Remote audits (Virtual Audits) using ICT are allowed as an audit method under ISO 19001:20018.
The use of ICT for remote auditing will only be successful if the right conditions are in place.
The fundamental ones are that technology is available and that both auditors and auditees are competent and at ease with its operation. This should be assessed prior to the decision to use remote techniques. This preparation contributes to optimising the audit process.
The best video conferencing software out there at the moment is Zoom (https://zoom.us/). If you don’t have this software on your computer, then we recommend you download it (Free and unlimited for 1 to 1 meetings).
Zoom also has the ability for screen shares. I highly recommend if you go down this route, and that you are fully familiar with the software and how to use it.
If you are running off Microsoft Office 365, then there is the “Teams” application which does the same thing.
Other alternatives can be skype, facetime using iphones, ipads or facebook messenger / whatsapp video calls. Drawback with these is that you cannot screen share. These can be used for offsite audit evidence gathering (e.g. construction sites if required).
We will be carrying out our first remote audit with a client in the next week. Gathering evidence virtually, producing reports, then e-mailing the reports and scanned objective evidence back to the clients.
We will preparing the audit documents in advance of the audit to minimise the downtime during the virtual audit.
If you have any questions, or looking to set up some remote internal audits, then please do not hesitate to contact us.
On another matter, due to the current COVID-19 situation, IAF has extended the transition period for certified companies to migrate from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001.
The transition period is extended by 6 months and now ends on 30 September 2021.