Measures related to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

16-03-2020

Dear customer, applicant, accredited organizations, stakeholders,

On Sunday 15 March, the Dutch government announced that stricter measures were taken to reduce the further spread of the coronavirus in the Netherlands. The RvA is responding to the urgent call to work from home as much as possible.  In addition, the RvA has noticed less availability on the side of applicants and/or customers. This means that the RvA takes the following measures.

Availability by phone
The RvA remains available by telephone. We kindly ask for your understanding as our reception team might not be able to answer all of your questions. At your request, one of our employees will return your call or get in touch by email.

Meetings at the office
Because of ‘social distancing’ we limit contact with each other and with third parties. This means that planned meetings at the office are canceled. We will convert the appointments into a remote appointment as much as possible, via the IT application MicroSoft (MS) Teams. If this fails, the appointment will be postponed or canceled.

Accreditation assessments

Assessments abroad:
All abroad location reviews that have been planned until 1 June 2020 will be canceled. This week, every planned assessment will be evaluated, to decide whether an alternative assessment on the planned date is possible or that the assessment must be rescheduled.

Assessments in The Netherlands:
All location assessments planned in the Netherlands until April 6 2020 will be canceled. This week, an inventory will be made of whether an alternative assessment on the planned date is possible or must be rescheduled. This week, every planned assessment will be evaluated, to decide whether an alternative assessment on the planned date is possible or that the assessment must be rescheduled.

Remote assessments
The following applies to conducting remote assessments:

• There must be agreement with the institution or company on how the assessment will be carried out;

• The assessment must be performed with a secure connection; MS Teams and Skype meet this requirement.

• The assessment plan will take into account a less efficient use of time due to possible unfamiliarity with MS Teams or a faltering connection. MS Teams will increasingly be used worldwide during this time of crisis, so we have to take into account capacity issues or limited bandwidth. The starting point is that the time spent on the assessment will not exceed the planned time. Therefore, it is possible that the sample will be reduced.

• The assessment report must explicitly state that the assessment has been carried out remotely.

Decisions / signs digitally
We will temporarily postpone the publication of signed statements and scopes on paper, with the exception of the decisions relating to the forthcoming meeting of the Accreditations Committee on 19 March. Taking the accreditation decisions will continue as normal. The decisions will be digitally signed and sent as PDF. After the decision has been signed, the scopes accompanying the decision will be published on our website as usual.

More information

• For further information about the coronavirus and COVID-19, we refer to the website of the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM): www.rivm.nl/coronavirus/covid-19. (There’s an English version of this website available).

• Here you will also find an FAQ and a reference to the site of the national government. (In Dutch).

We kindly ask for your understanding and good cooperation under  these special circumstances.

 

The board of the RvA,

Roeland Nieuweboer and Joep de Haas