ACRS COVID-19 Response Update - Remote Assessment and Certification


In this news release, ACRS’ Executive Director, Philip Sanders, gives an update to our last report with further information on the provision and application of ACRS product certification for conforming steel producers and suppliers, and associated ongoing verification of steel manufacture and supply during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From the Executive Director,

Since the middle of April, ACRS has been conducting remote assessments where a site visit is impractical under current COVID-19 restrictions. Remote assessments have been undertaken at ACRS certified sites not only in Australia and New Zealand, but also internationally. Feedback to date has been extremely encouraging and some aspects of remote assessment may be incorporated into standard ACRS assessment practices after current travel restrictions are lifted.

However, ACRS experience has quickly demonstrated that remote assessment cannot be considered a long-term substitute for the normally expected, extensive and rigorous assessment of sites, products and supply necessary to confirm ongoing conformity without substantial additional work to ensure verification along the supply chain remain at previous high levels of assurance.

ACRS is therefore continuing to monitor, develop and refine its new emergency protocols and processes, and ACRS is working with stakeholders and certificate holders to ensure ACRS recognised technical rigour and delivery is maintained to the levels expected of it by Australian and New Zealand national and local governments, designers, specifiers and purchasers, certified product suppliers, and of course customers and the wider public.

As part of the maintenance of ACRS assessment at expected levels, we confirm that even with remote assessment forming a temporary part, or possibly all of some assessments during the coming year, ACRS will continue to deliver at least one on-site assessment, per year in the aggregate over the course every ACRS certificate holder’s 3-year certification cycle, providing continued reassurance of ongoing audit and verification of conformity by every certificate holder to ACRS’ scheme requirements.

This does mean that following resumption of travel any certified site may have more than one on-site assessment during a calendar year. This practice is not uncommon internationally, and multiple assessments during a given year is undertaken by many of ACRS peer certification bodies.

Independent product testing by ACRS and each certificate holder’s submission of production data to ACRS, with ACRS in-house assessment, is of course continuing in the normal manner. Certificate holders should continue to liaise with their lead assessor to ensure that test sampling and data submissions are continued to schedule.

ACRS will update you as the business environment, stakeholder practices, and customer expectations continue to evolve through this volatile and difficult period, and ACRS offers its sincere thanks for the continued understanding and strong support from all our certificate holders, stakeholders, and friends.

Please contact ACRS office directly, if you have any enquiries.

Yours sincerely,

Philip Sanders
Executive Director

Go Back