Update from Director of Schemes for BAFE, Chris Auger, for all organisations preparing for their BAFE Third Party Certification assessment and temporary certification changes.
In June BAFE published a statement clarifying our position regarding remote assessments and how you should prepare for your Certification Audit.
At that time BAFE took the view that registered companies whose initial audit was due would be allowed an initial concession that would allow the Certification Body to issue temporary certification for three months. This three month concession period has now expired, and some companies will now be faced with their certification expiring.
Throughout July and August, the country saw a considerable improvement in the number of cases of Coronavirus and infection rates were reducing nationwide. However, during September with more people returning to work and socialising more, confirmed infection rates have now increased and lockdowns have been imposed in many towns and cities around the country. This situation has meant that some companies have closed or restricted who enters their premises. This latest situation has meant that BAFE has had to review its position on the issue of certificates for remote audits.
The current situation with the global pandemic is unprecedented in recent times and therefore I have had to take unprecedented steps to ensure the following:
With this in mind I have decided with immediate effect and where necessary backdated to my original concession expiry date, BAFE will permit further extensions to certification dates until 31 December 2020 (31/12/2020).
This decision has not been taken lightly but BAFE do feel that it is necessary to allow companies to continue trading.
As with the statement dated 12 June 2020 we will expect further evidence of competency records and procedures and assurances that the on-site/witness audit can be completed at the earliest opportunity once restrictions have been lifted (and it is safe to do so whilst observing safe distancing).
Your Certification Body however may have their own requirements and may choose not to complete remote assessments. This is fully down to their discretion/current operating procedures and recommend you contact them to discuss further.
During the first surveillance visit there may be greater scrutiny of the competence of key personnel, i.e. for SP205 individual Fire Risk Assessors and Validators - particularly the employment status of named Validators, SP203 named Designers and SP101 factors (SP101 has already been addressed in BAFE communications posted on our website: https://www.bafe.org.uk/bafe-coronavirus-covid-19-update-for-bafe-sp101-registered-companies-01-04-2020/)
Should the current situation change or the Government issue further guidelines BAFE will review this guidance; in any case this will be reviewed at the end of December 2020.
Chris Auger, Director of Schemes - BAFE