The horticultural sector has been hit hard by the corona crisis. The MPS group does everything it can to continue to support growers together with all links in the chain. We understand that it is a very difficult situation and do our utmost to ensure that you remain certified within the rules and conditions set by the scheme owner. Below you can read how we guarantee your and our business continuity.
Due to the health risks surrounding the corona virus, the announced measures by the government, and terms and conditions of the standard owners, MPS-ECAS has decided to conduct the audits remotely until further notice. It is possible that a company visit will take place at a later time.
What does a remote audit mean?
The auditor will contact you by telephone to determine how the audit will be conducted. During the audit, documents are assessed and, where possible, a tour of the company takes place via, for example, Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp.
How is a remote audit performed?
To make the audit run as smoothly as possible, we ask from you:
- If you do not have Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp or a similar programme, download one of these programmes on your smartphone, tablet or computer. If you do not have a smartphone, tablet or computer, check whether you can use such a device from, for example, a family member or employee.
- Prepare forms and registrations on your computer so that you can show them to the auditor.
- The auditor may ask you to email documents to him/her. These documents are reviewed by the auditor and then removed. We will not save this documents. If necessary, the auditor will discuss this with you. We follow the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
- If interviews with employees are part of the audit, they will be conducted by telephone or via the above programmes.
By means of a remote audit we ensure that your certificate remains valid or can be renewed. Depending on the requirements of the standard owner, the remote audit can be supplemented at a later date with an audit of the company. This can be an announced or unannounced audit.
A remote audit is not possible for initial inspections. In order to be able to award a certificate for the first time, a physical audit of the company must be carried out according to the conditions of the certification scheme.
Consequences of extension of certificates
The consequences for the renewal of certificates after completing a remote audit of MPS certificates can be found here. MPS-ECAS is the certification body that checks other certificates in addition to MPS certificates. The consequences for the renewal of such a certificate after the completion of a remote audit can be found on the website of the relevant certificate.
Cancellation of the audit
The rules for cancelling audits remain in effect. If you cancel the audit less than ten working days before the audit date, you will receive an invoice for 75 percent of the audit amount. With a cancellation on the day of the audit you will receive an invoice of 100 percent of the audit amount.
If an audit is cancelled and rescheduled by you, it is possible that a new audit cannot be performed before the expiry date of your certificate or that there is insufficient time between the new audit date and the expiry date of the certificate. This may lead to expiry of your certificate.
MPS-ECAS is not responsible for the fact that your company is (temporarily) not certified and for the consequences that may arise if you cancel an audit yourself.
Visits to or from MPS and MPS-ECAS in general
Not only are the auditors no longer visiting your company, this also applies to other departments within our organization. Until further notice, there will be no visits from MPS and MPS-ECAS to other organizations and we will not receive visitors at our office. We will try to make the agreements already made through Skype or by phone, but if this is not possible, we are unfortunately forced to postpone the appointment.
Finally, we hope that your business activities will not suffer too much under the current circumstances and we wish you a lot of strength in the near future.