Home Resources News

COVID-19 - Message to Our Customers

17 January 2022
UPDATE ON OUR CURRENT COVID-19 AUDITING PRACTICES

NQA are first and foremost committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all customers, employees, associate partners and interested parties. We continue to be mindful of our clients’ need to have business continuity in their operations, including maintaining required certification(s). Throughout the pandemic we have worked hard to address our client’s concerns and successfully support the continuity of certification.

To support both you and our colleagues, we are conducting audits remotely where possible. Except for the industry standards detailed below.

Where an audit cannot be effectively undertaken remotely, we will aim to conduct all or part of the audit on-site.

Audits in the aerospace (AS 9100, AS 9120), automotive (IATF 16949), food safety (FSSC 22000) and vehicle recovery (PAS 43) sectors will be conducted on-site unless in exceptional circumstances.

National government restrictions and the prevalence of COVID-19 are subject to frequent change. It is pragmatic to assume your audit will be undertaken remotely unless told otherwise by NQA. Your auditor will discuss this with you prior to your audit taking place.

We will review this position when the government recommendation to work from home is relaxed and the prevalence of the virus is lower. We anticipate conducting a higher proportion of audits on site in spring 2022.

What To Expect

Your Assessor will contact you six weeks, four weeks and two weeks prior to your remote audit to cover the following aspects:

  • Understand how the pandemic is impacting your business and any other changes since your last audit (if relevant)

  • Confirm the audit method (on-site, remote or a mix)

  • Agree your audit plan

  • Decide the technology that will be used to facilitate the remote audit (NQA mainly use Microsoft Teams, but we can also use your chosen technology method)

  • Answer any questions or concerns you may have

How Should You Prepare

NQA have now conducted thousands of remote audits and can assure you there is nothing to be concerned about.
 
We have created plenty of tools to help you prepare for your audit, and have gathered lots of client testimonials to help put your mind at ease.

Webinars To Support You

All of our webinars are free to attend and are designed to provide you with the opportunity to ask us any questions you may have.
 
Watch anytime webinars:

Looking Forward

We anticipate the pandemic becoming more stable in the coming year. Later in 2022, NQA intends to introduce its approach to auditing in a business-as-usual environment. Our priorities are to ensure the integrity of the certification process, improving customer experience and customer choice.

This new approach will transition NQA from the exceptional circumstances caused by COVID-19 to a future model. This will:

  • Include the option for audits to be conducted on-site, remotely or a mixture of on-site and remotely (blended).

  • Support client choice as to whether audits are conducted on-site or remotely. Within the boundaries set out by the appropriate industry regulations.

  • Safeguard the integrity of the audit and certification process

  • Ensure NQA complies with relevant industry regulations related to remote and on-site auditing.

Any Questions Or Need Further Support?

You may have lots of questions right now. Our team are on hand to help you navigate your certification during these challenging times. Please call us on 0800 052244 to discuss your specific requirements or email us.