Feedback from customers using Lloyd’s Register’s (LR) remote audit services during the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that overwhelmingly, businesses find them ‘easy to arrange and consistent in output’ – indicating that remote auditing is here to stay as part of the ‘new normal’ for the world of assurance.
The study follows an increase in remote services delivered by the management systems, assurance and auditing specialist during the various lockdown restrictions experienced across the globe.
After surveying over 900 of its global customers, including those in the manufacturing, engineering, IT and telecoms / sectors, LR found that 82% felt the audit was just as in-depth as the traditional on-site audits they had received previously. Additionally, 83% felt the audit provided the same, if not more, value for money, while 87% found it to be easy, or very easy, to arrange.
Remote technology will now play a key role in LR’s assurance services, providing businesses with a blended solution of both online and offsite audits, in accordance with accreditation body requirements. Safe and secure, remote audits are easily accessible and offer a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional onsite audits. In addition, they effectively remove geographical boundaries, minimise disruption for companies and allow for more people to be involved, including sector and technical specialists based all over the world.
Paul Butcher, Managing Director at LR, Business Assurance & Inspection Services, commented: “Remote audits are certainly not new, but the COVID-19 pandemic has meant a number of new businesses across multiple industries have been introduced to their capabilities. Working together with our customers to agree the best approach for them, we will now look to deliver our audits remotely where possible, using the power of technology to make the audit as effective and efficient as possible for organisations across the world.”
Remote auditing services allows Lloyd’s Register’s technical experts to review documentation and data away from the site. Audits are flexible and can take place in a time suitable to the business, with no compromise to the end result.
Through a range of digital devices and secure platforms, remote audits maintain the high standards of onsite audits and can be co-witnessed by stakeholders, who can also interact with auditors via a live stream, while offering flexibility for businesses.
All ISO certification standards can be delivered remotely, including ISO 9001 (quality management systems), 14001 (environmental management), ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety) and ISO 22000 (food safety management) as well as a range of information security standards.
Paul added: “The feedback shows a real appetite for remote, especially in terms of consistency and flexibility – and the reduced carbon footprint they provide is an added bonus. Not only do they allow companies to continue their certification journeys, they can help speed up the process, particularly for those with multiple sites.”