Management of Extraordinary Events


This area allows clients to confirm if an 'Extraordinary Event' is preventing the usual assessment activities by their URS Office. COVID-19 is currently classified as a Pandemic. For affected clients, please click 'Contact Us' below to complete the required form.


Examples include: war, strike, riot, political instability, geopolitical tension, terrorism, crime, pandemic, flooding, earthquake, malicious computer hacking, other natural or man-made disasters.
URS General COVID-19 Policy – 17/04/2020 (V4) Further clarifications

Given the UK Government’s changing advice and indeed wider restrictions in Europe and further afield, URS have now updated their policy to reflect the situation as things stand.
Please be mindful, this may change again as the pandemic progresses and advice changes accordingly. A weekly review of this policy will be completed by Head Office.

1.0 Existing Clients

• ALL audits that are able to proceed should do so REMOTELY (until such time as the pandemic has subsided)
(If both Client and Auditor wish to conduct the audit on-site – this should be agreed and a record of this acceptance by both parties retained)
• All System Documentation, for an off-site audit (remote audit) should be emailed to Auditors for review*
• Interviews with available staff should take place via the telephone or other platforms e.g.: Skype or Zoom (as able)
• If URS Clients are currently in a complete shutdown with no staff on-site, the online form should be completed to advise of the reasons and communicate a contact person to facilitate the off-site assessment.

• The Off-Site Audit should include but not be limited to the following areas:


Management System(s) Policies
Internal Audits records including the Audit Programme
Management Reviews Records
Objectives including Monitoring of these
Complaints Handling
Training Records
Evidence of Review and Adherence of Regulations
Corrective Actions
Interface of Processes (e.g.: Flowchart)
Document Control examples - Version Control
Logo Usage

Scheme Specifics
(e.g.: OHSAS 18001/ISO 45001, ISO 27001, ISO 13485)

Risk Assessments
Typical Process Controls, Parameters, KPIs…
Risk Treatment Plans
ISO 14001 Aspect Analysis
Design Review Meetings/Project Plans
OHSAS 18001/ISO 45001 Accidents/Reportable Incidents
ISO 14001 Reportable Incidents
ISO 13485 Adverse Events/Reportable Incidents
Manufacturing Records - Recent jobs
Evidence of Technical File Reviews
SSIP Core Criteria (UK only)

Potential Interviews

Top Management - Leadership, Context, Risk (including the current situation and what the plans are), Objectives and Interested Parties
Procurement Representative - Supplier Approval and Monitoring
Manufacturing/Installation Representatives - Records including Production Plans, Maintenance/Calibration, Cleaning
HR Representative - Training Records, New Starters
Sales Representative - Orders Received, Contract Review, Delayed Orders - Relationship with Production Planning
Logistics Representative - Planning, Relationship with Production Planning
Design Department - Design Reviews/Plans
Scheme Specific Management Representatives - discussions regarding information reviewed

Once a full remote audit is completed, the technical review and recommendation of continued or renewed certification will be made as normal (as such the normal report format should be completed by the auditor and sent to the client via URS Portal, post or email).

1.1 Timelines for Existing Clients where they are experiencing a shut down and the audit cannot proceed remotely.

• Surveillance Year 1 (following initial or re-cert) the usual timing for this will be extended by 6 months – Completion required within 18 months of the Initial or Re-certificate Audit.
• Surveillance Year 2 – No change, this is flexible and should be conducted within the calendar year
• Re-Certification – If confirmation is received of a complete Company shut down in writing, a 6-month certificate extension will be provided.

NOTE: The decision on recertification must be made within 3 months of the lifting of restrictions (e.g. travel) that were preventing the on-site audit taking place. However, if this timeframe exceeds 12 months then the certificate should be withdrawn, and a new initial audit will be required.

Risk of deviance from certification requirements being mitigated by Company closure.

*Note: Certificate extensions for AS91XX or IATF certified clients is as follows:

• The IATF has approved a global extension to all currently issued and valid IATF 16949 certificates.
• The extension of six (6) months (i.e. 183 calendar days) to every currently issued and valid certificate (including those certificates that are currently in the status of suspension) will be reflected in the Global IATF Database and subsequently visible in the IATF Certificate Validity Check: LINK
• In this extraordinary situation the IATF-recognized Certification Bodies are not required to reissue the certificates immediately. This document together with automated updates to the IATF Database and the IATF Certificate Validity Check are providing the evidence that the certificate is valid beyond the documented expiration date printed on the certificate.


• Expired certificates shall be eligible for reinstatement for up to 12 months beyond the
expiry date provided the certificate number has been appended with the following unique
number [IAF-ID3].
• Certificates may be reinstated utilizing an initial certification audit in OASIS, without
a stage 1 audit, using recertification audit criteria and audit duration.

2.0 New Clients

As per the bulletin issued on Friday, the following remains our advice:
• Stage 1 Audits – to be completed Off-Site
• Stage 2 Audits – to be postponed for as long as is required (but within 12 months). Following an on-site assessment, the certificate decision may be made.

If the above is not viable due to business and trade demands of the client, the following is permitted:
(applicable for non IATF and AS clients)

Stage 2 – Any audit that at Contract Review is deemed LOW RISK (Cat 4) may proceed remotely.
If above a URS categorised Risk 4 (i.e. 3/2/1) - the Local Office should communicate to Head Office with their Risk Assessment detailing why the audit is able to proceed remotely.
This will then be assessed on a case by case basis.

