Virtual Internal Audits
During this pandemic, all companies have had to reinvent themselves in order to continue operating and carrying out—at least—the most important parts and operations. This is why you will notice every single business trying to come up with new ideas and different methods to handle their sales, buys, and in this case, audits. Audits are one of the most important parts of any company due to the need of determining the degree of conformance with the implemented ISO standards.
Therefore, if you don’t carry them often or as usual, you will have to face more problems without being able to go to your office or company and deal with them. But, how can you conduct or manage an audit program when you need to be in your office with your team to handle this? Well, it is not 100% necessary to conduct an on-site audit when you can manage to do it virtually.
This idea not only comes due to the pandemic but rather to find comfort for all the people involved in the process. Internal audits can be exhausting, especially when your company is large and there are tons of work to do and no enough time to handle it. So, if you are thinking about conducting one or more, consider the idea of using technology and the equipment everyone has nowadays to manage them and succeed with the goal.
Now, you need to be aware of several elements and aspects to make this happen. As you might know already, internal audits require that you follow and implement certain standards. More specifically, ISO 9001, which has all the guidelines, requirements, and elements to follow in order to carry out a proper audit in your company.
This ISO is only for auditing management systems, which means that any type of audit you are trying to conduct can be reviewed and searched about in this standard. All companies have to go through ISO 9001 to conduct an internal audit and when it comes to Virtual Internal Audit it isn’t any different.
Therefore, the first thing you need to worry about when thinking about this option is to implement this standard. But, why would you invest your time in implementing this—probably again—when you have already conducted internal audits before?
Well, the parameters and requirements and very similar for in-site audits and virtual ones, but that “very similar” is what gives you the answer to the previous question: because there is something different.
For Virtual Internal Audits, ISO 9001 has some extra parameters and different requirements to guarantee you develop and implement a Virtual Internal Audit program within your company properly.
After all, standards all about this, and you will notice that it isn’t as simple as conducting another ISO standard implementation for the first time.
What are the most common problems with Virtual Internal Audit?
Well, to begin with, you can’t run or hide from the usual ones when it comes to on-site audits. You might be conducting and managing an audit program while sitting on your couch or being anywhere but your company. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t face similar problems like the ones you notice within your team of auditors and experts.
Starting with the time they have to conduct the audit without problems. If we focus on why companies would prefer a virtual audit instead of an in-site one, the first reason that comes to our mind is how simple and practical it is to conduct. After all, no one has to prepare to go to the company and spend hours in an office where they can definitely find distractive elements.
Also, most auditors or experts in charge of this area have other responsibilities and tasks to deal with. So, the virtual option is to make everything more comfortable and manageable for both you and the auditors you have trained to conduct the audit. But, belief or not, you still can face problems such as:
- Having to train your auditors over and over again to understand the dynamic and conduct a Virtual Internal Audit program properly.
- They don’t have enough time to conduct the audit as they should or assist in the meetings due to the rest of the responsibilities, they are handling either virtually or in-site.
- They don’t understand about Core Tools that are required in two specific industries and influence the audit process: automotive and aerospace industries.
- There is laziness within your team and because of this, they are not conducting the audit as they should, which affects the results you obtain from it.
Dealing with these problems or issues might be more difficult when it comes to conducting meetings virtually and not being able to review the sources of the problems face-to-face. However, this is why you also need to meet your standard issues. After all, ISO 9001 has several guidelines and parameters that can help you with this.
Sometimes, it isn’t a choice but necessary
Most companies that decide to conduct virtual audits are because they don’t have more options but this. We gave you an example of needing it due to the current problem with the pandemic, but you could have many other personal reasons to not manage an audit program in-site. And this is completely acceptable and understandable.
But when we consider these possibilities, you end up deciding to conduct it to cover your needs for it and make sure you are not neglecting this responsibility in your company. But what happens when it is the only way? Some companies face difficulties with on-site audits due to space, people and auditors they have available for this.
In simpler words, it is difficult to find a space and create a department for this purpose only, although it is important enough to make the sacrifice and invest in it. If you are facing a situation like this where you would prefer in-site audits instead of virtual ones but it isn’t a choice but rather what you need and can do, make sure to contact us. Our company ISO Pros can help you to determine what you need to do in order to conduct a Virtual Internal Audit without noticing a difference in the results.
For this, we have to work and assist you in the ISO standards for this type of audit, which is our specialty and you might have noticed it thanks to our company’s name. What ISOs do you have to worry about?
The only ISO you need to pay attention to in this case—and with our support—is ISO 9001, but the latest version that came out in 2015.
This version has all the parameters and requirements for auditing management systems through any media or channel.
You will learn a lot, and we are talking about virtual audits only. Your company needs to be familiar with the internal audit requirements and all the guidelines that take to conduct a proper audit program.
After all, some basic information isn’t any different even with the method you are using to conduct them. What varies is how you are contacting the rest of the team, sharing information, and a few extra elements.
But, why would it be any different to identify non-conformities although you are not in your company or office?
Is ISO 9001:2015 the only one that requires attention for this audit?
No. there are many other ISO standards involved in auditing itself. ISO 9001 is just a standard that provides the guidelines and basic requirements about how to conduct an audit properly. This is why you must be certified on it, at least, if you want to obtain the desired results through a well-developed and conducted audit.
However, other standards are relevant depending on the industry your company is part of or focused on. For example, if your company is in the automotive industry, you also need to be familiar with these standards. IATF 16949 is an example of this, and it is just the beginning.
Discussing this takes us to the main purpose of our company and the support you can find with us: maintaining and keeping all your Virtual Internal Audit ISO standards on check. We will make sure you have implemented every pertinent and relevant ISO in your company. In this way, you will be able to conduct an audit program without limitations, and doing virtually won’t be an obstacle at all.
There is a lot to do and if you are going to choose this option, we suggest you do it as soon as possible. This will allow you—and us—to start implementing all the standards and checking if you meet every requirement. You have a long way to go and we would love to assist and help you with it.
After all, you can get certified in every ISO for Virtual Internal Audit with us. In our company, ISO Pros, we provide a complete experience due to our expertise. We are familiar with audits and even carry them out or conduct them when needed.
We will save you a lot of time, resources, and money by supporting you to follow the guidelines and every ISO standard. By the end of the day, you will be certified in not only ISO 9001:2015 but rather every ISO out there that is related to your company’s industry and the type of auditing you are choosing.