How will Notified Bodies view companies that have not done their internal audits (on site or remote) but have put a documented COVID-19 mitigation in place for 2020? Will they issue an NC for this?
A documented mitigation is great, but if the organization was active regardless of COVID, the areas that were active should have been audited. Whether a NB will issue a NC is a good question. If you were stopped entirely as an organization, it’s less likely that you will be issued a NC, but if you were running part of your system then that section of your system should have been audited or be one of the first areas where audits are restarted.
How have remote supplier or external audits affected timelines? In other words, have you found that you’ve had to add an additional 1-2 days of auditing due to a remote audit environment?
Yes, we have found through the last year that audits are taking twice as long. This is a key reason we put out our six steps for improved remote audits and we have started to educate our customers on the strategies to master remote audits in 2021 and beyond via webinars and additional written content.
What are best practices to conduct a tour remotely?
A video tour is ideal. In terms of best practices, try not to make the auditor motion sick with a video moving irregularly and jumping from here to there. Also, try not to wear out the team member holding the video device. Lastly, encouraging someone on your team who shoots video regularly or who has time to learn a bit about videography to shoot the video will help your audit run more smoothly.
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