This on-site assessment should be conducted as and when your region and Government advice allows.

3.0 Auditors

Auditors may be Employed or Sub-Contracted by URS – for both the advice for remote auditing remains the same. Employed auditors should adhere fully to this policy and sub-contactors are urged to do the same where possible.

• If audits are conducted Off-Site – payment remains as usual and invoices should be directed to the relevant Finance Department of your local URS Office for processing.
• If a client is unable to conduct the audit (either on-site or remotely), they should advise in writing or use the website link to advise URS of their complete shutdown.
Audits that are cancelled will be communicated to the auditor by the LO and given the unprecedented circumstances, URS will be unable to impose a cancellation fee and as such sub-contract auditors will not be able to invoice under these circumstances. (being

• From 17th March 2020 – any audits that are scheduled should be remote audits.
• If both parties have documented their acceptance and decision for an on-site audit to be planned, this should only be completed where travel and hotel expenses are not applicable – this is due to the above cancellation policy and URS NOT charging clients for cancelled assessments nor providing auditor with a cancellation fee.
(we appreciate this is a difficult time for all parties and we are doing our best to facilitate and maintain the income stream for all with the above remote auditing approach. Auditors and clients shall benefit as travel and accommodation expenses will not be charged when a remote audit takes place, however the normal charges for audit time will remain.

Given the changing situation and indeed global and regional variance, the above will be reviewed weekly and updates in policy provided.
Of course, the safety of all is URS’ priority and we are attempting as best we can to protect and adhere to guidelines whilst maintaining our clients Certification for which we know they put a great deal of work into.

4.0 Scope of COVID-19 Operational Policy for Certification

We have attached a list of the current status of URS Offices (which includes their respective clients) who have communicated their impact of COVID-19 and others who have confirmed NO impact to date (where there is no impact stated to an office then the norm of on-site auditing will resume or remain).
Appendix 1.

The listing will be reviewed and published on a weekly basis. Where your region is NOT affected, business and timelines should remain as per Scheme Rules.

5.0 URS Internal Compliance Policies

• Following the internal email sent from HO yesterday to Regional Offices, please ensure that ALL usual Internal Witness Audits or other Compliance MCT Tasks that are unable to be completed due to COVID-19 is managed. (however, as with the external policy, post audit reviews will be accepted). Please ensure the task is updated with the reason for the delay or justification for the Post Audit Monitoring.

• Head Office Audits of URS Local Offices – the plan for 2020 was for much of this activity to be conducted On-Site. However, we are now advising that all scheduled HO audits of LOs should be completed remotely.

• Each URS Local Office must advise and communicate their own Policy for their employees and should be kept available should any Accreditation Body request a review.

Scheme Specifics

IATF 16949 – The Policy is dictated by the IATF and deviance from this is not permitted.
Please see latest update below.
You Local Office will liaise directly with you regarding postponement of audits (as needed). They will then communicate to URS Head Office for the IATF Database to be managed effectively with Suspensions/Withdrawals only applied as per the additional permitted timeline over and above Rules 5th.

Communique - 2020-001

The above Communique has been superseded by the following:

Key points to Note:
- Off-Site audits are NOT permitted
- Extension to standard Rules 5th Audit Timelines do apply
- Audit Teams may change

AS 91XX – This policy is dictated by the IAQG.
Their guidance is below and should again be followed.
We are unable at this time to deviate from the specifics within this Communique; below is a summary of the allowable changes to process through this period.
You must liaise directly with your Local Office to establish if any approach below is to be applied to your audit.

CBs may utilize the following alleviations as part of risk mitigation for audits affected by the
impact of COVID-19:

- Suspension of certificate due to a planned audit date being missed is not required
- A 90-day extension is allowed for the completion of nonconformance verification activities.
- The date of the first surveillance audit shall occur within 18 months of the initial
certification decision date.
- Virtual auditing may consume more than 30% of the calculated audit duration. Any virtual
auditing shall be conducted in accordance with IAF MD 4:2018.
- 2020 surveillance and recertification activities may be up to 100% virtual.
- Activities that cannot be evaluated during this surveillance/recertification audit shall
be moved to the 2021 client surveillance or recertification plan and shall result in
increased audit duration.
- The use of video and live streaming is recommended to enhance the audit value.
- The audit plan and 9101 audit report shall clearly indicate use of virtual auditing.
- Expired certificates shall be eligible for reinstatement for up to 12 months beyond the
expiry date provided the certificate number has been appended with the following unique
number [IAF-ID3].
- Certificates may be reinstated utilizing an initial certification audit in OASIS, without
a stage 1 audit, using recertification audit criteria and audit duration.

FAQs issued by IAQG for guidance – see below.

Please contact your Local Office for any query you have with regard to the above and they will then contact the relevant Scheme Manager at Head Office for clarification.

Appendix 1 (V2)
Listing of Regional Offices with COVID-19 Impact to Certification activities
Czech Republic
South Africa
South Korea
United Kingdom

*Office has either local Sales offices or other regions under their control – e.g.: Russia includes Belarus.

URS General COVID-19 Policy – 17/04/2020 (V4)

Why Management of Extraordinary Events?

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