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The new normal: navigating our Covid audit by Amanda Bate, Fusion People

Amanda Bate, of Fusion People Limited has written a short piece detailing her experience whilst progressing with her audit under the current Covid restrictions. Read below for her account on areas that were different and factors that remained the same.

Our audit experience started as normal, we booked the date for the audit and as expected had no problems with the booking or payment process.

We downloaded the new protocols for the audit as our audit was due to take place on the 10th September and this would be the first week the new 302 standards were in effect.  I would recommend others make sure that they read these in advance to ensure they do not get caught out by the changes.

The auditor confirmed the dates and as it was to be a remote audit, he booked the Teams meeting in advance.  We had been through our ISO audits remotely, so we had our evidence readily available to show online.

In preparation for this audit we used the protocol and produced a matrix of which processes, policies and evidence that would be required as evidence of compliance.  This preparation was invaluable it helped the audit flow and meant we didn’t have to look for the evidence when questioned by the auditor; it is very important when being audited this way. As an organisation, we use Teams and share screens regularly which again prepared us for the audit, but as with most companies, we have had the odd glitch, if you don’t use it regularly I would recommend doing a few tests with colleagues so that you are confident when it comes round to the audit day.

Our auditor was very clear in the process, we agreed timings for breaks, time away etc and potential outcomes so again make sure you get this agreed before you start.

We felt that the audit itself was different, you do lose that personal interaction with the auditor even with the camera on.  That’s not to say that it was robotic, but people engage differently / more when you are face to face in the same room. Our auditor, however, was clear in his questioning, understood the protocols and had patience as we dragged the documents to the share screen. 

 The overall experience has been positive as we were well prepared with our understanding of the requirements, but I think companies would struggle or the audit would most likely take twice as long if this wasn’t the process for everyone.

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