Don’t take our word for it….see what our clients think to remote audits:
Canterbury Christ Church University
"As a first try at a virtual ISO 14001 audit, the process was largely very good! The auditor was excellent and very accommodating, given that three of auditees had technical issues, he just reverted to using a phone to talk to them. The ability to share documentation was no different from a face to face audit, and it was just as easy to follow up with any specific documentation.
Of course it could be better, but with some people at home with poor connections or old hardware, it’s inevitable. But it certainly saved time for many, who would normally have to travel across campus or from other locations. We are due to have an on-site final day, so that grounds operations, a new construction, and overall site tour can be undertaken. But if that’s not possible come September, I’m sure that a virtual site tour would be possible!" NQA Client - Canterbury Christ Church University (Peter Rands, Director of Sustainability Development)
Queen's University Belfast
I did have my doubts about how well it could be conducted. However, having experienced it I am now a complete convert to this method.
"I am emailing you in relation to a recent ISO 50001 audit conducted remotely by Alessandro Gambara. This was my first experience of a remote ISO audit and initially I did have my doubts about how well it could be conducted. However, having experienced it I am now a complete convert to this method. It turned out to be an extremely efficient and effective way of auditing.
Alessandro is clearly a very experienced, capable auditor who worked to a well-structured audit plan. The whole process was straight forward yet very thorough. In fact, in future I might even specify remote auditing as a preferred method where possible! Very impressed." NQA Client - Queen's University Belfast (Anthony Schmidt, Estates Manager (Energy))
Thorpe Design and Technologies
"Thanks very much for carrying out the audit remotely, It seemed to work remarkably well all things considered.
It was obviously essential that Graham and I had that meeting whilst I was still at the office to gather together the necessary information that you require, but once that was done it required minimal input from myself.
I would recommend remote auditing in the future but do think it may have it’s limitations for certain businesses."
NQA Client – Thorpe Design & Technologies (Andrew Thomas, Managing Director)
"I just wanted to let you know that our recent virtual audit with Karen Whitby and Neil Fraser was a great success. Using Skype enabled a 4 way conference to take place between the audit team, Andy Thomas Managing Director and myself as consultant. Both the opening and closing meetings were conducted in this way.
Karen had prepared a checklist of the documents she would require in advance of and during the audit.
I was able to use my experience as a certification assessor to build on this and deliver the requested documents in packages relating to ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001. During the audit we communicated by email and telephone in order to answer queries and provide additional documentation.
We also provided a video tour of the factory and photographs of supporting documents as objective evidence.
I have to say that I, and I am sure Andy would agree, that without Karen and Neil’s focus hard work and good humour the audit would have been a lot harder to complete. So please give them both a pat on the back it was a pleasure taking part in our first remote audit which was made much easier due to the excellent audit team provided by NQA." Consultant – GWA Associates (Graham Williams)
We did everything in real-time, the audit was a much better experience than expected!
"I am happy to give feedback on our ISO 27001 Remote Audit which took place earlier this week. The Audit went much better than I had expected. Under normal circumstances I would be acting as guide, introducing the auditor to my team and he/she would be interviewing various departments face to face and he would then come back to me on any other issues.
A remote audit is, obviously, different. It was extremely useful to receive a copy of the audit plan, along with the NQA – Preparing for your Remote Audit document in advance, so that I could action necessary pre-planning with the team(s). In this way, wherever possible, I could ensure I had access to all potentially required information in one location.
I was able to provide all documentary evidence that was requested, the auditor and I conversed on Microsoft Teams, so he could see the folders, documents etc in real-time. The only thing we were unable to do, is carry out a site tour. But for obvious reasons, including social distancing, we were unable to complete this area. I was, however, able to describe the processes, the interaction between departments etc.
I would like to personally thank your Auditor, Barri-Jon Graham. We worked together well as a team, despite the technology dropping out occasionally!" NQA Client – Superior (Dawn Lovelock, PA to Managing Director)
Red Wing UK
A real example of two professional companies reacting to a difficult situation.
"The current situation with the Covid 19 outbreak has added challenges to our everyday lives and businesses alike. It is key during this time we work with our partners in a safe, responsible way to deliver products, supplies and solutions for the safety and security of our staff and customers. I would like to thank Kevin Gunn, our auditor for his approach during this remote audit. There were learnings as both companies completed the process in this manner for the first time, but a clear plan between the two companies enabled a fair audit to be carried out and completed. A real example of two professional companies reacting to a difficult situation." NQA Client – Red Wing UK Ltd (Jon Bodicoat, Managing Director)
Q Tech Solutions Ltd
The process was seamless and I would not hesitate in agreeing to further remote audits.
"When my employer Q Tech Solutions Ltd were contacted by our customer Red Wing UK Ltd to advise that one of their Covid-19 measures was to cease visitor access to their site, the reality quickly set in that I was hosting a 3 day NQA surveillance audit in just 2 working days. I immediately contacted NQA to explore the possibility of a remote audit being conducted. To establish the feasibility of a remote audit I was asked to complete an NQA Coronavirus Client Questionnaire to confirm the available IT resources would allow this. The NQA response was quick and positive. The remote audit was confirmed, and I was admittedly a little apprehensive about what lay ahead.
The auditor, Kevin Gunn who was also conducting his first remote audit, made contact and provided a list of initial documentation required prior to the audit. These were located and emailed which endorsed my philosophy of scanning and filing documentation. Our preferred communications platform was Skype and the opening meeting was set up with Red Wing UK managing director, NQA auditor and myself. Remote auditing was a new experience for me as a QHSE professional and despite my initial apprehension it turned out to be very straightforward.
Opening and closing meetings were conducted via Skype, as was the top management interview, and process surveillance discussions with individual process owners. Verification of compliance was achieved by a combination of screen sharing, Skype discussion, and documentation exchanges. There was also an interesting site tour using FaceTime and a subsequent exchange of photographic evidence. The outcome was satisfactory to all concerned with recommendation for continued certification to ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001. The process was seamless and now I have broken the ice I would not hesitate in agreeing to further remote audits. I have already arranged 2 remote internal audits of my own with other customers." Consultant – Q Tech Solutions Ltd (Geoff Cutler)
We have no hesitation in recommending the utilisation of remote auditing.
“Thanks to NQA and our Auditor for being able to (at short notice) facilitate our annual ISO 9001:2015 Audit remotely in the light of the recent and latest government recommendations arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The remote audit consisted of several short conference calls and email exchanges with our Assessor. Through these our Assessor easily accessed all relevant documentation for verification purposes. With all of our documentation readily to hand and available in electronic format, any queries, random selection of evidence and material and the relevant information or documentation sought by our Assessor could be readily made available using our online cloud file-sharing platform. This allowed NQA to verify against our Quality Management System and the Audit was undertaken in the same timescales as would a traditional visit to our offices.
We have no hesitation in recommending the utilisation of remote auditing in these uncertain and challenging times and, as result we have successfully completed our Annual Audit on the date as originally planned and have therefore incurred no delays, additional costs or interruption to the certification status of our Quality Management System”. NQA Client – Ashleigh Contracts (Philip Conacher)