SOPA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - Staffing

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We are all facing a fast-paced and changing situation in the light of the continued escalation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  The health and wellbeing of our Members and staff is imperative.  As such we will be continuing to review our response to the situation in line with Government advice and wish to reassure you that we will endeavour to continue to support the SOPA Membership. 

Given our SOPA Member Service team (Debs & Joanna) already work remotely there will be no disruption to the support they provide via telephone and email.  However, for the time being their presence out and about at events, meetings and one-to-one discussions with SOPA Members will be curbed.  

As of Wednesday this week OF&G Scotland are facilitating a number of their Certification Officers to work from home including Alice and Roy who are our SOPA Producer Certification Officers.  This is in line with the recent Government advice suggesting a proportionate response for the need for ‘social distancing’.   There is a pared down number of staff still working from the OF&G Scotland main office which importantly means post can still come and go. 

With the above measures in place we would like to reiterate that there should be minimal disruption to either the certification service provided by the OF&G Scotland Certification Officers or SOPA Member Services.  The Certification & Membership Support teams are available as usual Monday-Friday 9am – 5pm.   

We are being advised by DEFRA that onsite inspections should continue to be arranged as normal for the time being.  Nonetheless both SOPA and OF&G Scotland are keeping a watching brief of Government advised precautions, new information and guidance as it emerges, and discussions are ongoing with DEFRA.  We hope to be able to further update the SOPA Membership on inspection procedures early next week. 

In the meantime, if you are concerned about your health or that of your family and would like to discuss a forthcoming inspection please contact your Inspector or Certification Officer to discuss.   

We aim to continue to share relevant developments and news updates that may be useful amongst the SOPA Membership. 

Hoping you all stay safe and well.


Please be reminded that the contact telephone number for SOPA Member Services is 0300 772 9795 or email: info@sopa.org.uk and for OF&G Scotland certification matters call 01939 291 800 or email: certification@sopa.org.uk. 

The official UK Government guidance on COVID-19 can be found here and Scottish Government information herePlease keep up to date with this information. 

Published date: 20 Mar 2020
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