INAB Transition to ISO/IEC 17020:2012

Date: 22 January 2013 

Re: INAB Transition to ISO/IEC 17020:2012

On 1st March 2012 the standard ISO/IEC 17020: 2012 Conformity assessment — General criteria for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection has been published by ISO.

Based on the resolutions of the International Laboratory Accreditation Co-Operation (ILAC) ISO/IEC
17020:2012 replaces the standard ISO/IEC 17020:1998 - General criteria for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection.

ISO/IEC 17020:2012 also replaces the guidance documents IAF/ILAC A4:2004 – Guidance on the Application of ISO/IEC 17020:1998.

ILAC website should be consulted for publication of new or revised guidance documents, as it is expected that guidance documents shall be published in the near future. This document applies to the accreditation Inspection Bodies that are currently accredited by INAB based on the ISO/IEC 17020:1998 standards and those intending to apply for inspection body accreditation.

From the 1st March 2015, accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020:1998 will no longer be available and accreditation certificates to ISO 17020:1998 no longer valid.

A resolution passed by IAF / ILAC General Assembly endorsed a 3 year transition period to ISO/IEC 17020:2012.

In order to facilitate a smooth transfer to the new standard, INAB have decided upon the following transition programme:

  • INAB requests that accredited Inspection Bodies to submit a transition action plan to their INAB accreditation officer. The plan shall be sent to INAB before 1st May 2013.
    As a minimum the plan shall include:
      1. All specific actions to be taken to implement the changes,
      2. The timeframe for completion of such actions,
      3. The persons responsible for the actions,
      4. Process in place to monitor progress and completion of the actions.
  • The action plan will need to demonstrate an analysis of the new standard and effective implementation such that the Inspection Bodies confirm it is operating to ISO/IEC 17020:2012 by 1st September 2013.
  • All INAB surveillance / reassessments from 1st September 2013 will be carried out to ISO/IEC 17020:2012.
  • From 1st April 2013 all new applicants will be assessed against ISO/IEC 17020: 2012.
  • The 2013 / 2014 schedule of headquarter visits will be altered to ensure that all Inspection Bodies are in compliance by 1st March 2015.  In this regard, annual headquarter visits for 2014 will be no later than September 2014.

The Accreditation Certificate and Schedule of Accreditation will be adapted to reflect accreditation against ISO/IEC 17020:2012 after the surveillance/re-assessment against the new standard has been successfully completed and a decision for renewal of accreditation has been granted. The accreditation number will remain the same. The date on the certificate will be the date of the decision to grant accreditation for the new standard.

Please note, that it is the responsibility of the Inspection Body to familiarise itself with the new standard and implement the changes necessary to comply with ISO/IEC 17020: 2012. However for your convenience, INAB has enclosed a cross reference document between ISO 17020:2012 and ISO 17020:1998 to assist development of your transition plan.

After 1st September 2013, at the next scheduled visit, INAB will carry out surveillance/re-assessments to the new standard ISO/IEC 17020: 2012 that will include an assessment of the changes in the documented management system and the implementation of the action plan. As part of this assessment the Inspection Body will be required to have performed an internal audit to assess the effectiveness of the changes and its implementation in compliance with ISO/IEC 17020: 2012. 

During the surveillance/re-assessment INAB will review records concerning the implementation of the new standard and as a minimum these records shall include:

  • Analysis of impact on system and action plan;
  • Internal audit of changes; ISO/IEC 17020:2012
  • The implementation at all sites if the Inspection Body has multiple sites, as appropriate;
  • Communication of changes in the system to interested parties, as appropriate;
  • Identification of risks to independence and impartiality on an on-going basis, as appropriate
  • Personnel records reflecting 'competence' rather than only meeting qualification requirements, as appropriate;

Organisations may obtain a copy of this standard from:
ILI, 42-44 Northumberland Road, Dublin 4.
Tel: (01) 8576730, Fax:  (01) 8576729

INAB looks forward to implementing the new standard and working with you to ensure a smooth transition to ISO/IEC 17020:2012.

Any queries should be directed to your accreditation officer.

22nd January 2012

pdf iconINAB Transition to ISO/IEC 17020:2012 (PDF, 5 pages, 220KB)