Those put under the pressure of deadlines to comply by UKAS may be pleased to see that UKAS itself suffers pressure to comply with tighter demands on contracts from its masters in the inspection cartel.
Labs are under pressure to get their new contracts with UKAS signed by 1st June 2016.
Abject compliance is critically important to some interests – what if labs lost their accreditation status and nobody noticed any difference?
The reminder email from UKAS sort-of explains:
Immediate action is required by your organisation to ensure that your on-going accreditation by UKAS is not put at risk.
In Feb 2016 UKAS informed all customers that the current version of the UKAS Agreement would be replaced and that the new version needed to be signed and returned by 1st June 2016. This deadline is now fast approaching and we have not yet received a signed agreement from your organisation.
Please sign and return the agreement to email@example.com without further delay. The new agreement can be found on our website, along with further details regarding what is required should you wish to refer to them.
If you have recently returned a signed copy of the agreement to us or are in active discussion with us about returning the agreement please ignore this email
Our communication in February 2016 to all of our customers gave 90-days’ notice of the termination of the UKAS Agreement that we hold with each of our customers: This termination is due to take effect from the end of this month (31st May 2016). Although we have now received signed copies of the new UKAS Agreement from the majority of our customers, allowing their accreditation to be maintained beyond this date, our records indicate that we have not received a signed copy from your organisation. As a consequence your accredited status is at risk as UKAS are not in a position to maintain accreditation of a customer with which we have no valid Agreement.
However, we have become aware that a small number of our customers have had difficulty receiving our communications and therefore, in these cases, we have decided to extend the notice period given in order to allow them the opportunity to sign and return the new Agreement.
If you have any queries or if you have already returned the new agreement but not heard back from us then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Your anticipated support in completing this transfer to the new agreement on time is appreciated.
Operations Director United Kingdom Accreditation Service
It will be interesting to see the list of labs that failed to meet the deadline and lost their accreditation appearing in UKAS’s organisations under sanctions list.
Maybe the slow-to-sign labs will be excluded from the published list. UKAS used to make clear that those sanctioned because they didn’t pay up were not on the sanctioned list. The practicalities of UKAS sanctions are explained here and here.