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Corona virus: TÜV Rheinland constantly evaluates the situation and makes appropriate decisions

The health of our customers and employees is our top priority.

Due to the current situation regarding the coronavirus in Germany and to protect the health of the employees of customers and TÜV Rheinland, we are constantly evaluating the situation around our branches and service stations.

We carry out these assessments daily in order to be able to react quickly to the current situation on site. The situation is assessed together with highly experienced physicians from TÜV Rheinland's Occupational Medical Service (AMD), which also advises numerous companies and organizations in Germany.

The following rules apply in principle:

General rules:

  • We follow all measures recommended or ordered by the authorities in Germany.
  • TÜV Rheinland employees are regularly and comprehensively informed about personal hygiene measures and sensible protective measures through our internal media, via e-mail and notices.
  • Official travel to or from risk areas is prohibited. TÜV Rheinland follows the official publications on risk areas by the german Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
  • Hygiene precautions within TÜV Rheinland's premises have been significantly tightened. door handles and handrails, for example, are disinfected several times a day and additional disinfectants are available in all areas.

Behaviour in case of symptoms and infections:

  • Employees are asked to stay at home if flu-like symptoms are present, to contact a doctor and inform their employer.
  • Employees who are confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus must follow the instructions of the german health authorities.
  • Employees who have had contact with a person confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus are not allowed to visit their workplace and are requested to remain in domestic quarantine for two weeks. We follow the recommendations of the german RKI when it comes to the question of which forms and intensity of contact are to be taken into account.
  • In the event of corona infection occurring on TÜV Rheinland's premises, the necessary measures are taken immediately, such as evacuation or disinfection of the workplaces or areas concerned, if necessary.

Rules in customer contact:

  • The above-mentioned rules of conduct for our employees naturally also apply to their work for our customers. Due to our in-house scheduling, we can track when and where customer assignments take place and have taken place.
  • Employees who have had contact with an infected person as described above are of course no longer allowed to attend customer appointments.
  • If a confirmed corona infection occurs among employees, all customers with whom the employee has had contact in the last few days will be informed immediately on the basis of the information available to us.
  • We ask all customers to ensure that our employees are extensively protected from infection during their work on site by appropriate hygiene and protective measures. We have trained our employees and kindly ask you to make suitable preparations for an upcoming visit of our employees to your premises, which we have summarized in this leaflet.
  • If it should subsequently transpire that our employees have had contact with Corona-infected customer employees, we expect to be informed immediately so that we can take appropriate protective measures.

If you have any further questions in connection with the corona virus about an order or event you have booked, please contact the contact persons at TÜV Rheinland you know. These are usually listed in the offer or order you received or on our website.

Please contact them by phone or e-mail.

More information for the particular regions and countries TÜV Rheinland is present in can be found via the following links:

Information for Customers of Business Stream Systems

Impact of the corona pandemic on audit, certification and surveillance measures

Even in the current situation, our primary goal is to be your reliable partner for certifications. Currently, we are working to prevent negative effects on your certification status and your business. This means that in principle we carry out all audits within the valid accreditation deadlines and originally agreed planning, unless there are circumstances that require an exception to this basic rule.

Regulations and requirements of accreditors, scheme owners and associations

TÜV Rheinland will continue to work with its customers in accordance with current possibilities until we can return to normal operations. Our actions are based on the specifications of the accreditors and scheme owners. These have already reacted and defined relevant regulations and individual specifications that TÜV Rheinland as a certification body must follow.

You will find the most important information in the following overview


Important information on audits and audit postponements

  • Remote audit procedures can be applied for most of the generic certification schemes such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 or ISO 27001. This means that there is no on-site auditing at your company. Our auditors work on specific parts of the audit program with your employees via Skype or Webex.
  • Usually not the whole audit program can be implemented in this mode, but parts of it. Audit subjects that require an on-site visit can then be carried out at a later date.
  • This leads to savings in travel costs for you and ensures that your certification program can be continued according to the rules.
  • For some certification procedures (e.g. IATF 16949) remote audits are not permitted. However, there is the possibility to postpone audit due dates without having to suspend certifications.
  • For some certification procedures (e.g. BRCGS) further special regulations have been defined by the accreditation bodies and scheme owners.

