ISO 19443:2018 Quality management systems — Specific requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2015 by organizations in the supply chain of the nuclear energy sector supplying products and services important to nuclear safety (ITNS)
ISO/TS 23406:2020 Nuclear sector — Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of quality management systems for organizations supplying products and services important to nuclear safety (ITNS)
The ISO 19443:2018 standard is the first edition of a nuclear quality management system standard published by ISO. Buyers, such as the owner/operator of a nuclear power plant or a top-tier vendor, may see a supplier's ISO 19443:2018 certification as a trustworthy sign of the strength of the supplier's quality management system, especially in areas important to nuclear power plants - areas like safety culture, preventing counterfeit, fraudulent and suspect items, acceptance of commercial-grade parts and services, as well as an understanding of safety functions.
In order for this standard to be utilized successfully by the industry, the concept is that suppliers of products and services important to nuclear safety, such as equipment manufacturers, are audited by certification bodies (CB). After a successful audit a certification is issued with a fixed duration of validity (typically three years). Certification bodies should be accredited by accreditation bodies (AB) based on the relevant ISO standards. The AB would ideally be a member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). The IAF “develop[s] and/or recognize[s] appropriate processes and practices for the conduct of conformity assessment worldwide and ensure[s] their universal application by IAF Accreditation Body Members and their accredited certification […] bodies.”
The ISO/TS 23406:2020 was only published recently, before this standard was published it was impossible for ABs to accredit CBs to issue ISO 19443:2018 certifications to suppliers. It is now possible for ABs to accredit CBs, however, as of late April 2022, none have done so. This means that no CBs (like Lloyd’s Register, Bureau Veritas, SGS, etc.) are accredited to issue ISO 19443:2018 certificates. Nonetheless, (unaccredited) CBs have been issuing ISO 19443:2018 certificates by saying that they are voluntarily following ISO/TS 23406:2020. (Prior to the publication of ISO/TS 23406:2020 it is not clear according to which rules ISO 19443:2018 audits took place.)
Accreditation bodies are coming closer to the first certification body accreditations to ISO/TS 23406:2020, such that full trustworthiness and standardization of ISO 19443:2018 certifications can be achieved.
For example, in the United Kingdom, the IAF member accreditation body UKAS “is undertaking a project to extend UKAS accreditation activity for ISO/IEC 17021-1 to include accredited certification to ISO 19443. Additionally the project will consider the requirements of ISO IEC TS 23406.” UKAS says that they “will be able to announce accreditation in early 2022 for successful pilotees [CBs].”
In order for nuclear power plants and other nuclear facility customers to take advantage of a supply chain certified to ISO 19443:2018 it is useful to have an overview of those certified suppliers. We have compiled a (non-exhaustive) list as of late April 2022 of ISO 19443:2018 certified product and service suppliers in order to support buyers and foster transparency related to the roll-out of the ISO 19443:2018 standard in the supply chain.
1 Very early certification claimed in company's Facebook post and a blog post by their certification body, likely the first worldwide. First NSQ-100 certified supplier worldwide. Company aquired by Framatome in June 2021.
2 Unique situation in which the AB (IECQ) has actually accredited the CB (Certification Association Russian Register) to perform ISO 19443:2018 audits and issue certifications according to the IECQ OD 19443/IECQ Approved Process Scheme. IECQ is not an IAF member.
*First ISO 19443:2018 certification in the UK, claimed to be first worldwide by NEI Magazine and a blog post by the company.
**Second certification issued in the UK.
***Third certification issued in the UK.
The majority of suppliers in the list above are French companies (55%). This is the result of the fact that the ISO 19443:2018 is an evolution of the NSQ-100 standard and French reactor vendor supplier quality requirements, and that ISO 19443:2018 has been heavily promoted in France.