The NEN recently made the decision to withdraw the current NTA 7516 certification for all suppliers - here’s why this change has been made and what it means for your organization.
Withdrawal of NTA 7516 supplier certifications
The NEN withdrew the NTA 7516 certification for suppliers on 15th May 2022. This means that suppliers can no longer be NTA 7516 certified. Here's how this change impacts your organization.
Why NTA 7516 supplier certifications have been withdrawn
In many cases, it has become apparent that certificates have been issued to suppliers on the basis of incorrect and incomplete testing, partly due to a lack of clarity in the criteria. Therefore, the certificate did not ensure that an organization was indeed compliant with the standard. As such, supplier certification has been withdrawn.
The intended purpose of withdrawing the certifications is to remove ambiguity, effectively requiring organizations to investigate whether and to what extent a supplier can support compliance with the NTA 7516.
The situation regarding incorrect certifications was brought to the attention of the NEN by Zivver. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the NEN and certifiers have tried to reach an agreement with suppliers regarding testing. Unfortunately, this was not possible and the NEN made the decision to withdraw the NTA 7516 certification in its entirety.
Consequences for organisations
It is important to note that the NTA 7516 remains in full force and effect. All organizations that mail personal healthcare related information (i.e. healthcare institutions, municipalities, insurance companies etc) must continue to comply with the NTA 7516.
The withdrawal of the certification for suppliers places greater responsibility on organizations to conduct their own investigations into whether suppliers can support compliance with the standard.
For organizations using alternative suppliers for secure emailing, it is important to confirm to what extent the platform supports compliance with NTA 7516. Due to incorrectly granted certifications, many organizations have been under the false impression that their supplier supports compliance.
It is expected that the NEN will work towards a new certification scheme in the future, providing a more transparent and reliable framework for organizations. There is currently no estimated schedule for the delivery of this scheme.
False certifications awarded to suppliers lead many many organizations to continue communicating healthcare related information under the false belief that they were compliant with the NTA 7516. At Zivver, we welcome the withdrawal of supplier certifications as a much needed improvement in ensuring compliance.
Visit our NTA 7516 information hub for more information and answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the legislation and recent changes.