The advantages of a remote IMS audit

Future-proofing businesses, Wiser Environment highlights the many advantages of a remote IMS audit. COVID-19 has had an unintentional positive impact on the IMS auditing sector.  Movement restrictions have compelled conformity assessment bodies to utilise remote auditing methods. As a result, businesses are now receiving a service that has greater added value and specialisation.


Shaking up the Integrated Management System (IMS) industry, COVID-19 has pressured conformity assessment bodies (CABs) to move towards remote auditing methods. Wiser Environment expects that this will be the case for the foreseeable future. Whilst change can be difficult – and businesses should make preparations – the pivot to remote auditing does create added value. Pulling from their substantial experience, the Wiser IMS team has put together a list of the key advantages of a remote IMS audit.

Benefits of remote auditing

  • Most importantly, remote audits are quicker and more affordable when compared to traditional methods. Saving on travel time and elongated meetings, remote audits are streamlined; focusing on the key areas of the audit process.
  • The remote nature of the assessment method reduces the need for non-essential travel and in-turn saving time. This improves environmental performance and provides greater flexibility for all parties involved in the assessment.
  • To balance out the added flexibility, remote audits have a more rigorous structure. As a side effect of this structured approach, auditing the auditee’s business areas is more efficient and effective.
  • Remote assessment reduces the burden on the auditee’s operations. With traditional onsite auditing, a business and its workforce can feel compelled to accommodate the CAB’s audit team. This can inadvertently lead to operational interruptions and reduced throughput efficiencies. In a less taxing approach, remote audits only need to involve those operational teams at select times.
  • Wiser Environment finds that remote IMS audits have greater specialisation and are happening more frequently. This is because IMS audits are now easier and cheaper to conduct. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the Wiser IMS team found that auditors were prioritising business support functions over operational systems. Wiser reasons that CABs are now empowered to conduct less expansive audits more often.

Wiser Environment has extensive experience in developing integrated management systems and upgrading them to international standards. This includes ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50001 and ISO 45001. To hear more about how Wiser can help companies unlock the advantages of a remote IMS audit, contact Wiser Environment or call on 01480 462232.

Remote WAMITAB Assessment: Achieve a level 4 award from home

To help support operators improve their technical competence, the Wiser Training Assessment Centre has established a remote WAMITAB assessment program. Due to COVID-19, many operators are now on furlough and are no longer actively working on their site. During this time, these operators can continue to study towards their Level 4 operator competence award. Furthermore, this remote WAMITAB assessment is available to all candidates.


 As outlined by the HMRC, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS – also known as “furlough”) allows sites to claim for their operators’ wages. During this time, furloughed operators should not do any work for their company. However, these operators can still train and develop. The HMRC’s stance on this issue is that: “furloughed employees should be encouraged to undertake training.”  There is potential that reduced travel will continue beyond the lockdown period.

To help support operators who are seeking to achieve a WAMITAB Level 4 operator competence award, the Wiser Training Assessment Centre has established a remote assessment program. This assessment program accommodates and fits around the needs of the furloughed operator. Critically, candidates do not need to have access to an operational site in order to achieve their award.

Induction

As with all level 4 assessments, the induction is a key part of the process. The assessor and candidate will meet via a video call and go through the induction documentation together. Here, the assessor will explain the awards structure and their expectations of the candidate. Also at this stage, both parties will agree to timescales and schedule in future remote meetings.

Assessment

The remote WAMITAB assessment program will utilise the various digital conferencing platforms available. These networking tools will allow the candidate to demonstrate their underpinning knowledge from the comfort of their own home. Through a combination of recorded videos and audio, the assessor and candidate will gather evidence that fulfils the assessment criteria. As the furloughed candidate does not have access to a site, any observation-based assessment criteria will be achieved via simulation.

Certification

After the assessor and the candidate have completed their portfolio, the evidence will be sent to a third party for verification. Once verification is successful, the candidate will achieve their level 4 award. The COVID-19 movement restrictions do not have any impact on the certification process. So, candidates will not experience any process-driven delay at this stage.

Preparing for remote WAMITAB assessment

Wiser Training recommends that candidates should prepare for their remote assessment ahead of time. Importantly, they should take some additional time to familiarise themselves with the functionality of their preferred digital conferencing platform. Additionally, candidates should make sure that their hardware – for example, their microphone and webcam – are working correctly.

The Wiser Training Assessment Centre is ready to train and develop operators; improving their technical competence ahead of the industry restarting.  For more information contact Wiser Training or call on 01480 462232.