Rules for on-site audits

  • If on-site audits cannot be carried out on time, TÜV Rheinland will decide on the basis of the information and reasons submitted by you whether it is necessary and possible to postpone your audit.
  • Here we refer to the defined deadlines and regulations of the responsible accreditors.
  • Please note that a valid justification from your side is absolutely necessary for a postponement (applies to certification audits as well as the first surveillance audit).
  • Furthermore, it is valid that an audit postponement can only be requested in writing (also by e-mail). Please contact your TÜV Rheinland contact person for this as usual.
  • Whenever and wherever possible we want to avoid audit cancellations.

Deployment of remote audits

  • Some accreditation bodies allow so-called remote audits. The advantage is that the auditor does not have to visit you on site for the audit. The audit takes place online.
  • Our remote audits follow the requirements of the responsible accreditation bodies, as far as they are applicable, in order to perform the audits efficiently and with the recognized expertise.
  • The final share of remote per company is an individual decision of the certification body based on the existing conditions.
  • We can provide accredited remote audits for the following standards:

Standard Remote Audit possible? Specifications
ISO 9001Yes for all these standards.
  • No restrictions on these standards.
  • Remote shares between 30% and 100% possible
ISO 14001Yes for all these standards.
  • No restrictions on these standards.
  • Remote shares between 30% and 100% possible
ISO 50001Yes for all these standards.
  • No restrictions on these standards.
  • Remote shares between 30% and 100% possible
ISO/IEC 27001Yes for all these standards.
  • No restrictions on these standards.
  • Remote shares between 30% and 100% possible
ISO 22301Yes for all these standards.
  • No restrictions on these standards.
  • Remote shares between 30% and 100% possible
ISO/IEC 20000-1Yes for all these standards.
  • No restrictions on these standards.
  • Remote shares between 30% and 100% possible
ISO 45001 / OHSAS 18001Yes for all these standards.
  • No restrictions on these standards.
  • Remote shares between 30% and 100% possible
IATF 16949No
VDA6.XNo
AS 9100 seriesYes
  • For 2020, surveillance and recertification audits can be carried out up to 100% remotely.
IRIS No
ISO 22000Yes
  • Remote shares between 30 - 50% of the audit time are possible (depending on the complexity of the company)
  • Contents of the Remote Audit as specified by TR
GFSI Standards
(FSSC 22000, IFS, BRCGS)
No
GMP+
  • Permitted for B3 (storage, handling, trade) & B4 (transport, shipping)
  • Not permitted for production plants (B1, B2)

  • Remote share not further specified
QS FeedNo
SA 8000Yes2 hours

  • Should non-conformities result in the execution of remote audits, the following applies
    • For major non-conformities identified in the remote audit, corrective action must be taken within 3 months of the last day of the remote audit or, if necessary, demonstrated during the subsequent on-site audit.
    • For minor non-conformities identified in the remote audit, the corrective action plan and corrective actions must be reviewed and accepted within 3 months of the last day of the remote audit.
  • We may charge for services already executed within the scope of alternative audit procedures, such as remote units, as partial invoices.

Useful information about remote audits

  • IAF defines the use of ICT (Information and communication technology) for audits/evaluations, including meetings, review of documents and records, and recording of information and evidence.
  • In order to provide you with a fast and effective solution, TÜV Rheinland will limit its 'remote audits' to virtual meetings.
  • The virtual meetings are conducted with "Skype for Business".
  • Document exchange in real time means that all necessary documented information can be reviewed during the audit.
  • A test is carried out in advance to ensure that the audit runs smoothly
  • In order to ensure confidentiality, TÜV Rheinland, for its part, will select a location for the remote audit that does not allow third parties access to the customer's used data. Practical information on remote audits
  • Video and audio recordings are not permitted.
  • Screenshots for audit documentation are permitted after consultation with the customer.

Here you can find more information about Remote Audits & 'Skype for Business'.

Important note!
We strongly recommend that audits be carried out on schedule, remotely if necessary. Any postponement could result in several audits to maintain the certificate in the coming year.


Contact information

We ask you to primarily contact your project coordinator if you have any questions about the further procedure.

Downloads

pdf Remote Audits & 'Skype for Business' 851 KB Download
pdf Covid-19 Customer Visit Information 73 KB Download