We hope that your business activities suffer as little as possible under the current circumstances and wish you a lot of strength in the near future.
Below you can read the latest updates regarding the corona virus and MPS-ECAS.
15 December 2020
Last night, Prime Minister Rutte gave a speech from the ‘Torentje’ and announced the new measures that will apply at least until January 19, 2021. The purpose of the new measures is to reduce the number of infections. The Dutch government wants to do this by minimizing the number of contact moments.
The recurring question for MPS-ECAS is whether audits will be conducted completely remotely or whether this will continue to be done on location. At the moment, we notice that the majority of our customers prefer to perform the audit on site. During discussions with the Dutch Accreditation Council it has also become clear that auditing on location is preferred. In some cases (if the standard permits), such as the contamination risks or restrictive travel advice from RIVM, a remote audit is preferred. That is why the current method remains in effect. This means that we audit on site, with the condition that both the auditor and the client agree. The (safety) protocol for auditing on site must be complied with. Audits that take place abroad remain limited, whereby the guidelines of the RIVM are leading. Local auditors must adhere to the country’s security guidelines.
1 September 2020
We adhere to the guidelines of the RIVM with regard to conducting audits abroad. Because the code of a (part of a) country can change from yellow to orange from one moment to the next for example, our Planning department is in contact with the customers for whom an audit is scheduled. They agree together whether the audit will be carried out remotely or on location. If there are guidelines on stating the type of audit on the certificate, they will be complied with.
13 May 2020
Recently, Prime Minister Mark Rutte gave a speech on developments in the field of corona in the Netherlands. We are now entering a phase where we have to make the transition to the 1.5 meter society. For MPS-ECAS this means the transition from remote audits to on-site audits. Audits on location will start again on Monday 18 May. Guidelines have been drawn up for this. Click here for these guidelines.
23 April 2020
On 21 April, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the new corona measures that will apply after 28 April. As far as is known, the advice from RIVM to stay at home and to work remains in force until May 19. MPS-ECAS respects the advice as drawn up by the Dutch government. This means that in principle MPS-ECAS will not carry out on-site audits until 19 May.
It is possible that an organization threatens to lose its certificate, despite all adapted guidelines. MPS-ECAS sees the need to provide a solution for these organizations. Where possible and under certain conditions, we will make an exception for these companies and carry out the on-site audit in accordance with the guidelines drawn up by RIVM. Our planning department can assess the situation together with your company and, if necessary, schedule an on-site audit.
16 April 2020
At present, dozens of remote audits have already been carried out by MPS-ECAS for MPS-ABC. In addition to MPS-ABC, remote audits are also carried out for the MPS standards MPS-Florimark GTP, MPS-Florimark TraceCert, MPS-Quality, MPS-Socially Qualified and MPS-Water Purification. Because MPS-GAP has been benchmarked with GLOBALG.A.P., we are obliged to follow the GLOBALG.A.P. guidelines. This means that a risk assessment is currently being carried out on the basis of which the certificate can be extended by a number of months. GLOBALG.A.P. is currently developing guidelines for conducting remote audits for all their standards. As soon as these guidelines are known to us, we will inform you immediately.
For all other standards for which MPS-ECAS carries out audits, the standard owners have drawn up guidelines in which they indicate how to act if the audit cannot be performed on location. If you have any questions about the current status of these guidelines, please contact Service & Support via firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 (0)174 – 615 715.
2 April 2020
Last Tuesday, the Dutch government decided that the corona measures would be extended until 28 April. We follow these guidelines. This means that the measures we have taken, as mentioned below, are in any case valid until 28 April.
23 March 2020
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.