IRCA courses in times of corona / Success of IRCA 2019

IRCA courses in times of corona

IRCA courses are used worldwide by people wishing to qualify as an auditor, even in times of COVID-19. Due to the corona pandemic, new strategies have been developed in numerous areas in recent weeks. IRCA training courses have also been conducted remotely in many countries since the end of March. This is a novelty, because IRCA had not allowed online training before.

This way we can conduct at least part of the planned courses. However, we are still only able to conduct the exams in a real classroom, but we are allowed a period of up to 180 days for this. The possibilities for online examinations are being examined.

A great opportunity arising from the current situation is the possibility of allowing participants to take part across borders. This is because the exam can be taken at the local branch, even if that branch does not offer the course in the local portfolio. In addition, it has become easier to switch trainers. For example, a trainer from Germany conducts IRCA training in Bulgaria from Essen (Germany). A qualified examiner from Bulgaria will supervise the local examination, as far as the initial restrictions allow it. And one delegate from Saudi Arabia, stranded in Austria due to Covid-19, participated online in a course provided by FAHSS. The examination was conducted in the TUV Austria office in Vienna. With the elimination of travel costs, the cooperation between the branches becomes more attractive.

Success of IRCA 2019

2019 was a successful year for IRCA certified auditor training. With around 3,700 participants worldwide, we recorded an increase of over 10% compared to the previous year.

The course with the highest number of participants was again the ISO 9001 Lead Auditor course, followed by the ISO 45001 Lead Auditor. However, the strongest growth rates were recorded in the areas of Food Safety Management Systems (400 % more participants), Information Security Management Systems (130 % more participants) and Energy Management Systems (30 % more participants).

For the Food and Energy divisions, this is certainly due to the update of the standard in 2018 and the ensuing need to update knowledge. This phenomenon has also been observed for other standards in previous years.

The development in detail

With over 1350 participants, TÜV NORD India is once again the strongest training partner, followed by TÜV NORD Middle East with 766 participants and TÜV NORD Hellas with 338 participants.

However, the highest growth rates were recorded by TÜV NORD Thailand (+400%), TÜV HELLAS (+121%) and TÜV NORD Indonesia (+120%). These increases are partly due to the expansion of the locally offered portfolio.

TÜV NORD Philippines became a new training partner and successfully conducted 3 QMS Lead Auditor training courses in its first year.

TÜV NORD Greater China has resumed operations after a longer break and, in cooperation with Mr. Jack Yeh, has conducted an ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor course for 10 trainees in Shanghai.

TÜV NORD Bulgaria has started to conduct IRCA training at its Moroccan location and now offers 9001 courses there. Thus, for the first time, courses are also being offered in French.

TÜV NORD Thailand has expanded its portfolio and trained a 50001 tutor. This enables us to offer IRCA certified auditor training for energy management systems with a local trainer for the first time in the South East Asia region.

TÜV NORD Indonesia has added the 14001 Lead Auditor course to its portfolio.


The ISO 20000-1:2018 Lead Auditor course and the ISO 22301 Lead Auditor course are scheduled for certification in 2020.