ANAB has released Heads Up # 448 which allows some leeway for companies affected by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The February 20th announcement allows its certification bodies for ISO 9001 and some other standards to extend a client’s period for recertification audits as much as six months, if the reason for doing so is related to the outbreak. The CB will have to notify ANAB of this, and justify the extension. Once recertification is achieved, the certification period will be based on the original recert date, not the extended date, so this doesn’t “extend certification” itself.

ANAB is less forgiving during surveillance audits, telling the CBs to “manage this properly.” That’s a bit murky, but the existing rules already allow CBs some leeway when calculating surveillance audits under normal circumstances, so it seems ANAB is just allowing for that.

But ANAB wasn’t able to convince the Tim Lee gang at IAQG to do much about AS9100 audits. As usual, the IAQG has dug in and is not allowing any extensions no matter what. Remember that I formally opened an OASIS ticket in 2017, asking the IAQG to consider allowing extensions in the event of national disasters or emergencies, such as the California fires or eastern hurricanes. IAQG has ignored the request for years, refusing to budge.

Now they are taking the same backwards, ignorant stance again, refusing to allow extensions for the coronavirus. But when it comes to their own safety, they are being flexible, of course. The IAQG has already cancelled the spring sector meeting for the AAQG, and have only issued a statement regarding the upcoming in General Assembly and Meeting Week in San Diego.

So if your company won’t be open for business when your next AS9100 surveillance or recertification audit is due, too bad. The IAQG exists to protect the health and safety of Tim Lee and his gang, not you, you pathetic whiners.

From what I hear about the after-hours, hotel shenanigans of some of these AS9100 conference-goers, they are likely already infected with a host of other communicable diseases, so maybe they require this level of extra protection. We might want to be grateful that the IAQG is keeping them away from the public, regardless of coronavirus.

Frankly, I am surprised ANAB has taken steps at all, so we should all be grateful for small favors. Eventually the IAQG is going to have to realize that they are not Elder Gods of the Deep and have to bow to nature at some point.


About Christopher Paris

Christopher Paris is the founder and VP Operations of Oxebridge. He has over 30 years' experience implementing ISO 9001 and AS9100 systems, and is a vocal advocate for the development and use of standards from the point of view of actual users. He is the author of Surviving ISO 9001 and Surviving AS9100. He reviews wines for the irreverent wine blog, Winepisser.


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