Remote Audits and Reviews
As part of FTA’s COVID-19 response programme our Consulting and Standards team have started delivering remote audits and reviews as an alternative to onsite ones.
This new service includes audits required for Public Inquiries which follow a framework provided by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner* as a temporary concession aimed at improving operator safety whilst operating in compliance with public health advice.
Consulting and Standards team now delivers remotely
- Van Excellence Audit
- Driver Agency Excellence Audit
- Operator Compliance Audit and Review as part of Public Inquiry response
- Operations Efficiency Review
How does it work?
Audits must be based on minimum necessary evidence. The auditor should describe how the audit was undertaken including how evidence was viewed and who was involved
In accessing evidence, the following principles apply:
- Documents may be scanned or photographed for transmission to the auditor (Sharepoint is preferable). Each document must be complete and easy to read.
- Auditor should also use publicly available information, for example, on vehicle taxation status and MOT history.
- Operators and auditors should aim to use software such as Skype or Microsoft Teams to share screens so that the auditor can check remotely, for example, tachograph and maintenance records stored electronically
- Operators may, at their own risk and at their own discretion, provide auditors with remote access to any online compliance systems (eg Vision).
- Interviews and debrief meetings with operators and transport managers should be conducted using communication software like Skype or Teams, where all the parties are visible to each other.
- The auditor must verify the identity of operator representatives before any interview or debrief commences. The debrief should be with a director, partner or the sole trader AND with the Transport Manager for standard licence holders.
- Where no evidence is available, this should be stated.
- Operators must not share VOL login credentials with auditors. These are personal and not transferable.
FTA auditors and consultants have already delivered a number of trial remote audits and reviews. These were carried out as Teams meetings with relevant information and documents shared to a secure Sharepoint location or as a screen share during the calls.
While remote approach indeed requires more preparation effort from the operator, the recommended framework proved to be efficient and robust. The trial audits and reviews were delivered within expected timeframe and produced a detailed and thorough output.
* Traffic Commissioners issue guidance on remote auditing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Read more