The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a substantial shift in how we work. For many, remote working has now become part of everyday life. Organizations such as certification and accreditation bodies have responded with ingenuity to provide much-needed conformity services, such as certification and accreditation in a dramatic shift from on-site to remote techniques.
Whilst we are still far from establishing what the so-called 'new normal' will look like, it seems like some degree of remote working will stay in place for many industries. So, what will that look like for those who work in conformity assessment? More specifically, what degree of enthusiasm and preparedness exists for this new way of working?
In August 2021, ISO and the global accreditation organizations IAF and ILAC concluded a joint survey that seeks to answer these questions. The survey aimed to find out views on remote techniques from a diverse range of people.
In total, 4320 complete responses were received from those who were both subject to, and delivering remote audits, assessments and evaluations. In addition to providing a snapshot of attitudes towards remote techniques, the survey received hundreds of suggestions, ideas and proposals from users, auditors, assessors and other people who have been subject to or delivered remote audits, assessments and evaluations.
Assuming no further pandemic restrictions, 60 % say they would prefer a blended audit, assessment or evaluation, i.e. one that mixes both remote and on-site techniques. At the same time, 19 % preferred 'fully remote' and 21 % preferred to continue 'on-site'.
The full report gives a wide range of perspectives from both sides of the industry on the current state of remote working and its future possibilities. ILAC have also published a more detailed article covering the joint survey, which is also presented in the news of the IAF website.
ISO members can access the full survey data for further analysis.