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The practical challenges of managing health, safety and wellbeing within organisations have changed focus with many staff now remote working from their home. The current COVID-19 situation is highlighting even more the need for robust systems and processes to be in place, whether that’s the legal requirements of safeguarding your people through to protecting physical property. Now is an appropriate time to think about starting or continuing your audit journey with us.
Introducing remote auditing
In these uncertain times, there are many elements of your organisation that will need to change and adapt to remain operational. If you currently have an ISO 45001 or 14001 certification or previously held a 5 star best practice audit, one of those elements is your external audit arrangements. So, what happens now?
We have embraced this challenge and adapted its services to meet clients’ needs. On 1st April 2021 we launched an amended version of our services which allows clients to be audited remotely to the ISO 45001 and 14001 standards, together with our unique suite of Five-Star best practice audit services, without compromising on the high standards you expect.
You receive all the benefits of a structured auditing process but with the benefits of the initial stages carried out remotely. This is being made possible by advances in technology that allow our auditors to carry out much of the initial assessment remotely. It enables organisations to obtain and maintain certification standards thereby helping to protect your workforce as well as win new business and retain clients.
- Applicable to most sectors and organisations
- Maintains the certification cycle for both ISO45001 and ISO14001 standards
- Ensures ongoing compliance
- Similar structured process to on-site delivered audits
- Requires less of your time than traditional face to face meetings
- Can be used for initial (stage 1) certification and annual surveillance audits
- Unique and confidential facility for each client.
The audit process has been adjusted to reflect the current global situation. In normal circumstances audits would be exclusively site based, but we are now providing a two-phased approach. Phase 1 is conducted remotely and phase 2 will be site based within 3 months, or at a time where travel restrictions are lifted.
The phase 1 (systems review) remote based audit will primarily consist of a documentation review and representative interviews. An interim report outlining findings and recommendations is provided at the end of phase 1.
The phase 2 (implementation review) will consist of on-site based observations, verification and interviews in the normal manner.
We are offering a very flexible solution for your external audit planning. We have created a support guide that provides a framework for clients to determine appropriate evidence for the remote based audit review. A secure GDPR compliant online platform has also been created whereby you can upload this evidence.
Will this apply to any certification visits?
Stage 1, 14001 and 45001 applications can be completed through this process along with first- and second-year surveillance. Only stage 2 certification audits are excluded, as they are intended to provide verification of effective implementation which requires on-site observations.
How does this help my Five-Star goals?
We know that many of our clients strive for continual improvement toward best practice status through achieving a five-star grade. Undertaking a phase 1 remote review, provides clients the opportunity to address recommendations identified by the auditor and increase the possibility of attaining a higher overall outcome following completion of the phase 2 audit, where a full report and final score will be issued.
The ultimate goal of many five-star grade holders is to enter the prestigious Sword and Globe of Honour Awards. The awards recognise and celebrate HSE excellence bringing together hundreds of like-minded international leaders across sectors. Starting your auditing journey with a phase 1 remote audit will put you well on the way to achieving a five-star audit and being able to enter the awards. We strongly recommend that you get ahead of the curve as applications are likely to be fierce as we move forward and organisations get back to normal.
What to do next
For more information, please contact your account manager or click on the link below to request a callback. One of our team will be happy to discuss the process in detail with you.
Similar to remote auditing, we are pleased to confirm that remote consultancy services are also now available through the British Safety Council. We are using similar technology to remote auditing, meaning that you can have confidential and structured verbal and visual conversations with our experts whenever is convenient for you.
Our remote consultancy services can support and advise on your return to operational planning, crisis management, risk management and overall health, safety and wellbeing systems management.
If you are interested in help and advice around your health and safety systems, legal, compliance, best practice, external assurance or benchmarking, please get in touch with your account manager. Alternatively, click on the link below and one of our team will be in touch.