- 18th March 2020
- Posted by: Sean Clarke
- Category: ExVeritas News
ExVeritas QMS Audit and Coronavirus
We are all aware of the restrictions that the Coronavirus pandemic is placing on our businesses and personal lives. Over recent days it has become apparent that individual organisation and government policies on the restriction of travel and the need to protect the health and safety of individuals mean that ExVeritas cannot continue our audits in their traditional form. However, it remains important that the trust and confidence that certification provides to the marketplace is not unduly diminished during these challenging times.
To ensure that ExVeritas continues to provide an appropriate level of trust and confidence to the marketplace, with immediate effect, ExVeritas will be conducting all our audits remotely. This will be the case until at least 31st May 2020. This duration will be subject to ongoing review and may be updated as the situation develops.
During this time, priority will be placed on maintaining the certification of our customers, therefore priority will be given to surveillance and reassessment visits. Regarding extensions to scope and initial assessments; some extensions to scope can be effectively conducted remotely and these will be unchanged. However, whilst more complex extensions to scope or initial audits may have some aspects conducted remotely it is unlikely that ExVeritas will be able to audit and grant certification for any new or significantly changed activities during this period. (Note: Exceptions can be made for critical activities – for example those related to addressing Coronavirus)
It is our expectation that audits will be conducted remotely during this period as cancelling or delaying audits will not enable ExVeritas to maintain a level of trust and confidence to the marketplace. Remote audits are likely to form a part of the planned audit activity and there will be a need to complete audits once travel restrictions are lifted. In the main, remote audits will be conducted via web-meetings, remote document review and remote viewing of live streams for witnessing. At the most basic level this will comprise a telephone call and remote review of documents.
If your organisation is scheduled to have an audit before 31st May 2020 then your Lead Auditor will soon be in contact with you to discuss how the audit can be conducted remotely. To help support remote audits it is useful if you can check and confirm with your Lead Auditor which of the following web-conferencing and document sharing applications your organisation is able to use.
o Microsoft Teams
o Zoom Meetings
o GoTo Meeting
o Email (ExVeritas has a limit of 30Mb on attachments)
o OneDrive For Business
o SharePoint online
o Box www.box.xom
o Dropbox Business www.dropbox.xom/business
o ShareFile (Citrix Solution) www.sharefile.com
o Egnyte www.egnyte.com
o GSuite – Google Drive www.gsuite.google.com
o Egress www.egress.com
When audits are rescheduled to accommodate remote audits, you will be sent new paperwork associated with this audit which will may include an updated quotation.
We understand that this may create some challenges for your organisation, but it is important that we protect the health and safety of our and your staff and that we continue to maintain trust and confidence in the market. Your support in enabling these actions will help to ensure both of these aims can be achieved.
If you have any queries or need further guidance, please contact us