The new IAF MD 22:2018, prepared by a working group under Accredia's guidance, is intended to guarantee a harmonized approach to the accreditation of ISO 45001 certifications.
On January 25th, 2018, further to the 30-day ballot to all IAF Members the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) published the mandatory document IAF-MD 22:2018 “Application of ISO/IEC 17021-1 for the Certification of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OH&SMS)”.
The new IAF-MD 22:2018 was prepared by an IAF Task Force coordinated by Marco Cerri, senior Lead Assessor of Accredia, which already prepared the mother document EA-3/13M:2016 “EA Document on the Application of ISO/IEC 17021-1 for the Certification of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OH&SMS)”, already mandatory for ABs signatory of the European Co-operation for Accreditation (EA).
The new IAF-MD 22:2018 is intended to guarantee the same approach to the accreditation of OH&SMS certification schemes in the IAF community as in the EA community.
In fact, the recent worldwide increase of OH&SMS certifications saw different approaches to the accreditation of OH&SMS CBs by the national Accreditation Bodies (ABs):
- some ABs focused more on the market opportunities, applying the requirements of ISO/IEC 17021, not considering that the risk of an OH&SMS certification is much higher than any other MS certification;
- a few other ABs considered the risk of OH&SMS certification to be much higher than any other MS certification and applied requirements more stringent than ISO/IEC 17021.
Different approaches could lead to unfair competition, with significant differences in audit times and costs for organizations, and might cause possible damages to the credibility of accreditation.
The benefits foreseen for the new documents are the same that guided the preparation of EA-3/13M:
- to promote a harmonized approach by Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) accredited for the certification of the OH&SMSs according to but not limited to the upcoming new standard ISO 45001 which will soon supersede the widely spread OHSAS 18001;
- to ensure a uniform application of the certification rules by national ABs;
- to reaffirm the responsibility of the CAB for the decisions taken: any decision shall be based on the awareness of risks associated to the effects of the decision itself.
The structure of the new IAF-MD 22:2018 is the same as of EA-3/13M, with the main section and 5 mandatory appendixes:
- the main section which includes several additional requirements to the corresponding clauses of ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015, specific for OH&SMS;
- Appendix A which adds to the generic competence requirements of Annex A of ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 some competence requirements specific for OH&SMS auditors. This Appendix has been taken as a base for the preparation of the upcoming ISO/IEC TS 17021-10;
- Appendix B for the determination of Audit Time which adds several specific requirements for OH&SMS to those of IAF-MD 5:2015, until now applicable to QMS and EMS only.
The methodology for calculation of OH&SMS audit time remains similar to those for QMS and EMS, but for OH&SMS it is based only on three categories of complexity (high, medium and low) classified according to nature and severity of the OH&S risks of an organization, which significantly affect the audit time. The final result for OH&SMS will be an increase in audit time compared to that for EMS, with no need to change the table for calculation of the full audit time from the equivalent number of employee;
- Appendix C which introduces additional requirements for maintaining the legal compliance based on those already mandatory for EMS published in document EA-7/04M;
- Appendix D which updates the document IAF-ID 1:2014 with examples of OH&S hazards for all IAF codes;
- Appendix E which extends to OH&SMS the tables of technical clusters of IAF-MD 17, until now applicable to QMS and EMS only, in order to facilitate the planning of the witness assessments.