Week in Review – Remote Audits

I hope you are keeping safe and well.

This week I have conducted 4 X 3rd party audits for accredited certification bodies, consisting of 2 surveillance audits, 1 site visit and 1 stage 1 audit.

All audits were conducted 100% remotely using MS Teams and were all fully compliant under current UKAS requirements for remote auditing in the current climate.

Here are a few observations:

  • Clients were able to provide evidence during the audit using the Teams interface to share documents as well as sharing photographic and video evidence of site operations.
  • Pre-audit planning was crucial in the success of the audit day. Thought had to be made in advance by the client regarding how systems and processes could be evidenced in a virtual environment. I contacted the client at least 7 days before the audit date to discuss the plan for the day and to help the client understand the implications of conducting the audit remotely and how evidence might be obtained.
  • I noticed a real team spirit as we worked together on the day to achieve the objectives of audit.
  • We had fun.
  • Clients have appreciated the approach and the efforts in helping them to maintain their certification.

Remote audits greatly reduce the environmental impact of the traditional auditing approach through removing the need for travel. Although on-site audits will always be required to verify some system controls throughout the 3-year certification cycle, perhaps auditing remotely can become part of accredited certification in the future.

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