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Technology’s Place in Audits – Volume II
October 14th 2022

Technology’s Place in Audits – Volume II


In a previous blog post we discussed technology’s role in Auditing from a certification body perspective which has been standard practice in the auditing industry for many years.  Looking forward, we see many of those same processes being further enhanced to provide even better customer experiences.  The natural next step in using technology surrounding audits is to start using it more during the audits themselves. 

This has led to the prospect of using remote technology in auditing. Remote Control Technology (RCT) in auditing involves using cameras, videos, pictures, and other technological means to give the auditor information about the site from a location other than being onsite directly.  The specific format can vary greatly based on the type of audit being conducted and its objectives.  

RCT may be used for a variety of reasons but the main reasons are:

  • Using RCT is typically a less expensive option than a full onsite audit due to decreased travel expenses for less overnight travel.
  • Inability to get to a remote location due to travel restrictions such as Covid-19-related situations, weather, or safety. 
  • The scope of the audit lends itself well to remote viewing such as a documentation-only review which does not require onsite viewing. 

RCT audits have the additional benefit of lessening the wear and tear on auditors who are the backbone of the auditing business.  Auditor turnover is increasing due to the increased travel demands placed on them and the ability to sprinkle RCT audits into the calendars allows some rest and recuperation time at home. 

It is important to understand the pros and cons of RCT auditing before going into any RCT situation. With the auditor being offside, the auditor cannot hear or smell their environment.  If an auditor is watching a live video feed, the auditor must direct the video taker to change camera angles to specific areas making it more difficult to see things in real-time. The risks of using RCT are very real and require upfront acknowledgment of both the customer and the certification body.  

Minimizing those risks is critical to ensuring positive audit outcomes.  Understanding the framework of RCT audits and how they work puts the audit process on a path to likely success. Sites must be capable of handling the remote portion of any audit by having documentation available electronically, pictures and videos pre-assembled, and live video feeds ready to be shared with usable Wi-Fi all throughout the facility. 

How can Mérieux NutriSciences help?

RCT audits are a useful tool in the arsenal of auditing and we foresee their use being continued in the future. At Mérieux NutriSciences Certification LLC, we are continuously evaluating and implementing technology to improve our processes and improve the customer experience.

By Tom Spoden, Global Auditing Certification Manager

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