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.
Several companies are implementing personnel limitations, scaled back operations, and remote work environments.
So ISO professionals have had to come up with a series of solutions for audits that suit the needs of companies through the duration of these trying times.
Organizations have been making constant adjustments to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
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, virtual audits are now available. There are a couple of ways that a virtual 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.