SERI has released the final Transition Plan to migrate all R2:2013 Certified Facilities to the new R2v3 Standard by July 1, 2023. To facilitate this move, a new Code of Practices (COP) has also been released. The COP provides all the rules for the R2 Certification program. Version 2.0 of the COP will apply specifically to the process Certification Bodies must follow to audit and certify facilities to R2v3. (The first version of the COP will continue to apply to R2:2013 certifications.)
The new COP is much more comprehensive, reflecting lessons learned from 11 years of R2 Certification experience, and the feedback of the certification bodies and the accreditation body, ANAB. While the COP applies directly to the Certification Bodies who audit and certify R2 facilities, the requirements of the COP also impact the certification process for R2 facilities.
A significant impact to R2 facilities is required audit time. SERI has taken a careful look at audit time and has run several scenarios to understand the impact of the minimum audit time requirements in the new COP. New audit time calculations have been structured to be proportionate to the scope of certification. The more processes that a facility performs–the more audit time that will be required.
In reviewing audit times, SERI also discovered that a real driver of excessive audit time was the time mandated by some of the management system certifications. As a result, SERI has identified specific areas in the R2v3 Standard where the requirements overlap with those of the more generic management system standard and is therefore permitting the integration of the auditing of these elements into the management system audits. Essentially, this means that some of the mandated management system audit time can be used to audit the R2 requirements, allowing for an overall reduction in audit time and a more efficient audit.
While SERI has streamlined and reduced R2 audit time requirements to the extent possible while still ensuring auditors have sufficient time to evaluate each facility for responsible practices, SERI will continue to look for ways to make audits more efficient. Utilizing technology and remote auditing as part of the audit process will continue to be evaluated and incorporated into the audit process as is feasible.
From a quality perspective, the new R2v3 Certification Program and COP have taken an innovative approach to auditing and certification. Rigorous requirements for quality control by the Certification Body are incorporated. And enhanced requirements for timely correction and verification of nonconformities will continue to improve the accountability of each R2 Certified facility. The R2 Standard was restructured to be more flexible, scalable and adaptable to a rapidly changing industry. And the new COP follows suit by streamlining the audit process, eliminating inefficiencies, and taking advantage of new technologies where it makes sense to do so.
The Transition Plan to R2v3 is located in Advisory 22 at https://sustainableelectronics.org/r2-standard/r2-document-library
The R2 Code of Practices v2.0 can be downloaded with the R2v3 Standard at https://serir2.org/document-library/