Guidance for Remote HACCP Audits

As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Australian Government has advised of increased precautions being necessary to restrict the movement of people. Food Safety Plus is facilitating remote HACCP audits to comply with government advice whilst continuing to offer HACCP Certification to eligible low risk businesses.

A remote audit is an audit in which electronic means are used to collect audit evidence and interact with the food business representative, independent of the physical location of the auditor. The “Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems” (ISO 19011:2018) has incorporated language to address remote audits.

The audit will consist of everything that is typically included in an onsite audit. Personnel with responsibilities pertaining to the audit plan will need to be available for their relevant parts of the audit, including the opening and closing meetings.

What am I being audited against?

Your business will be audited against the Food Safety Plus – HACCP Certification Requirements, 2019

How will I be audited?

To ensure the integrity of the audit process and enable you to provide us with sufficient, valid and reliable evidence we will give you a guide which you should use when providing us with evidence. You are required to complete the following:

  • Provide all listed documents
  • Ensure all documents are signed and dated
  • Ensure all documents are valid and current (6 months or less)

Reasonable adjustments may be considered as long as this does not change the requirements of the standards being assessed. Please discuss any reasonable adjustment with your auditor prior to the audit.

How do remote HACCP audits work?

Details of your specific audit may vary, but the overall process will be as follows:

  • Remote audit planning & assessment of available communication technology
  • We will schedule your remote HACCP audit
  • We will communicate with you to discuss any logistics and technology details
  • You must prepare and submit relevant documents and records
  • Virtual audit occurs
  • You will receive an audit report
  • You will need to correct any non-conformances
  • You will receive a HACCP certificate (where applicable)

Getting ready for your remote audit

Prior to the start of your audit, there are a few things you will need to get ready to ensure your auditor has everything he/she might need. Things to consider include:

  • Key Personnel – your designated personnel will need to be available throughout the entire audit. Top leadership should be prepared to be available during the opening and closing meetings, as well as various times throughout the audit if questions arise
  • Documentation – your auditor will ask you to email various documents so they can be reviewed remotely, including internal audit records and plans, management meeting minutes and actions, complaints and corrections logs, any processes documents and records, etc.
  • Site Availability – ypu will need to  have someone available to walk the auditor through your facility using a mobile camera or webcam. The details of the technology will be discussed and decided on prior to the start of your audit and production processes
  • Internet Connection – a WIFI connection will be necessary to conduct a remote audit. Make sure to test the application or conferencing system prior to the start of the audit and familiarise yourself with the functionalities.