The Covid-19 pandemic is threatening to push thousands of hard-earned ISO certifications beyond their expiry date, according to a new report from InfoSaaS.
The company claims ISO management system certifications could be invalidated due to the inability of auditors to conduct on-premise assessments because of the lockdown.
According to InfoSaaS, “hundreds of thousands” of certifications worldwide are at risk of lapsing as a result of the pandemic.
As per current UKAS guidelines, re-certification should occur twice a year. If a business misses the window, restoring the certification could cost three times as much as it would to conduct the audit.
“Across just three [ISO9001, ISO27001 and ISO45001] of the five ISO management system standards that we help organisations to achieve, an average of 2,500 UK certifications per month could be at risk of lapsing due to the break in audit activities - never mind all other ISO standards, and notwithstanding any backlog of audits, whenever they can resume at scale,” said Peter Rossi, co-founder of InfoSaaS.
“The uncomfortable truth is that, under current circumstances, some organisations may decide not to be re-audited and simply to let their ISO certifications lapse. Any such de-prioritisation may, in turn, lead to an unwanted decline in standards for the likes of information security, environmental management, health and safety and quality management. This is not a good outcome for anyone,” he added.
Globally, the company says, there are at least 1.3 million certifications worldwide across 12 standards.