One of the key demands from industry was ensuring the assessment process was independent. 

Under ISO 17024:2012, this is often referred to as being impartial, neutral or free from conflicts of interest etc. 

IPSQA assessors may not assess candidates in the following circumstances:

  1. Assessing persons (employees or volunteers) from the same legal entity 
  2. Assessing family members (within 2 degrees of separation)
  3. Assessing persons who they have trained within two years*
  4. Assessing persons who they have been in an intimate relationship with, within two years

Regardless of the above, where there is any conflict of interest, a documented risk plan must be developed and approved. 

Assessors are also bound by the IPSQA Code of Conduct.

* Exceptions may be approved by the Certification Commission on a case-by-case basis, subject to an approved conflict of interest plan as per ISO 17204:2012



1. Can we train our candidates through one instructor, but have them assessed by another, both from our agency?

No, if they are from the same legal entity. 

Yes, if for example you are a training company and have a cohort of external students, you could have them trained by one instructor, and then assessed by another (who is an IPSQA Assessor and providing they have not been involved in other training to the candidates within two years and also do not breach the other requirements for independent assessment). 

In most cases, it is easiest to find an assessor from outside the agency and geographical area to ensure the conflicts of interest are managed.