Revised Guidance for Accreditation of Registrars

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has published Issue 2 of their guidance document on the application of ISO Guide 62. The guidance will be adopted by the accreditation bodies by July 1, 2002 and become part of their general rules of operation.

ISO Guide 62 specifies the criteria for registrars that operate assessment and registration of quality management systems. The IAF guidance is used by the accreditation bodies to ensure consistent accreditation of registrars.

Annex 2 provides guidance to registrars on the amount of time required to assess organizations of differing sizes and complexities. The auditor time chart shows the average number of auditor days (initial audit) for organizations with different numbers of employees. 

Employees
Days
1-10
2
11-25
3
26-45
4
46-65
5
66-85
6
86-125
7
126-175
8
176-275
9
276-425
10
426-625
11
626-875
12

The table entries continue in the guidance document for up to 10700 employees (22 auditor days). A note says to follow the depicted progression of auditor days for organizations over 10700 employees.

The guidance reminds the reader that the listed auditor days are an average based on experience. The chart is used as a starting point and days are added or subtracted according to audit factors such as:

More Time Needed

  • Complicated logistics (multiple buildings or locations)
  • Staff speaking more than one language (interpretation)
  • High degree of regulation (food and drugs; aerospace)
  • Highly complex processes or many unique activities
  • Combinations of hardware, software, process, or service

Less Time Needed

  • Reduced scope due to exclusions (e.g., not design responsible)
  • Registrar knowledge of system (registered to another standard)
  • Very small site for number of employees (only office complex)
  • Processes involve only a single general activity (e.g., service)
  • High percentage of employees perform the same simple tasks

If a registrar adjusts the auditor days for an initial audit, sufficient records must be kept to justify the variation. The IAF guidance states it is unlikely the adjustments would reduce the time by more than 30% from the listed auditor days.

Surveillance audit days per year are about 1/3 of the time spent on the initial audit. Of course, the surveillance days must reviewed over time to account for any changes to the organization and its related audit factors.

The IAF guidance document for Guide 62 is available to download for free at <http://www.accreditationforum.com>. Click on the Documentation tab to see the list of available IAF guidance documents.