Update from Head of Schemes for BAFE, Chris Auger, for all organisations preparing for their BAFE Third Party Certification assessment.
Due to the current lockdown in place there have been restrictions on access to site, both office and customer premises. Your Certification Body however will be required to assess competence on-site but may issue temporary certification during this period. Please contact your Certification Body for their current position.
It is the BAFE position that if scheme requirements cannot be fully met due to the current lockdown issues relating to access to customer sites, BAFE will grant a concession (during an initial review period of 3 months from the date of this guidance 12/06/2020) to the certification body as evidence to UKAS.
Please contact the BAFE Office via email@example.com if you require further clarification of this. Further evidence of competency records and procedures will be requested, 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 and whilst observing safe distancing).
The Certification Body may be able to grant certification if they are confident that any risk is manageable. It may be the case that certification cannot be granted if your Certification Body has insufficient evidence that you are complying with the current scheme requirements. BAFE will continue to assist Certification Bodies where required.
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/)
We feel the approach we are taking is appropriate and proportional. This will provide both the Certification Bodies licensed to deliver the BAFE schemes and our Registered Companies the support they require to continue to provide UKAS Accredited Third Party Certification to the fire sector and allow organisations to continue work at this difficult time.
Should the current situation change or the Government issue further guidelines BAFE will review this guidance; in any case this will be reviewed in September.
Chris Auger, Head of Schemes - BAFE