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 coronavirus and MPS. 23 March 2020
Additional measures because of the corona virus
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.
16 March 2020
Health is our top priority. At the same time, it is obviously important to protect and safeguard business continuity. That is why we decided to continue our services, but in a different way. All audits will be carried out remotely until further notice. Our auditors will therefore not physically visit your company. We will explain by telephone how the ‘remote audit’ works. So do you have an audit planned in the coming month? Then you will be contacted as soon as possible. We thank you in advance for your trust and cooperation.
The management of MPS and MPS-ECAS has taken a number of actions to minimize the risk of infection of the coronavirus. At this time, no coronavirus infections are known within our organization. As soon as there are changes, this will of course be communicated immediately.
How do we further guarantee our business continuity?
Within MPS, we deal with threats and monitor our prevention policy. The news items are followed daily and action is taken if necessary. The starting point for our group is the guidelines set by RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment).
The following protocols are available:
- Hygiene protocol
- Travel protocol
- Disease symptoms protocol
Visitors to MPS and MPS-ECAS
We will not receive visitors at our office until further notice. 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. In addition, there are no visits from MPS and MPS-ECAS to other organizations.
The MPS Group has ensured that all its employees can work flexibly, if necessary. This means that none of our employees is bound to a permanent workplace, so that our services can continue in the event of an acute threat. In this way we realize our business continuity.
Corona within your organization
If your organization has been affected by a corona virus infection, we kindly request you to notify us as soon as possible. If you have any questions or comments, please contact MPS Service & Support on +31 (0) 174-615 715 or email@example.com.