Following audits by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) during 2020, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) is pleased to announce that it has successfully maintained its UKAS accredited status for the inspection and licensing of racecourses.

GBGB first achieved UKAS accreditation in 2010 and has consistently met the standards for licensing and certification services, guaranteeing high standards of greyhound welfare across all its licensed racecourses. GBGB is now building on this by seeking UKAS accreditation for the inspection and licensing of trainers’ residential kennels.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all UKAS audits since March 2020 have been carried out remotely, with assessors and accredited bodies such as GBGB utilising virtual meeting software and secure file sharing applications to carry out what are usually office-based audits. Remote technology allowed UKAS technical assessors to view field inspections despite not being on-site, to keep all participants safe and all processes Covid-secure.

During their audit, UKAS were able to view both the practical and theoretical sides of track inspection and licensing to fully assess compliance with all clauses of the international standard ISO17065, against which GBGB is assessed. All elements of GBGB’s COVID-19 Operational Policy were also assessed and deemed “comprehensive” ensuring a “well managed return to racing”.

Amanda Duplock, GBGB Quality Manager said:

“2020 has obviously been a difficult year for all in so many ways and businesses have had to quickly amend their working practices to allow work to continue. With UKAS being a body that monitors quality, safety and effectiveness, it was essential for its assessments to take place to maintain confidence in the products and activities it accredits.  

“This presented unique challenges for UKAS and for GBGB around our two surveillance assessments this year. We were, however, able to hold what is usually a ‘Head Office’ audit remotely, allowing a thorough and detailed review of our documents, processes and procedures by UKAS. This year’s track inspection audit involved a UKAS inspector viewing a Stipendiary Steward in real time via a video feed as they carried out an annual inspection at a track, allowing everyone to comply with all safety measures.  

“It was a new experience for all GBGB staff involved, but it worked effectively and allowed us to demonstrate to UKAS that, despite the extraordinary circumstances of 2020, our inspection processes are continuing at the same consistently high standards.”