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Are you prepared for the new style of auditing?

In these uncertain times, there are many elements of your business that you will have had to adapt to remain operational. WRM have accepted this challenge, enhancing our services to enable our clients to remain compliant against certifications such as the PAS and ISO standards.

In a normal situation, audits would take place on site, but at the current time of writing, recertification audits are set to take place remotely until the end of July 2020. WRM have supported customers with their compliance during the pandemic, through the participation in virtual audits, and where feasible, providing onsite support and videoconferencing technology for an inspection. We have also facilitated internal remote audits, ensuring the client is fully prepared for an upcoming inspection.

 

What is a remote audit?

  • A remote audit, also known as a ‘Virtual audit’ is a guided interview with auditee(s) taking place using videoconferencing software such as Microsoft Teams, or Bluejeans. Inspections follow the usual structure and agenda that you may already be used to, but instead records and documents are viewed through file or screen sharing.
  • Some audits may also be facilitated by desktop auditing, where the auditor may review some of the documents beforehand, preparing them for auditee interview or information requests.
  • Please note, we have been assured by Certification Bodies that platforms they utilise to audit are GDPR compliant and are completely safe and secure, data shall not be retained without your permission and findings remain completely confidential.
  • Additionally, the audit features a guided tour through the site operational areas using appropriate mobile technology.

How does it work?

  • The Certification Body sends a calendar invite, which includes a link to the meeting to be accessed on the day of the audit. Software must be installed, free of charge, on your mobile and laptop ahead of the inspection date.

Key to success?

  • Remote audits obviously require good internet access and the auditee being able to manage the electronic access to documents and records, as directed by the auditor. Strong communication is also vital in the success of an audit.

While remote audits may be quite different in terms of logistics and planning, they can be equally as insightful and robust as the usual inspection. The audits have highlighted areas of improvement, as well as observations where a system is working particularly well. A written audit report also follows the remote inspection and the usual procedures apply in terms of closing out any non-conformances.

It is worth highlighting that Certification Bodies have been quite clear in stating there will be no extensions to certificates unless there are exceptional circumstances. Therefore, it is critical that you make the necessary arrangements to remain compliant with your certification body.

Internal audits are an invaluable tool in maintaining compliance in legal and voluntary requirements. Remote auditing can mitigate increased compliance risks of delays in on-site internal audits and ensure the management system is facilitating continual improvement for your business, despite the challenging circumstances.

We provide a service which is bespoke to each of our clients, implementing a structure and service which meets our clients’ needs and guides them through a successful audit cycle. If you are interested in help and advice around adjusting to the new audit style, or maintaining compliance, please contact us.

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