Part 7: Remote Audit – Reporting & Follow-Up
Almost done: you have successfully completed your first remote audit. In this last installment of our remote auditing series, we will provide some final tips on reporting and closing a remote audit.
This is the final part of a seven-part series of articles on remote auditing:
- Part 1 – Remote Audit Objectives
- Part 2 – Is a Remote Audit the Right Choice? The Risk Assessment
- Part 3 – Determine the Method
- Part 4 – Determine the Technology
- Part 5 – How to Prepare a Remote Audit
- Part 6 – Tips for Remote Audit Execution
- Part 7- Remote Audit Reporting & Follow-Up
The reporting and follow-up for remote audits is not very different from on-site audits. This means that the auditor must draft an audit report outlining the main findings, such as non-conformances, corrective actions, opportunities for improvement, etc.
While it is possible to record web conferences to document the audit, the recording cannot replace the audit report. Recordings should not be made without prior consent from both auditee and auditor. It also needs to be specified in writing what will happen with the recording (storage, distribution, security).
For documentation purposes, it is recommended to log the duration and participants of web conferences. This function is included in most commonly used tools. Participants need to consent to this.
Because conversations in web conferences may lead to misunderstandings, auditees should be given the opportunity to review the audit report, and to confirm what was heard, stated and read throughout the assessment.
Once the report is complete, the auditor will also need to confirm that he or she has deleted any confidential documents, images, recordings, etc, as per the previously agreed rules.
Let’s end this series with perhaps the most important tip of all. Remember that in Part 2, we discussed the risk assessment? The function of this risk assessment was to determine whether a remote audit would be effective enough. After the audit, the choice for a remote audit must be evaluated. If there is any doubt about the effectiveness of the remote audit procedure, an on-site audit must be considered.
That’s it! We hope this series of articles helped you to develop a structured approach to remote auditing. Remember that DQS has qualified auditors and teams across the globe, ready to assist with remote audits as well as on-site audits and certification. Contact us today – we will be happy to discuss your plans!