remote audit tips tricks

Remote audit, tips and tricks 

Remote auditing. A practical solution to get audits going nowadays. A certified management system must be periodically audited in order not to lose the certificate. A remote audit is allowed instead of a physical on-site audit, but is subject to requirements described in a so-called Mandatory Document. Sometimes the audit cannot be performed completely remotely or the subject is not suitable, such as with specific inspection audits. Above all the audit must be effective and that the integrity of the audit must not be endangered.
Do you have to deal with a remote audit yourself, what should you pay attention to and what are the 'tips and tricks'.


Remote audit, what is it

A remote audit does not differ from a physical on-site audit, only the audit is performed remotely. The auditee is audited from a digital environment with tools such as Teams, Teamviewer or Skype. The processes are reviewed and discussed during the interview. The auditor will have to determine objectively whether the management system meets the requirements of the relevant standard. The auditor will have to review supporting documents.
Performing a remote audit does require some getting used to. Questions about this or just practice beforehand? This is possible with our business partners


Tips and tricks

For those who have never had to deal with a remote audit, there are a few points for attention, tips and tricks if you like:

  • Make sure the audiovisual tools are working properly (availability, stability, bandwidth)
  • Know for yourself how audiovisual aids work. Test picture and sound
  • Practice first, eg in an internal audit in the same way
  • Go through the program with the auditor in advance, what is remote. Test if necessary (give auditor read access to the management system in advance if desired)
  • Sometimes it can be useful to show the work environment with video calling. Test this too
  • A second screen can also be useful for looking up documentation during the audit
  • Think about what you want to show as a background (that less tidy study?)
  • If the conversation is between several people, discuss the roles beforehand
  • Let everyone introduce themselves and think about the time
  • It is often possible to consider in advance what documentation is required. Mark this eg with a bookmark / label
  • An auditor looks differently than a 'normal user': it is demonstrably focused on standards. Set up the management system accordingly
  • Remember that it is much more intense mentally. Provide time blocks with breaks
  • Afterwards, evaluate the progress of this remote audit. What are the learning points


Remote management system

A remote audit must be comparable to an 'ordinary' physical audit. You are just much more dependent on tooling and not just the audiovisual tools. The management system must also be accessible remotely and preferably efficient. Documents and 'evidence' must be found quickly within a logical context. On the IT side, developments in the digital management system have gone fast: social quality systems, straight from the cloud. An integral management system is easily accessible remotely. The management system is also designed to grant (external) readers authorization. Quite different from the collection of process descriptions, procedures, instructions and forms. Printed and bundled in the manual that served as an example for every department manager ... A digital (quality) management system can do so much more, regardless of the various 'ISO standards'. (Activate a Proware management system, in just 60 seconden online for  a test ...)

An overview of 'standard' functionalities of a digital management system:

Navigation / search
  • Index of all documents
  • Overviews per function, process, standard item, ...
  • My documents, which I have something to do with
  • Last viewed
  • Trending documents within the organization
  • Recently searched within the organization
  • "Full text search"
Workflow management
  • Workflow processes for review, authorization, change
  • Self-defined workflow if necessary
  • Read confirmation if registration is important (e.g. safety instructions)
  • Quality calendar to structure activities
  • Combining 'say what you do' and 'do what you say'
  • Documentation and registration in one
  • One platform as access, but linked to other environments
  • Access from different devices: desktop, tablet, mobile
  • Forms you can define yourself
  • Multiple applications within the same platform
  • For every work area, activity and own work environment
  • Views per document, per type, per period
  • Not found, but what was searched for
  • Never used documents
  • Knowing what is being looked at
  • Register weaknesses and monitor them specifically
Chain / mobile
  • For customers who have to 'supervise'
  • For subcontractors who have to read instructions (mandatory)
  • Use corporate documents together
  • At the project location, on your phone
  • At the client's bedside, on your tablet