Certification audits to continue during the lockdown period

If you operate a management system certified to ISO14001, ISO50001, ISO45001, OHSAS18001, or ISO9001, then you might already be aware that any surveillance or recertification audits scheduled during this lockdown period are carrying on as planned by the certification bodies, albeit remotely. 

This means that it’s as important as ever to keep your legal registers up to date, in addition to ensuring you maintain other elements of your management system(s).  

What is a remote audit? 

A remote audit is the same as on onsite audit but the auditor will engage with you and your colleagues using live streaming technology such as Webex, Zoom, MS Teams or any other technology that is in use and supported by your business. A remote audit will typically be the same duration as your onsite audit.  

How does it work? 

Your certification body will work with you to ensure that there is a stable and secure technology solution to run the audit, including voice, video and screen sharing capability.   

An audit plan will be provided to you in advance of the audit to enable you to adequately prepare documents and audit evidence in advance of the audit. Any existing audit plans that would have likely been provided following your last surveillance audit may well be amended to better support a remote audit.  

The auditor will collect audit evidence via interview with all relevant personnel, review of documentation and records (via screen sharing) and possibly observation of processes and activities (via video sharing is possible). All evidence will be reviewed and reported to support the audit findings and conclusions; the only difference is that this is done using remote techniques.  

What if my audit is a re-certification audit? 

In cases where the effectiveness of your management system(s) cannot be fully verified using remote techniques, UKAS guidelines enable your certification body to provide you with a maximum of 6 months extension to your certificates, subject to the completion of a successful remote audit. The onsite elements will then be audited at a later date and before the 6 months extension deadline. A certificate extension will not be given without first having completed a remote audit.  

What to expect 

Speaking from our own experience and from feedback from our clients, the remote audit experience is largely a positive one and is often a smoother process than people expect. The key to a smooth audit is to review you audit plan in advanceprepare the audit evidence that your auditor is likely to require and arrange for all relevant personnel, including leadership, to be accessible for the audit. 

How we can support you 

It’s business as usual for The Compliance People and we are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that all relevant new and amended law continues to be populated in your legal registers.  

We’ve also adapted our consultancy offering so that we can continue to support our clients remotely. We’ve already successfully carried out a number of our consultancy services remotely, including legal compliance audits, so although we might not be able to audit you in the same way as we would face to face, you can still expect the high quality services that you know us for.  

So please do get in touch if we can help you during this time – we’re only a phone or a video call away.