An article in Quality Digest regarding remote auditing (or virtual auditing) recently caught our eye, not just because of its relevance in today’s climate of dealing with a pandemic, but because this method may become more of an option to companies looking to save time and cost.
According to “ISO 9001 Auditing Practices Group: Guidance on Remote Audits” , the document states “New information and communication technologies (ICT) have made remote auditing more feasible. As access to ICT has increased, remote auditing has become more commonly used. This allows the auditor to communicate with people globally, accessing a wide range of information and data.” Simply put, we are a long and far distance from the days of the paper nightmare that sorely hurt the image of ISO 9001, and made it a documentation nightmare back in the days of paper-intensive QMS programs. Most QMS documentation these days are in some form of electronic data, from simple Word documents to ERP systems that control a company’s documentation.
That being said, if you think a remote internal audit is something that could benefit your organization, be prepared to have document at the ready for the auditor to review. Simple tools such as Dropbox, or similar methods can be used to communicate with auditors to provide evidence of system conformance. These tools make it easy and simple to send large files for compliance evidence.
Another issue could be the need to provide real-time visual evidence which could be captured through such tools as Zoom, Skype, and Office Teams. These services can easily be used with cell phones either through Android or iPhone operating systems.
The bottom line is that 21st century technology eliminates the need to postpone an audit. Keep your system up to date and compliant by considering the option of remote auditing. It can save both time and money in terms of travel costs and allowing your employees to focus on what is essential – keeping your business profitable and your QMS effective.
Contact G3 Solutions today, and let us show you how!