18 March 2020 - The European governments have implemented measures to counter the spread of the coronavirus. This means that during the coming period it may be impossible to carry out company inspections required for the SMK quality mark On the way to PlanetProof. For this reason, as from today SMK offers the following solutions:
When physical inspections for On the way to PlanetProof cannot be carried out as a result of the government measures then remote inspections may be carried out instead of on-site inspections, provided that all the checkpoints of the certification scheme can be assessed. These remote inspections are based on an administrative inspection of the relevant documents and are carried out using digital files and photo and video materials, supplemented with a remote interview by telephone or computer. Certificate holders may submit a substantiated application for exemption to SMK when it will not be possible to carry out remote assessments of certain checkpoints.
The period of validity of existing certificates may also be extended by a period of a maximum of four months. This also defers the next inspection. Compliance with any specific requirement prescribed by the certification scheme (for example, inspection during cultivation) is also required in the event of an extension. Certification bodies keep records of the companies with an extension of the certificate and notify SMK accordingly.
The aforementioned exceptional measures are not applicable to initial inspections relating to new applications. These inspections are governed by the customary conditions of the certification scheme, inclusive of any physical assessments that need to be carried out or otherwise scheduled at a later time once the government measures have been cancelled.
Most SMK staff are currently working from home. They can be contacted in the usual way (telephone and email) and are readily accessible for any questions or suggestions you may wish to make.