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Webinar Offers Lessons Learned to Improve Virtual Audits

Webinar Offers Lessons Learned to Improve Virtual Audits

Like many of our colleagues, Environmental Standards’ auditing road warriors found themselves looking for novel ways to continue our audit work during quarantine. The apparent choice was performing the audits remotely. While it sounds like, “Problem Solved!,” conducting proper remote audits that are equally as useful is a much more challenging problem to solve. Even though Environmental Standards has been performing remote audits for quite some time, the necessary depth and degree would have to be considered.

Each week, our Auditors met and discussed what worked well with remote audits and what did not. Through this iterative process and shared experience, Environmental Standards Auditors honed their approach, explored new technologies to assist with the remote-audit process, and adapted. Eventually, we developed a written program document to govern our remote audits, which represented the culmination of knowledge from having performed many remote audits.

We recently began sharing our experience and lessons learned from these endeavors with our key industrial clients and partners. As part of the sharing, we also began polling our clients to understand where the broader industry was in terms of conducting remote audits. The poll question was,

If you or others in your organization have undertaken virtual audit(s), did they result in a:

  • Relatively positive experience.
  • Neutral experience.
  • Less than favorable experience.
  • We have not yet undertaken a virtual audit.

We found that 40% of our industrial clients had performed a remote audit, the other 60% had not yet undertaken a remote audit. Of those that had performed a remote audit, most had a relatively positive experience, with just about 70% of respondents selecting that response. Conversely, only 4% reported a less than favorable experience. Twenty-seven percent reported a neutral experience.

Shaun Gilday

Senior Advisor/Principal