SANAS has indicated and communicated its intention to revise the re-assessment process, implementation of which was on 1 April 2013.

A little background on the reason for change:

Re-assessments were conducted in the same manner as surveillance assessments, with greater emphasis on “scope coverage” and with little or no significant review of the facility’s documentation.  However, the international standard to which Accreditation Bodies (AB’s) are required to comply (ISO/IEC 17011) requires that AB’s treat re-assessments as initial assessments, with requisite documentation being reviewed prior to the re-assessment.  SANAS was found not to be in full compliance with this requirement, hence the revision of our processes in this regard.

The re-assessment process has been revised to include a re-application process as mandatory, followed by the review of facility documents prior to the re-assessment.

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What does this mean?

This means that as of 1 April 2013, each facility is required to re-apply for accreditation at least 6 months prior to, and in the case of Inspection Bodies 9 months prior to the expiration of their Certificate and Schedule of Accreditation.

On re-application, each facility will need to complete the relevant revised F14 application form and submit it to SANAS with the relevant documentation as prescribed in each application form.  This will include the facilities Management System Manual (Quality manual), along with specific information or documents as specified in each application.

On receipt of the application, SANAS will conduct a review of the information submitted, and where the application and Management System requirements have been met, SANAS will arrange for a re-assessment approximately 3 months prior to, and in the case of Inspection Bodies 6 months prior to the expiry of the Certificate and Schedule of Accreditation.

Where SANAS has not received the application for re-assessment, the re-assessment will not be scheduled and the facility’s accreditation will expire on the expiration of the Certificate and Schedule of accreditation.

To prevent any periods of non-accreditation, or to prevent losing your accreditation status, facilities must re-apply within the timelines stipulated by SANAS (i.e. at least 6 months prior to, and in the case of Inspection Bodies 9 months prior to the expiration of their Certificate and Schedule of Accreditation).

Note:  Facilities should have submitted their applications already for Certificates expiring in October and November 2013, however, if this has not yet been done, SANAS will allow a grace period and still accept the applications for re-assessment at this stage.

Once accreditation has expired, and a facility wishes to re-apply for accreditation, the application will be treated as an initial application, with all associated fees applicable for an initial application for the cost of the facility.

1)                  The Revised Application form

 Along with the revised re-assessment process, SANAS has also revised the application forms, with the following being the main changes:

  • A section on “Invoicing Information” has been added, to ensure that SANAS is kept up to date with any changes in this regard;
  • Some applications forms have been combined – e.g.  1 application form for ISO/IEC 17025 replaces the numerous applications for testing, calibration, veterinary, pharmaceutical, forensic…etc;
  • Information on personnel is required as per the relevant standard;
  • The revised applications (F14) have been combined with the previous F18 “Application for approval of personnel”;
  • The section on “Scope of application” requires additional information applicable to a particular standard, e.g. for ISO/IEC 17025 more detailed information on PT is required
  • At the end of each application we have included a short 2 page checklist for the relevant standard.  Detailed completion of this checklist replaces the need for a facility to complete the SANAS assessment checklists on application and re-assessment.
  • And lastly, the application, once signed, automatically binds the applicant to the new SANAS Terms and Conditions of Accreditation.  Facilities are to ensure that they are familiar with the Terms and Conditions, and agree to abide by them prior to signing the application form.

2)                  The New Terms and Conditions of Accreditation

 Whilst reviewing the re-application process, SANAS also took the opportunity to re-view the current Accreditation Agreement, to decrease the administrative burden of obtaining a signed accreditation agreement from each and every applicant, and also decrease the risk of not having a contractual arrangement with our accredited facilities.

Once an applicant signs an application form, they will automatically accept the Terms and Conditions of Accreditation.  Very soon SANAS will implement an on-line system to accept the Terms and Conditions and submit the application.

These new Terms and Conditions replaces the current Accreditation Agreement.  Prior to being approved, the draft Terms and Conditions, together with an example of the revised application form (ISO/IEC 17025) were published on the SANAS website for a period of 60 days, to give stakeholders and interested parties the opportunity to provide their comments.  125 comments were received.

SANAS wishes to thank all those who took the time the go through the document and provide their valuable comments.  Each comment was reviewed and considered by SANAS and where viable the Terms and Conditions were amended.  The Terms and Conditions were submitted for legal input and finally approved by the SANAS Board of Directors.

The Terms and Conditions and the revised application forms are now available on the SANAS website.

Please refer to:

  • F 147   SANAS Terms and Conditions for Accreditation
  • F 199   SANAS Terms and Conditions for GLP/GCP Compliance.

These documents can be found in the ‘Publications and Manuals‘ database