At ComplianceQuest, we recently published a whitepaper on conducting remote audits for both quality and safety management. The paper focused on the following topics:
- Why remote audits are ideal for certain use cases
- Best practices to conduct effective and efficient audits remotely
- Risks and challenges with remote audits
- The role of automation and digital transformation
While quality and safety leaders are not new to remote audits, the pandemic certainly accelerated its usage, especially when auditors had access to next-generation EQMS and EHS solutions — that facilitated and enabled them to conduct effective and useful remote audits.
Looking to design a robust system to conduct remote audits? This whitepaper from ComplianceQuest offers a set of guidelines to make sure the audit is efficient, effective and useful. Download it here.
In this blog, we’ll focus on a few best practices for conducting remote audits that drive continuous improvement of quality and safety systems and processes. The key point to remember here is that “attention to detail” is critical while conducting audits remotely. It has to be done with the same level of seriousness of in-person audits, in addition to making sure all technology requirements of running a remote audit are in place.
Broadly speaking, the auditor leading the audit process must ensure the following:
- Full commitment from executive management to run a remote audit, with a well-defined agenda. For an audit to be useful, it is critical to run a process that is data-driven and, therefore, one needs the support of a next-generation EQMS tool with world-class dashboards, easy flow of information and high-levels of data visibility.
- Depending on the nature of business and size of operations, a remote audit can become extremely complex. Quality and safety leaders must understand the complexity of an audit and evaluate if a remote audit will really be effective or whether an in-person audit is needed?
- It is critical for auditors to have all relevant documents at their fingertips. You need a next-generation document management system that makes it easy to share and collaborate documents with ease.
- Even before the audit starts, it is crucial to establish a set of protocols and standard operating procedures. Ideally, there must be a single point of contact at the company to assist the auditor with whatever information is requested.
- Last but not the least, during a remote audit, all employees who have a role to play must know their tasks clearly. They must have the right data and information. They must have access to an EQMS with real-time data and metrics that matter. They should also know who to contact when something outside their purview comes up.
Just like in a physical audit, remote audits too need detailed planning and scoping. In our whitepaper, we also talk about common risks and challenges faced by leaders during a remote audit process and why automation is the way forward.
The role of digital tools and a next-generation EQMS to conduct Remote Audits
Automating the quality and safety management workflow can improve the reliability of the auditing process by seamlessly integrating the following:
- Document management
- Incident reporting
- Root cause analysis
- CAPA inputs
Right from planning and preparation to audit report and closure, the audit management software can automate the audit workflow for greater efficiency and preparedness. It can help businesses define the audit checklist to improve the effectiveness of audits.
The software facilitates accessing documents and reports of past audits and capture failure trends to take corrective and preventive action for continuous improvement. This can help auditors get an overview of risk areas, assess mitigative efforts and suggest improvements, which will improve the overall quality and safety of the organization.
ComplianceQuest offers an integrated Quality, Health, Safety and Environment Management system built on the cloud-based Salesforce.com platform. It is a robust, scalable, flexible solution aligned with the leading regulatory standards.
The audit management software helps businesses manage their internal and external audits right from planning to implementation of recommendations for improvement. Being highly integrated, it lends itself smoothly to remote auditing by providing an enterprise-wide view of quality and safety related data without sacrificing on security requirements .
While the onus of the virtual tour of the facilities in an honest and open manner will still lie with the organization, ComplianceQuest’s QHSE solution furthers the commitment of the businesses to deliver on their promise of quality and safety.
To know more about our QHSE solution and how it can improve your audit-readiness in person or remotely, visit: https://www.compliancequest.com/audit-management-software-system/
Get a complimentary personalized demo here.