We are all aware of the restrictions that the Coronavirus pandemic is placing on our businesses and personal lives. In these unprecedented times, the need to protect the health and safety of all individuals is of paramount importance.
This is why Atlas Certification has adopted a range of appropriate measures, first and foremost to protect the health and safety of our staff, but also to maintain confidence in the audit and certification process.
With immediate effect, Atlas Certification has implemented its Management of Extraordinary Event or Circumstances procedure is response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Our procedure outlines a risk-based approach about how we can reasonably and feasibly conduct an effective management system audit on a remote basis so-as to protect the health and safety of our team mates. We want to ensure that our regulators, your clients and other interested parties and stakeholders maintain confidence in the certification process whilst at the same time recognising the current international situation.
How this affects certification audits:
As a general approach we intend to conduct management system certification audits on a remote basis where it is feasible to do so using computer assisted techniques for example: file sharing, video conferencing, etc. Our approach will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the available operational evidence and the complexity of the client organisation. We expect to be conducting remote audits until at least 31st July 2020.
How this affects the validity of client certifications:
Where possible we will endeavour to complete audits on a remote basis in order to maintain certification. However it may be the case that some conditional certification arrangements are established for example: on-site verification audits completed as soon as restrictions are lifted.
Types of technology used for conducting remote audits:
As a preference we would prefer mainstream and internationally recognised platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Dropbox, etc. These solutions are considered as stable so-as-to accomodate the audit process. Other solutions may be considered of course.
Our existing information security process applies in respect to the security of information and data. We will also plan and discuss this with our clients in advance of audits to ensure the most secure methods of communication and data exchange is established.