The landscape for PSC services is changing with a growing number of clients requiring both PSC.1:2012/ISO18788:2015 and ICoCA certification as part of their procurement processes. However, for organisations who haven’t been through the PSC.1:2012/ISO18788:2015 certification process the pathway can be unclear. IQ Verify are working closely with ICoCA so that the companies we work are prepared and feel confident entering the ICoCA certification process, following certification with ourselves. 

So how do you achieve PSC1:2012/ISO18788 certification?

To become PSC.1:2012/ISO18788:2015 certified you need to engage with a certification body (CB). There are two main phases organisations typically go through.

1) The “pre-assessment” phase (which can take 12-18 months dependent on the organisation).

The CB is able to complete a gap analysis, to help identify areas of improvement so it is understood how “ready” an organisation is for PSC.1:2012/ISO18788:2015 certification. If your organisation is unsure how ready they are for certification, this can be a useful step to fully prepare you for Phase 2.

Your certification body cannot provide you with the consultancy services to solve the areas identified in the gap analysis, however, IQ Verify do have a preferred partner scheme and are able to assist you in identifying and engaging with a consultancy who has expertise under this remit.

 2) Initial Certification (which can take 2-3 months).

 Once you feel your organisation is in a position to begin phase 2, two audit stages will be organised with you.

  • Stage 1: An audit at head office to review the management system in place.
  • Stage 2: An audit conducted in theatre, where the implementation of the management system reviewed at stage one is assessed.

 Following a successful review of the stage 2 audit, the organisation will be issued with the relevant standard certificate.

How do I become ICoCA certified?

To become an ICoCA member you need to be certified to PSC.1:2012/ISO18788:2015 by April 2020 or, if you are already an ICoCA transitional member company or joined after April 2018, you need to complete certification within 2 years of joining.

Once you have received your certification with the CB, you are able to engage with ICoCA to complete ICoCA certification.

During the gap analysis phase as a CB, we are also able to help identify the common elements between the standards and ICoCA certification, to help streamline the process. Companies that are fully prepared for ICoCA certification should take on average 1-2 months to become certified with ICoCA. IQ Verify’s certifications meet the pre-requisites of ICoCA certification as a UKAS accredited certification body and member of the International Accreditation Forum Multilateral Recognition Agreement (IAF MLA). 

When should you start preparing? 

There are many factors that affect how quickly certification can be achieved, such as:

  1. How many items are identified during the gap analysis 
  2. The speed at which findings are solved (with the assistance of a consultant) 
  3. The audit itself (e.g. how many sites need to be visited) and should any findings arise after the audit that need correction before certification can be given. 

Overall, the process of becoming PSC.1:2012 / ISO18788:2015 certified and ICoCA certified can take 12-18 months and with 21 months left before the ICoCA deadline, organisations are best to start putting plans in place to understand how “ready” they are for both certifications.

Mark Salt, Director and General Manager of IQ Verify said “we want to ensure that companies are prepared for ICoCA certification and are very pleased to be working alongside ICoCA to both raise the standards in the industry and ensuring that the services provided by organisations in hostile environments follow best practice to benefit both the customer and the nationals of the countries in which they operate”.

To find out more about the certification process to PSC.1:2012, ISO18788:2015 and ICoCA certification, you can refer to our relevant brochure, request more information by completing our online application form, or contact us on / 01527 910862.

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