FAQ 29

The standard states the time between consecutive on-site assessments shall not exceed two years unless the accreditation body determines that an on-site assessment is not “applicable”.  When would an on-site assessment not be applicable?  If an on-site assessment can reasonably be conducted under normal conditions, is it “applicable” to be on-site, or does the accreditation body have the ability in all cases to justify the use of other assessment techniques that do not incorporate on-site assessment, and thus exceed the two-year maximum required by the standard?

If an accreditation body implements remote assessment techniques that can achieve the same objectives and outcomes as on-site assessment techniques, can those remote assessment activities be considered equivalent to an on-site assessment?

STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: Clause 7.9.3  ·  TOPIC: Accreditation Cycle


The expectation from ISO/IEC 17011:2017 is to normally conduct on-site assessments at least every two years during the AB’s assessment programme.

Where it is not possible to do an on-site assessment – e.g. due to force majeure event, health or security crisis, virtual site – then a remote assessment could be applicable.  In these cases, the AB must ensure that the same objectives and outcomes are achieved with the remote assessment techniques as with the on-site assessment techniques.   

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


The first exercise of establishing an assessment program based on risk will probably have to accept assumptions and hypothesis, since previous risk analysis may not have been documented as required by the current version of ISO/IEC 17011.

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


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 reassessment to be completed before the end of the cycle, but the standard does not state that the decision after the reassessment shall be taken before the end of the cycle. Nevertheless clause 7.6.8 requires AB to define time limits for the CAB to respond to the assessment reports and clause 7.7.5 requires AB to take decisions “without undue delay” so it is expected that the decision after the reassessment shall be taken in dates close (but not necessarily before) the end of the cycle.