Special webinar on remote audits in times of lock-down due to Covid-19 / Corona

In the framework of the SEE QI project 2 on the adjustment of certification programs in organic production to the modified EU legal basis 2018/848 a 2,5 hour webinar on “remote audits” in the organic sector was taking place on 6/05/2020.

23 participants from different South-Eastern European certification bodies and one accreditation body attended the webinar on how to implement “verification of compliance from a distance”. Jochen Neuendorff (GfRS, www.sicher.bio) and Tom Nizet (AUTHENT, www.authent.bio) supported the webinar as short-term experts for PTB.

During the webinar, the different challenges and solutions in these times of lockdown were discussed. Participants started spontaneously sharing experiences of “remote” inspection techniques and protection of office-staff. They continued discussing practices about how to overcome the unexpected difficulties by focussing on a better preparation of the audit by analysing available information more intensively. Participants learned from each-other how to efficiently and effectively overcome the imposed limitations of limited travelling possibilities and interaction with operators. Practical information and examples about what is done already (cross checks, trace-backs) and what is at the start for the future (by using e.g. drones) were presented for discussion.

Towards the end, all participants were happy about the initiative and agreed that in these times, there’s a need for more intensive cooperation between stakeholders of the organic control system in the Balkans. May this webinar be another step in that direction!