First published: 19/03/2020
Last updated: 15/04/2020
While we continue to work to prevent the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19, we will look wherever possible to offer uninterrupted support to your organisation using remote assurance technology to make sure your certification and training requirements are not at risk.
For organisations which hold ISO certification with us and/or GFSI Food Safety standards and schemes, please visit the remote audit section below. Please note that in some industries, remote audit is referred to as remote assessment. This section is relevant to both.
For organisations which hold EU Industrial Services Directives with us, or use LRQA for any other inspection related services, please visit the remote inspection section below.
Remote audit (sometimes referred to as remote assessment) is when all or part of an audit of management systems is conducted by LRQA using ICT as part of the audit methodology. Remote audit can be used in several situations including:
- Review of key documentation and audit interviews using teleconference tools.
- Site activities, by verifying documentation and records, by interviewing auditees and even by auditing facilities and processes using streaming video and audio footage through mobile or other technology.
- Follow up of corrective and preventive actions in response to non-conformities can also be carried out remotely. Documentation can be shared via our Client Portal and reviewed by an LRQA Team Leader combined with interview using audio connection.
Depending on the situation and your preferences, remote audits can be done on your main site, reaching out to other sites which are part of your organisation, or with the auditor working remotely, for example from home, from an LRQA office or your main site connecting to remote locations.
If you have an enquiry about remote audits, please contact us
When can remote audits be used?
Remote audit can be used for all non-accredited second and third party audits.
The use of remote audit is permitted under IAF rules and in some cases by scheme owners, but its application is controlled and cannot be used in all circumstances. The viability of remote audit for third party audits is dependent In times of national and international emergency, further concessions may be made by each scheme owner.
The table below shows the current rules around application:
It’s fast, flexible, safe and can be delivered in a variety of ways including:
Our assessors will guide you through the process whilst you operate the equipment and we will ensure that you have everything you need for the audit.
Our auditors will live-stream the audit directly to relevant parties within your organisation. Your own stakeholders are then able to co-witness and interact during our audit whilst keeping your travel costs to a minimum.
Whichever model of delivery you choose, the entire audit can be documented via visual recording thereby delivering transparency - and it is auditable. Pre-agreed data and information can also be sent to LRQA for review and analysis at various stages of the audit process.
Our remote audits are underpinned with our easy-to-use app, LRQA Remote, which is downloadable free of charge from Google Play or the App Store. It can easily be installed across standard mobile devices and only needs internet connectivity either via WiFi or your local network provider (3/4G).
Our remote audits comply with relevant accreditation bodies requirements, where applicable, giving you the confidence in our ability to provide expert guidance and support.
We can provide accredited remote audits against the following standards:
Yes for all these standards.
No restrictions (in accordance with IAF MD41) for all these standards.
No restrictions (in accordance with IAF MD4). Restrictions may apply if delivered in conjunction with MDSAP.
ISO 45001 / OHSAS 18001
During the duration of the current pandemic, there are NO restrictions placed on the application of remote audit against these standards.
Once the situation returns to normal, the original restrictions will be enforced.
AS 9100 series
Only for 2020 scheduled audits, we can employ Remote audit in accordance with MD4 and the scheme imposed 30% limit has been suspended.
Remote audits can be done in full.
2nd Party Non-Accredited Food Sector Audits
LRQA has the capability to offer a range of desktop audits and remote assessments for farms, food manufacturers, warehouses and retailers.
Assessments are based around the individual customers’ needs.
For more information have a look at our COVID-19 GFSI temporary audit measures page
Yes, in part
Partial remote audits can be done in special circumstances, following a Risk Assessment, for surveillance and certification renewal purposes, within the six-month postponement period.
1. IAF Mandatory Documents (MD’s) can be downloaded from here - IAF Documents
Our remote inspections can be delivered in a variety of ways including:
Customer-operated: Our technical expert will guide you through the process while you operate the equipment and we will ensure that you have everything you need for the assessment.
