Planning of assessment
FINAS develops and allocates assessment with the help of comprehensive planning. The assessment plan concerning the four year accreditation period is drawn up in co-operation with the assessment team under the supervision of the lead assessor. Other assessment methods, including assessment of documents, interviews and recordings accrued from the operations of the client can be used in support of the assessment visits.
The following principles are adhered to in drawing up the assessment plan:
• The plan is drawn up so that it is allocated at all accredited activities and sites of the body
• Each activity and site is assessed during the accreditation period
• The assessment plan takes into consideration targeting that is based on activities which are essential and demanding with regard to the operations
• A more thorough or frequent assessment is applied to new areas and to areas where many changes and/or non-conformities were detected during the last visit
• Consideration is always given to flexible scope and its application in the assessment.
Whenever there have been amendments or extensions in the scope of accreditation or the results of the previous assessment so suggest, the assessment plan is revised. As a rule, periodic surveillance is carried out once a year. However, the first assessment visit is made 6–9 months after the accreditation decision.
Periodic surveillance consists of assessment visits and other supplementary assessment methods. The principles presented above for initial assessment also apply to the periodic surveillance process. However, the period for correcting any non-conformities detected is normally one month. In the event of any major non-conformities, the client must take immediate action, in which case the time for corrections is shorter. A delay in correcting major non-conformities may lead to suspension of the scope of accreditation. The exact schedule for corrections is always agreed with the client.
The accreditation period is fixed term (4 years). Should the client wish to continue the accreditation, operations within the scope of accreditation are re-assessed during the last year of validity of the accreditation decision. The re-assessment can be agreed on during the last periodic surveillance visit of the accreditation period or with a separate notification from the body. Re-accreditation confirms that the client is still competent to operate within the entire scope covered by the accreditation. The assessment is based on material sent to the assessors in advance, observations made on site, interviews, monitoring of operations and information received in previous assessments that is still valid. In its extent and thoroughness, the assessment for re-accreditation corresponds to the initial assessment.
Extending and amending the scope of the accreditation decision
The client may propose changes to its valid scope of accreditation. These changes are assessed on the basis of the application.
More here: Applying for an extension to the scope of the accreditation.