The New Digital and Remote Method for Audits
Before the COVID-19 health emergency, on-site inspections were the standard practice for all types of corporate certification.
The pandemic has profoundly changed the world of work and has also strongly influenced inspections themselves, making previous customary modalities impossible.
The immediate response to this change was the introduction of remote audits, which have proven so efficient as to become the new normal in 2021.
Accredia, the Italian Accreditation Body, reported conducting about 13,000 inspection days in 2021 via platforms or other digital means by inspection personnel.
This new way of working has satisfied not only inspection bodies but also organizations and labs that have opted for “blend” checks, or mixed formulas of remote and on-site audits.
For this reason, Accredia and leading international certification bodies have issued specific documents to define the operational guidelines to be followed for remote audits.
For example, Accredia published its “Accredia Policy for conducting remote verifications,” and BRCS (the reference body in the food and packaging sector) defined its reference standard for non-present inspections as “Getting the most benefit from your remote audit.” All guidelines have been drafted based on case studies, international documents from various accreditation bodies (IAF, ILAC, and EA), and are the basis on which accredited bodies can assess the feasibility and remote management of audits.
The published guidelines define the methods for identifying the digital tools to be used (platforms, video call and document sharing systems) and the permitted methods. It has been defined that for unannounced audits, on-site performance should be privileged, although remote audits remain possible.
Remote audits cannot be carried out if:
- Stable connections cannot be guaranteed on both sides;
- The management system due to its level of computerization does not allow remote checks.
To strengthen a company’s quality department, simplifying audit preparation is therefore crucial.
This new approach led our Certiblok team to focus on creating a stable, secure platform capable of ensuring an excellent experience for remote audits, improving the quality certification process.
With Certiblok you can organize specific Audit Rooms, cataloging your documents and granting access to dedicated people.
Thanks to the “assign to audit room” function, you can catalog your documents by assigning them a specific topic. Certiblok will automatically create a folder with all documents related to a specific tag (e.g. ISO 9001).
This way, even in the event of unannounced inspections, everything will be available, ready and organized!