Covid-19 has produced many unique challenges for business, with each industry being impacted differently. Between companies being forced to shut their offices and on-site visits being almost abolished entirely, it has become difficult for many industries to operate as they would under normal circumstances. Of all the industries that have been impacted most significantly, certification bodies aren’t exactly the first one to spring to mind. However, with auditors being unable to conduct onsite re-certifications, many companies are at risk of their ISO certifications lapsing.

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has updated their policies and released the following statement on their website regarding the matter:

“Covering timescales for recertification visits, Clause 4.6 of TPS 73 states that: “Management system recertification audits are normally expected to be completed and recertification decisions made prior to expiration to avoid loss of certification. IAF ID3 allows for the extension of the certification for a period not normally exceeding 6 months beyond the original expiry date providing that sufficient evidence has been collected to provide confidence that the certified management system is effective.  Given the unprecedented nature of the coronavirus outbreak, and the uncertainty over the potential impact this will have on the imposed time restrictions relating to travel and social contact, it is anticipated that 6 months may not provide sufficient opportunities for Certification Bodies to conclude recertification audits.  As a consequence, UKAS policy for this outbreak is that the decision on recertification must be made within 3 months of the lifting of restrictions (e.g. travel) that were preventing the on-site audit taking place.  However, if this timeframe exceeds 12 months then the certificate should be withdrawn, and a new initial audit will be required.” 


Read the full article on their website:


For more information on UKAS and certification during the Coronavirus outbreak please visit


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According to a survey conducted by the HSE, stress, depression and anxiety made up 12.8 million of the 28.2 million estimated days lost in the UK last year.  Clearly, this represents a huge cost from both human and economic perspectives.

Given the extraordinary challenges and pressures driven by Covid-19, the number of people suffering from stress-related illnesses is only likely to increase whilst we continue to be impacted by these unprecedented times.

Work is currently underway on a new ISO Standard to help improve the identification and management of employees’ mental health.  As its full name (Occupational health and safety management — Psychological health and safety at work: managing psychosocial risks) suggests, the Standard will aim to train managers on what to look for as well as ensure businesses have processes and policies place to measure, monitor and improve the mental health of all its employees.

ISO 45003 will provide guidance on the following:

  • The identification of conditions, circumstances and workplace demands that have the potential to impair the psychological health and well-being of workers.
  • How to identify the primary risk factors and assess them to determine what changes are required to improve the working environment.
  • Control measures to manage work-related hazards and manage psychosocial risk within an OH&S management system.

This new Standard is currently in its consultation phase and BSI, the UK’s National Standards Body is seeking comments from business owners, line managers, HR and OH&S professionals – and anyone else who has an interest in psychological health and well-being at work. This commenting phase will be open until the 4th October 2020.

To read more about the Standard or to comment on the Standard in its consultation phase, visit BSI’s live status:


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Many of Riskex’s clients use AssessNET to gain OHSAS 18001 accreditation and in time, this standard will be replaced with ISO 45001.  We are keeping abreast of developments to ensure that AssessNET will be ready for the new standard.  Here is the latest article from IOSH:

IOSH article on ISO 45001 draft issued for comment by BSI