The Coronavirus (Covid-19) is causing tremendous impacts on a global scale and many organisations and individuals are questioning whether their certification is at risk should they not receive their assessments as planned.
The health and well-being of our clients, employees and contractors is our main focus and we need to be mindful of organisations needing to continue running operations, even if they are at limited capacities.
Maintaining certification(s) is one of the concerns of our clients and the Auva Management Team and the situation is being monitored closely and we are working on provisions.
One of the toughest things we are facing is the ever changing advice from government and restrictions, each time there is a change we need to reconsider the requirements of IAF ID3:2011, IAF ID12:2015 and IAF MD4:2018.
We have had extensive conversations and listened to feedback from our clients, consultants, auditors and stakeholders. As we would hope everyone is of the same opinion – safety first!
Auva has decided that we must be flexible with our approach, one rule does not fit all clients. If clients are happy to press ahead with the audit as usual and our auditor(s) are, we will perform the audit, unless the government advises otherwise.
Our advice to organisations certified by our competitors is to consider your options, do not be bullied by your certification provider and consider the impacts it may have on your business.
Consider the following:
- Can the audit be postponed rather than being conducted remotely? Without doubt an audit and site visit in person is far more effective than a remote audit.
- Remote auditing will not be possible for all clients, not all clients have everything held electronically, so if your certification body is to impose a remote audit regime can you provide all the information electronically or share it online?
- Most clients have extremely confidential and sensitive information, are you legally permitted to email or share this on line? If not will your certificate(s) be suspended? Are you happy to email your quotations etc. to the auditor?
- If an auditor is not able to complete the audit remotely, will you be charged for another audit? Who is going to pay for the auditor if the remote audit has to be aborted?
- We have heard of some certification bodies asking the auditors to consider taking pay cuts or reduced rates, this is strange if the audit is being conducted remotely, as the certification body is probably saving on travel expenses. If this is the case, ask for a discount.
- If you agree to an audit (via a visit or on site) and you need to self-isolate at the last minute will you be charged?
- If your certification body charges at the start of their financial year and for whatever reason they are not able to conduct the audit will the money be returned? Ask your provider if they have a provision to pay closer to the audit, not at the beginning of their fiscal year.
- Does your certification provider utilise a dial in system where you can share documents online? If so, is this compatible to your organisation? Do you have adequate internet download and upload speeds? Is your certification provider planning to record the interviews? Are you happy with that?
These are just some of the concerns we have received from organisations, if you have more please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, don’t be forced into something that doesn’t suit you, and the most effective style of auditing is in person!