Covid-19 update - International Accreditation Forum (IAF) extends migration period of ISO 45001:2018 to September 2021


This decision, taken as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, means there will be changes to the timetable for completing the new standard’s requirements. This timeline is set out in more detail, below. Please review and update your planning schedules accordingly.


As background, ISO 45001 replaced the previous OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series). Compliance with OHSAS 18001 enabled organisations to demonstrate they had appropriate occupational health and safety systems in place, and many organisations still rely on this standard. When ISO 45001 replaced the OHSAS 18001:2007 management system, in early 2018, it was agreed these enterprises would have a three-year migration period, from March 2018 to March 2021, in order to meet the new requirements. With the global disruption caused as a result of the current pandemic, an extension to a new completion date for the migration process to September 11 2021 has now been announced. CARES decision announced today is fully aligned with the IAF.

Despite the current crisis, CARES continues to provide services – remotely – to all its clients; these services will continue to be delivered until further notice. Fully compliant remote auditing techniques – developed in line with CARES bespoke contingency procedures – have been rolled out for clients, who can be confident of the same level of CARES assessment and certification services.

CARES expert team of international auditors have the latest digital technology to hand in continuing to deliver the highest level of assessment services through online communication and remote audits.


Organisations using OHSAS 18001:2007

The new standard introduces a number of new requirements which differ from OHSAS 18001. For approved firms still using OHSAS 18001 CARES recommends certain steps be taken at an early stage:

a)    Identify organisational gaps which need to be addressed to meet the new requirements.

b)    Develop an ISO 45001 implementation plan.

c)    Provide appropriate training and awareness for all parties that are likely to face some changes which may               impact on the effectiveness of the organisation.

d)    Update existing OH&S Management Systems to meet the revised ISO 45001 requirements and provide                 verification of these systems’ effectiveness and ensure your planning process is aligned with the revised                 CARES compliance timetable, set out below.

CARES Approach to the Migration and Updated Timetable

CARES must ensure that each approved firm has made the necessary updates and adjustments to current processes and competences to align with ISO 45001:2018. While today’s migration period extension allows for more time to complete these steps, there are certain actions that still need to be completed in a timely manner to meet the new deadline. The transition process now consists of:

a)    January 2021 – Last applications for certification to OHSAS 18001:2007 to be accepted until the end of the           month.

b)    May 2021 – Last applications for the migration to ISO 45001 to be accepted until the end of the month.

c)    June 2021 – Last assessments for the migration to ISO 45001 to be completed until the end of the month,             which will be carried out in conjunction with scheduled surveillance or recertification audits. Extra time will be         added to cover existing and new requirements implied by ISO 45001:2018.


Documented evidence should be available to verify that all prior migration audit findings have been evaluated for corrective action, and conformity, before any recommendation for approval to ISO 45001:2018 can be made.

a)    September 30 2021: Extended migration period ends, OHSAS 18001 certificates of companies which have             not yet completed migration to ISO 45001 will be withdrawn.

Thank you for giving this important COVID-19 Update your careful attention. If any of this is unclear or you require any further information please contact

Ayhan Tugrul

General Manager