Remote auditing, a new and safe way to assess cable manufacturing management systems
In an exceptional historical moment like the one we are experiencing, alternative measures are needed to verify manufacturers' management systems: compliance and effectiveness. For this reason, BASEC has been conducting systems’ audits remotely. Off-site audits have been proved to be a safer short-term measure, bringing many advantages.
The global coronavirus crisis is putting unprecedented pressure on companies of all sizes. As COVID-19 continues to spread, the guidelines change daily.
One of the tasks, required as part of the BASEC product approval scheme, is to assess management systems through regular on-site audits, with the main objective to verify that the manufacturing facilities continue to comply with BASEC's Product Certification Requirements (PCR).
BASEC’s top priority is obviously to ensure the safety of collaborators and customers, evidenced through on-going commitment to supporting partners within the industry in this unprecedented period. The on-site audit presents a potential risk for all those involved, and in some cases, it is not permitted due to travel restrictions. To this end, BASEC remains agile through the development of a new process for conducting audits, using digital technologies to preserve the validity of certificates and ensure the continuity of surveillance practices.
What is a remote audit?
The remote audit, using ICT (information and communication technologies), consists of a real-time off-site assessment of the manufacturer's systems and processes.
BASEC's remote audit procedure starts with the BASEC certification team contacting the customers to determine the feasibility of conducting the remote audit.
The auditor organises a preliminary meeting with the manufacturer to check the connectivity of the agreed ICT tools and reviews any risks which may affect the schedule, including availability of personnel for the interview and online witnessing of activities.
During the audit objective evidence is gathered, which includes the:
- Review of quality management system documents - the manufacturer provides access to all relevant documents digitally. The auditor checks and evaluates the documents with the auditee’s participation, asking for clarification or further information if necessary
- Interviewing of the process owners, relevant to specific processes being audited - the auditor conducts a series of remote interviews with the relevant personnel as per the audit plan. During these interviews, s/he investigates and assesses the effectiveness of the systems implemented for the manufacturing and testing of cables
- Real-time activity observation - the auditor visits the premises of the manufacturer using immersive technology, which allows live video and audio interaction. BASEC’s team of auditors are cable specialists, this process enables the expert auditor to guide the visit, directing the video and audio where s/he deems most appropriate, thus carrying out a complete visual assessment of processes and activities
What are the key benefits?
In this challenging historical moment, due to the global pandemic, BASEC's audit processes have had to adapt. While preparing for the restart of local economies, at the end of the lockdown, processes have been updated to:
- Ensure the continuity of process controls
- Guarantee the complete safety of the manufacturer’s and BASEC’s teams
- Carry out continuous surveillance
- Maintaining certifications
- Increase flexibility and reduced travel times
- Decrease the carbon footprint
The audit team look forward to interacting with cable manufacturer’s onsite audits, when the time is right in the near future, continuing commitment to quality.
Choose quality - request BASEC Product Approval for your cables