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 and clients, but also to maintain confidence in the audit and certification process.
Since 2020, Atlas Certification has implemented its Management of Extraordinary Events or Circumstances procedure in 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. 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:
In preparation for audit, we will discuss with you the safety risks associated with the Covid-19 pandemic taking into consideration the safety of your people and our auditors. Where it is feasible and safe to do so, we will conduct on-site audits, but when it is considered to be unsafe, then a remote approach will be considered, or a combination of the two.
During the remote parts of audits we will need to use computer assisted techniques to share documents, carry out live discussions with personnel and live video tours of your operational sites and activities. The approach we take will be on a case-by-case basis depending on the available operational evidence and the complexity of the organisation’s sites and activities.
We are continuing to review this approach based on updates and guidance from the UK and international Government authorities.
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 accommodate 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.
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