of…

FAQ 8

Systems to identify competent people to deem others competent are sometimes circular or impossibly complex.  How is it possible to meet this requirement of the standard? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 6.1.3  ·  TOPIC: Competence of AB personnel Answer: This problem is unavoidable when the AB starts operating a new accreditation scheme. However, if the process for determining competence is…

FAQ 7

How can an AB ensure its evaluation methods are effective to demonstrate competence of personnel? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 6.1.3  ·  TOPIC: Competence of AB personnel Answer: Proactively, the AB should ensure appropriate allocation of qualified and suitably experienced personnel to monitor others, ensuring that feedback and /or outcomes of monitoring are actioned upon for continuous improvement with re-evaluation…

FAQ 6

What are the minimum requirements for decision makers? Must these be technical experts? Will a resume suffice on meeting competence requirements? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 6.1.2.3  ·  TOPIC: Competence of AB personnel / Decision-maker Answer: The requirements in ISO/IEC 17011:2017 are expressed qualitatively, not quantitatively, meaning that although the subjects listed in the clauses need to be known, the…

FAQ 5

What level of depth and what amount of detail must be documented in the competence criteria? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 6.1.2  ·  TOPIC: Competence of AB personnel Answer: The competency criteria should address the functions listed in Annex A per accreditation scheme (as a minimum) – for example, Team Leader, Assessor, Expert, Decision-Maker, or the corresponding persons involved in…

FAQ 4

Clarification of “distinctly different” as it applies to situations where an AB is linked to a body providing consultancy or conformity assessment services, ISO/IEC 17011 has requirements for the AB including that it has a distinctly different name, logos and symbols (cl 4.4.12(c)). Example is: “Robert Smith Consultancy” and “Robert Smith Accreditation” and/or entities with…

FAQ 3

Does “residual risk” need to be identified and documented at the same time as the demonstration of elimination or minimization of an identified risk to impartiality? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 4.4.7&4.4.8  ·  TOPIC: Impartiality   Answer: It is required that when a risk is identified, the AB reacts upon it, to eliminate or minimize it.  If a risk is sufficiently…

FAQ 2

How do you evaluate risks to impartiality? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 4.4.6  ·  TOPIC: Impartiality Answer: There are many ways to perform the evaluation of risks and each AB should select the one which it finds more appropriate. Several standards are at disposal with varying degrees of complexity. Usually, they grade the risk according to its probability to happen…

FAQ 1

Technical Experts working under the responsibility of an assessor and does not assess independently: provide clarification – what level of supervision is required? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 3.32  ·  TOPIC: Competence of AB personnel Answer: “Working under the responsibility of an assessor” does not mean direct supervision.  This can be a team leader or an assessor checking in on…