Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many business trips and face-to-face meetings are being cancelled or postponed. Some things, however, cannot generally be postponed, including a company’s management system audits. RISE has adapted its work methods and can now conduct large parts of these audits digitally, which means customers need not be left without valid certificates.
Covid-19 is affecting every industry. Business trips and face-to-face meetings are being cancelled or postponed to limit the spread of infection. Audits, however, cannot be postponed as companies risk being left without valid certificates. RISE has adapted its operations and can now conduct large parts of its audits digitally using various digital tools.
– “We’ve used remote audits before. For both partial and full audits. Previously, this mainly concerned part of a larger audit, but since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, the main reason is to ensure that we’re doing all we can to limit the spread of infection,” says Peter Karlsson, head of management system certification at RISE.
RISE adapting to changing conditions
RISE offers personal certifications, product certifications and management system certifications. Since the beginning of March 2020, increasingly more customers have introduced restrictions on external visitors, which means that meetings with the company’s auditors cannot always be conducted in person. As a result, RISE has adapted its operations to offer digital audits.
– “We conduct audits based on international standards, that is, ISO standards, and our customers range from major international corporations to small family businesses with a handful of employees. Each audit is unique to the concerned company. Some are shorter, taking maybe half a day. Others take weeks. And our customers are found throughout Sweden,” says Peter.
We always decide in consultation with the customer whether an audit should be conducted digitally or onsite
The same high quality as onsite audits
Conventional audits entail interviews with executives and other company employees. An audit can also involve the reporting of, for example, different aspects of production or waste management. An audit often requires that the customer can show that what they describe in theory also works in practice.
– “We conduct interviews and follow-ups using, for example, Teams or a similar digital app. A digital audit is usually of the same high quality as an onsite audit. We always decide in consultation with the customer whether an audit should be conducted digitally or onsite, and – so far – we’ve only cancelled a few audits since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Essentially, only companies working in healthcare have been forced to completely cancel. And, naturally, this is completely understandable. They shouldn’t be disturbed at this time,” says Peter.
Remote audits reduces environmental impact
Remote audits offer many advantages, other than the obvious of limiting the spread of infection. Fewer trips also mean less environmental impact.
RISE has a broad range of customers, with varying levels of digital maturity.
– “The vast majority have no issues with digital rather than face-to-face meetings, although we also have smaller customers who might be on a 4G network in the forest, which might make it more difficult to conduct a fully digital audit. In those cases, we try to be flexible,” says Peter.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the industry and RISE is well-positioned to remain at the forefront of this change.
– “RISE is home to a wealth of knowledge. There are 2,800 of us, all with very different skill sets. With that kind of support to fall back on, we can continue refining our offering. The crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic was the starting shot, and now we’ll just have to see where it leads,” Peter ends.