What are the IATF rules regarding doing internal audits remotely?

DariusPlumdon

Involved In Discussions
What are the IATF rules regarding conducting IATF16949 internal audits remotely?

During the height of the Covid pandemic we conducted internal audits remotely & our external audit was conducted remotely as well.

Travel restrictions have been lifted, but we have several internal auditors who are understandably still reluctant to travel owing to Covid and their personal situation (e.g. older and/or in high risk groups).

Our company is based in Europe & on the certification we are (rightly) listed as remote site to our parent company based in the Far East.

There is no manufacturing within Europe, we are design centres & regional sales only who send designs to the Far East for production.

I can find a lot of guidance regarding (remote) audits by our external certification body, but nothing on internal audits, so any links or guidance would be most appreciated
 

Johnny Quality

Quite Involved in Discussions
Darius,

IATF 16949:2016 does not comment on whether internal audits must be done on-site or remotely. However, it does state the internal audit process must be documented, cover the entire quality management system including management system audits, manufacturing process audits and product audits.

I can't see any mention of internal audits in the IATF 16949 sanctioned interpretations or FAQ's either.

Did your organization receive any positive or negative findings from your remote external audit in regards to your remote internal audits?
 

DariusPlumdon

Involved In Discussions
Darius,

IATF 16949:2016 does not comment on whether internal audits must be done on-site or remotely. However, it does state the internal audit process must be documented, cover the entire quality management system including management system audits, manufacturing process audits and product audits.

I can't see any mention of internal audits in the IATF 16949 sanctioned interpretations or FAQ's either.

Did your organization receive any positive or negative findings from your remote external audit in regards to your remote internal audits?

For the external audit the auditor said they had to be on-site, which they were; but that those being audited from our company could be working from home, which the majority did. We have had no feedback, positive of negative, but all seems OK
 

malasuerte

Quite Involved in Discussions
For the external audit the auditor said they had to be on-site, which they were; but that those being audited from our company could be working from home, which the majority did. We have had no feedback, positive of negative, but all seems OK
Small sematics thing: It should be "virtual" audits; "remote audit" means something slightly different.

@DariusPlumdon The registrars have mostly aligned that this is acceptable practice moving forward for internal. However, there are now allowances for virtual audits in the case when there is no need to be on a physical site because the people performing the activities all work from home (must be proven).
 

DariusPlumdon

Involved In Discussions
Thank you, two follow-up questions:
1) what are these 'allowances for virtual audits' please?
2) All staff are now on 'hybrid contracts' meaning they are not technically full time wfh, the reality is staff are wfh 90%+ of the time ... would this quality for 'must be proven' wfh?
 

Sebastian

Trusted Information Resource
IATF does not forbid performing virtual/remote 1st party audits.
Restrictions apply (conditionally lifted due to COVID) to 3rd party audits.
So document it ("virtual audits are allowed") in your procedure and go on.
From records you won't notice virtual or onsite.
 
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