IQNet Statement on COVID-19

Building trust together, especially in challenging times

 

The pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 is posing significant challenges to governments, businesses and people. In many countries all around the globe, mandatory confinement at home, travel restrictions and businesses lockdown and layoffs introduce severe stress on families, disruptions on supply-chains, and seriously compromise the capability of organizations processes and ability to trade.

 

Despite this extremely adverse context, structural and fundamental industries shall continue to operate, so to ensure peoples’ security, safety, health and quality of life.  Conformity Assessment industry comprise many indispensable activities contributing to these goals.

 

In fact, from product certification (e.g. medicines) to inspection (e.g. related to compliance with import and export regulations), from testing (e.g. medical laboratories) to management systems (e.g. health & safety and medical devices), conformity assessment bodies play an inestimable role, both in “normal” times and during emergencies and crises.

 

As so, IQNet Association and its Partners want to reassure its clients, consumers and other stakeholders that all measures are being implemented to ensure trust is maintained, not just in international trade but also in daily life (commercial transactions, service provision). This purpose is achieved through:     

 

•  Cooperation with international organizations (such as ISO, IAF, GFSI, EOQ, INetQI, amongst other) to debate and agree on best practices and further on how to improve (or even transform) existing procedures and criteria     

• Engaging (through our Partners) with local governments, regulators, accreditation bodies and other stakeholders to contribute to the implementation of harmonized, efficient and effective measures     

• Reviewing operational procedures, notably through intensifying the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) while keeping the integrity of conformity assessment activities     

• Collecting and disseminating information and data, both through our Partners and directly to the market, to ensure appropriate awareness and quick action in fast changing contexts.

 

Keeping our Headoffice team safe, as well as of those usually involved in IQNet Association activities, is naturally also a priority, and a comprehensive contingency plan was defined and implemented, and measures are in place to minimize any adverse impact and to maintain our usual service level.

 

During these challenging times, IQNet Association efforts are towards keeping the health & safety of all involved and maintaining the credibility and integrity of certification services, ensuring market confidence and trust when it is needed the most.