Co-witnessed: Our technical expert will live-stream the audit directly to relevant parties within your organisation. Your own stakeholders can co-witness and interact during our audit or inspection.
Whichever model of delivery you choose, the entire assessment can be documented via visual recording which is auditable. Pre-agreed data can also be sent to LRQA for review and analysis at a later stage for both client-operated and co-witnessed assessments. Our remote inspections are underpinned with our LRQA Remote app.
If you have a query about remote inspections, please contact us.
When can remote inspections be used?
LRV UKAS accreditation certification including:
- Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 - Construction products CPR system 2+,
- Pressure Equipment Directive 2014/68/EU – All quality modules
- Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC Full Quality Assurance, Annex X
- Marine Equipment Directive 2014/90/E Quality modules D & E
- TPED 2010/35/EU – All quality modules (inc. ADR/RID as applicable).
- ISO 3834 – QMS Assessments & 17065 Scheme Audits
- IOD 2016/797, Module SG, SD, SH1
Yes for all, with restrictions
Short-term, with restrictions. Please contact LRQA for further details.
This is currently under review
ASME Inspection / Joint Reviews
In countries where travel restriction is in place, ASME and NB are accepting request for cancellations from manufacturers/repair organisations in view COVID-19 situation. Extensions are equally granted. Businesses need to approach ASME/NB and not LR.
MYS – DOSH (Dept. of Safety and Health)
Temporary, with restrictions. Please contact LRQA for further details.
Dutch in-service pressure equipment inspection regulations (WBDA)
With restrictions, please contact LRQA Netherlands inspection department.
ECD Directives: Assessments and re-certification visits can be postponed for up to a maximum of six months, following which automatic suspension applies.
As a result of Coronavirus COVID-19, we appreciate that it may not possible to attend our face-to-face training courses for a variety of reasons. In many countries, we have alternative online options available including virtual classrooms and eLearning.
Contact us to find out which online options are available for you .
Virtual learning refers to classroom sessions delivered online, live or pre-recorded. For all virtual classroom courses (except classroom CQI IRCA accredited courses) you will still be eligible to receive the same certificate on completion as you would for a traditional face-to-face training course.
eLearning offers flexible online learning at your own pace, for any number of employees, from one learner to thousands, from a location convenient for you.
To help collectively reduce the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19, please be aware that LRQA has introduced additional protocols to help assess the risks associated with our business activities.
We are committed to the highest levels of health and safety. As such, our Business Resilience and Continuity Plan (BRP) is well established to address all credible and significant risks in order to protect personnel, the environment, the public and our customers in the event of an incident, however serious or widespread it may be. Our BRP team is meeting on a daily basis to make sure all risks relating to the continuous provision of our services are mitigated.
We are reviewing assessor/surveyor/inspector/trainer travel on a case-by-case basis and introducing very clear guidelines which confirm whether there are possible alternative options. These include rescheduling, delaying non-critical work and exploring where our services can be undertaken remotely/online.
If it is not possible for us to conduct a traditional audit/survey/inspection/training session, we will contact you to discuss the options available in accordance with the applicable rules and to guarantee the continuity and validity of your certifications and meet your training requirements.
LRQA actions taken to date
Our focus is to protect the health of our employees, customers and our communities. To contain the virus since the outbreak, we have taken the following actions:
- Strictly followed government and health authority guidelines on both mandatory and self-isolation within affected areas;
- Introduced quarantining where necessary;
- Been in continuous dialogue with our staff to report any illness of themselves or their close family members;
- Provided additional protective equipment, including masks, gloves, sanitising equipment and temperature monitors to our employees;
- Trained our employees on coronavirus prevention, established a series of communications channels to promote important hygiene messages and continue to address our employee’s concerns and questions as they arise; and
- Ensured full and immediate compliance with the central and local governmental instructions.
Alex Briggs, Global Head of Brand and Communications
T: +44 (0)330 414 1315
Beth Elliot, Global Marketing Communication & PR Manager
T: +44 (0)330 414 1412