Virtual start of the project SEE QI 6 with SEE accreditation bodies

In early March the joint project proposal submitted by WB6 accreditation bodies (ABs) was accepted by PTB, but a possible start of its implementation was delayed by the deteriorating COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, on 02.07. the project finally started with a first regional exchange format on remote assessments, that had actually not been part of the initial plan of action. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions imposed by the new situation, the daily routine of accreditation bodies has changed dramatically. Planned assessments had to be cancelled and postponed but could partly be replaced by remote assessments. Those are done by a thorough document study ahead of the assessment and subsequent discussions between assessor and conformity assessment body (CAB) members via a video conferencing tool.

The objective of today’s web-meeting of 20 representatives of WB6 ABs was to exchange experiences about the application of this new format, which is one of the means of conducting an assessment, but it has never been used by the ABs of the region before the pandemic. The meeting discussed the opportunities as well as risks and limitations of remote assessments, and how the COVID-19 crisis affected the work of ABs in general. Input from outside of the region was provided by Dr. Andre Sollwedel, case manager and member of the taskforce group Corona in the German Accreditation Body DAkkS. Participants expressed that the exchange of experience was beneficial for their present and future work, and agreed to meet for a short virtual follow-up on this topic after approximately 6 months time.