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.
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.
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 and MPS-ECAS respect 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.
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.
2 April 2020
23 March 2020
The horticultural sector has been hit hard by the corona crisis. The MPS group empathizes and 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. To achieve this, MPS has drawn up a number of protocols (taking into account the guidelines in this of the Dutch Accreditation Council (RvA), which give the Certifying Institutions more room to continue to carry out the audits during the corona crisis and thereby guarantee your and our business continuity.
Due to the health risks surrounding the corona virus and the announced measures by the government, MPS allows the audits to be carried out remotely. These remote audits consist of a check of the relevant documents in combination with remote interviews and possibly a digital tour of your company. Your Certifying Institution will provide you with further information about the remote audit procedure.
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 standard.
The consequences for the renewal of certificates after completion of a remote audit are as follows:
MPS-ABC is a business qualification which is issued on the basis of the usage registration of the participant. Audits and sampling are used to ensure the reliability of the registration. An MPS-ABC audit performed remotely therefore has no other consequences for the awarding of the certificate than an audit performed on the company.
MPS-GAP has been benchmarked against the certification standard of GLOBALG.A.P. For this reason, the guidelines of GLOBALG.A.P. used to renew certificates after a remote audit. In practice, this means that certificates can be extended by 8 months after a remote audit. Within that time, an audit must be carried out on the company. MPS is in consultation with GLOBALG.A.P. to set the period for renewing the certificate to 1 year.
Other MPS standards
For the other MPS standards, certificates are renewed for a maximum period of 1 year. An exception to this are the MPS standards where the certificate has a validity of 3 years. In that case, after an interim audit, the original validity of the certificate remains and after a re-assessment audit a certificate with a validity of 3 years can be issued again.
Certificates are suspended:
1. If the conditions from the MPS certification standards are not met.
2. If the organization is not operational and therefore cannot be audited.
3. If the organization refuses to cooperate in the performance of a remote audit.
4. If the remote audit cannot be performed because the organization does not have the infrastructure to facilitate a remote audit.
For the MPS-ABC and MPS-ProductProof certification standards, MPS uses independent samplers from a number of different laboratories. We are in close contact with the laboratories regarding the continuation of sampling during the corona crisis. The following decisions have now been taken:
MPS ABC: MPS-ABC is a business qualification that is issued based on the registration. Sampling and audits are used to verify the reliability of the registration. With participants in more than 50 countries it is currently impossible to guarantee an equal playing field in the different countries. For this reason, it has been decided to suspend sampling for MPS-ABC until further notice.
MPS-ProductProof: MPS-ProductProof is a qualification in which participants can demonstrate that they meet specific requirements from retailers with regard to the application of crop protection agents. Sampling is crucial to support this certificate. At the moment, the samples for MPS-ProductProof are still being taken, whereby the samplers adhere to the guidelines of the RIVM (the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) and limit the contact between the sampler and the organizations as much as possible. Prior to taking a sample, you will first be notified by telephone of the arrival of the sampler. MPS is in close contact with the laboratories. We will communicate any changes in the current protocol.
If you have any questions about the above procedures, please contact MPS Service & Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or (0)174-615 715.
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.