Consequent to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak that world is facing, we consider that being healthy and working safely is the primary goal. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that compliance to standards cannot be maintained.
To adjust to this situation, MSECB has started doing remote audits to ensure safety of auditors and staff involved in the audit, but at the same time ensure client is maintaining its management system.
WHAT IS REMOTE AUDIT?
Remote audit is the audit process done by auditor/s remotely from a location other than the physical location of the client’s s. Basically, our auditors will be connecting with clients via technology communication means such as GoToMeeting, Webex, Skype, etc. In addition, livestreaming via phone apps (Facetime or WhatsApp) paired with headsets will also be options to facilitate the audit process.
WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER REMOTE AUDIT?
Considering the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, remote audit will enable you to:
a. Keep up the regular schedule of audits
b. Do audits with reduced costs (no travel & accommodation costs)
c. Use technology to involve your team in the audit process
d. Leverage the same network of professionals, auditors, and experts
HOW TO INITIATE A REMOTE AUDIT?
All you have to do is to send a request at email@example.com and let us know that you are interested to be audited through this approach. Upon positive risk assessment results, we will approve your request and assign qualified auditor(s).
PRE-AUDIT ACTIVITIES – Planning
MSECB and the client shall plan/define prior to the remote audit the following:
a. The list of activities, areas, information and personnel to be involved in the remote audit
b. A plan on how to review the information that cannot be shared remotely (e.g., confidential information). MSECB will define how this will be dealt with (e.g., follow up audit)
c. A good internet/Wi-Fi connection will be necessary
d. The interface for hosting the audit (e.g., Go-To-Meeting, Zoom, etc.)
e. Granting security and/or profile access to the auditor
f. Testing interface compatibility between the auditor and the client
g. Considering the use of web-cams, cameras, etc.
h. Time zone management to coordinate reasonable and mutually agreeable convening time
AUDIT ACTIVITIES – Audit process
Auditor(s) will be connected with the client via viable pre-agreed connection means with voice and video. Audit team will review the evidence used to support the management system being audited and will conduct required interviews with the personnel involved in the certification audit scope. When applicable, site tours may be requested.
POST AUDIT ACTIVITIES – Review of audit findings and MSECB decision
Post audit activities for remote audits are identical to those of regular on-site audits. Audit report will be drafted by auditor specifying the methods used for remote audit. Once corrective actions (if any) are taken and validated, MSECB will communicate the certification decision.
RULES TO FOLLOW WHILE CONDUCTING THE REMOTE AUDIT
- The audit should be facilitated in a quiet environment whenever possible to avoid interference and background noise (i.e., speakerphones).
- Both parties should make their best effort to confirm what was heard, stated and read throughout the audit
- The records required for the remote audit are the same as the records required when the audit is conducted on-site.
- Should an item not be able to be reviewed or complete determination not be able to be made, a record should be made.
- The auditor shall not video-record any communication during the audit.
- All remote audits shall be concluded with a summary, review of the events, issues of concerns, clarification of issues, non-conformities and expectations.
- Both parties need to take appropriate measures to safeguard data confidentiality in any format.
- If MSECB audit team concludes that the audit objectives cannot be achieved at any time during the remote audit, the remote audit activity will be terminated, and an on-site audit will have to be planned.