Returning to Onsite Audits

SGS Audits

Your Compliance Partner During This Difficult Time

During this global health crisis, SGS United Kingdom Ltd has continued to be your compliance partner. As the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, we have adapted quickly and efficiently to minimize service disruption for our clients. Our technology and experience have allowed us to continue our operations, while providing remote auditing options when necessary. As industry returns to the “new normal”, operations have started to return to full capacity and as such, the requirement for onsite audits begins to come back into the forefront of compliance.

How Will Audits Work?

For some schemes, a combination of remote and onsite audits will remain where the accreditation allows. Both remote and onsite audits have benefits and can provide us with a mechanism of assessing continuing compliance. There are some schemes or customer circumstances whereby full or partial onsite audits are required and we can discuss your individual circumstances with you whilst scheduling your audit.

Of course, the major concern for us all is how we do this whilst maintaining the level of safety for both our auditors and the organizsations that we start to visit.


Where possible, our auditors are continuing to work from home. There is likely to be some preparation work for your onsite audit that will still take place remotely and your auditor will inform you if they require any documentation prior to the audit. Auditors have been given specific training on home working and looking after their mental health during this time and their wellbeing is monitored through regular meetings with their teams.

Where an auditor is subject to the UK Government criteria of a shielded or extremely vulnerable individual, we acknowledge this and support the employee to self-isolate. If your planned auditor is affected by this, alternative arrangements will be made.

To provide further reassurances, your auditor has also been part of the following protocols:

  • All auditors have completed COVID-19 training, focussing on good hygiene practices, use of hand sanitizer, social distancing and face mask usage
  • Auditors shall use their own vehicles to attend sites, even when they would usually use public transport. Any car sharing is prohibited during this time
  • Any requests for pre-attendance information from the auditor regarding the safety of all those concerned, shall be recognized, recorded and responded to
  • Face masks have been issued to all of our auditors and should your PPE rules define so, they will be worn as appropriate. In areas where this is not appropriate or required, strict social distancing protocols shall be adhered to
  • Any auditors who display any symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 are not permitted to travel to clients and will operate the self-isolation guidelines in line with government advice

Your auditor may have questions about your own safe practices with regards to COVID-19 risks and we encourage an open, two-way communication in this regard to ensure the safety of us all during this time.

Returning to onsite audits will not only help support the regeneration of industry but also help support the certification and compliance process, giving your entire supply chain confidence that you are back open and ready for business.

Here to Answer Your Questions

We understand this is a difficult time. We are here to answer any questions you may have about maintaining your certification.

Contact us on: +44 (0)1276 697715