With the global pandemic continuing to dictate the way society operates, not a single marketplace, town, or person has been totally unaffected. COVID-19 has drastically changed the world and rapidly brought society into a new normal. A new normal that includes social distancing, wearing masks in public, and a massive shift in the workplace to remote-work environments.
Remote work environments aren’t suitable for every company out there though, and some businesses have to be a little more creative to adhere to social distancing, and other health and wellness priorities. Some facilities chose to temporarily shut down, while others managed to simply scale back operations, and limit the personnel allowed in the building at any given time.
Since companies are implementing personnel limitations, scaled back operations, and totally remote work environments in some cases, ISO professionals have had to come up with a series of audit-solutions that suit the needs of companies through the duration of these trying times.
The Virtual Audit Process
Organizations have been making constant adjustments to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Rapidly shifting priorities, and switching to alternative strategies, companies have been pressed to make quick decisions and think on their feet.
In such uncertain and volatile times, overall consumer trust begins to dwindle and regress. This means that brands and organizations that have been working to build a strong brand-reputation, and gain the trust of new and existing customers, have to make an extra effort to maintain a trustworthy reputation.
Due to supply chains breaking down, and the economic crisis caused by the global pandemic, customers and stakeholders want to be absolutely certain about the business-relationships they form. Obtaining an ISO certification is a signal to consumers and business partners alike, that a company is trustworthy, and dedicated to providing the best quality possible.
To accommodate companies seeking a 3rd party audit during the uncertainty of COVID-19, virtual audits are now available. There are a couple of ways that a virtual 3rd party audit can take place.
The first is a 100% virtual audit. In place of a site-visit and in-person interviews, the interviews are conducted through a video-conferencing technology, and document reviews are conducted through file-transfers rather than scouring over physical hardcopies.
The alternative is a somewhat blended approach. Partially remote, partially on-site. This can be achieved by either implementing a phased audit, or having two auditors, one remote, and one on-site. Either way, this allows for more flexibility depending on the needs of the individual company, and provides a solution for processes and procedures that can only be audited in person.
Remote audits allow companies to adhere to social distancing practices, while also maintaining ISO certifications, ultimately providing trust and quality to consumers all over the world.
For help navigating or scheduling a remote 3rd party audit, or a deeper dive into what to expect from a remote audit, get in touch with Glacier Consulting today. Glacier Consulting has a team of dedicated ISO professionals ready to tackle any of your ISO needs.