A new survey finds a preference for keeping remote or blended audits, assessments and evaluations.
A joint International Accreditation Forum (IAF), International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) poll examined views on virtual assessment techniques used during COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Some 4,320 responses were received.
According to the findings:
- Eighty percent of 1,258 respondents agreed remote procedures give the same confidence as onsite audits while 79 percent said they would like to see continued or increased use of remote activities in the future.
- More than 90 percent felt a substantial increase in remote techniques will stimulate the use of new processes and almost all agreed technologies and alternative techniques should be used.
- Benefits to remote working include reduced travel time and costs, efficient use of time during assessment, and a reduced carbon footprint.
While the organizations acknowledged uncertainty relative to what the “new normal” will look like, it was clear that some degree of remote working will remain for many industries.
Accreditation and conformity assessment bodies now provide services such as certification, inspection and testing and related accreditation activities remotely.
If there are no further pandemic restrictions, 60 percent would prefer blended audits, assessments or evaluations; 19 percent preferred fully remote and 21 percent wanted to continue onsite.