Q19: According ISO/IEC 17021-1, § 7.2.4, “The initial competence evaluation of an auditor shall include the ability to apply required knowledge and skills during audits, as determined by a competent evaluator observing the auditor conducting an audit”. Is it possible to conduct this observation if the observer is using remote audit techniques?

A19: Yes, provided that the remote audit being observed can fully replace physical audit.

Q7: What happens if a Company/CB is not comfortable in this period to give access to its location to the AB audit / assessment team for witnessing?

IAF ID3 allows, in extraordinary events or circumstances like this, postponement of the assessment / audits.

Moreover, according to IAF MD17:2015 Witnessing Activities for the Accreditation of Management System Certification Bodies and/or relevant timeline modified accordingly, it is justifiable and understandable in this situation that a CB or its client refuses a witness assessment by the AB. It is important to make audits only when there is agreement of all the parties involved (client, CB and AB). See MD17, 2.2.2 and 2.4.2. It is also possible to perform partial witnessing (2.4.10).