The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) has announced the resumption of all audit and assessment activity from 1st June 2020, in light of current Government “go to work if you are unable to work from home” guidance. Government guidance allows all employers to resume activity in the workplace where appropriate, including professional services that cannot be delivered remotely, such as NSI on-site audits.
NSI will utilise a combination of remote audit and on-site audit capability in accordance with guidelines recently issued to approved companies. Remote audit may be utilised at NSI’s discretion for assessing ‘Management System’ requirements, whilst on-site audits will gather evidence of compliance to technical product standards.
Health and safety
NSI recognises all Government guidance regarding social distancing and health and safety during the pandemic, whilst delivering meaningful certification and approval, putting people first – including its staff, approved companies, and the public. All NSI approvals expiring between 1st March and 31st May 2020 were extended for a limited period unless evidence dictated otherwise.
It is clear, approved companies are genuinely striving to maintain standards during the pandemic”
Adjustments to audit programmes will be made on a case by case basis as NSI works proactively with approved companies to ensure audit programmes are fulfilled in a timely fashion. Evidence of non-compliances that are COVID-19 related will be reported in “Auditor Notes” without recourse to raising Improvement Needs and Observations.
Security and fire safety
NSI Chief Executive Richard Jenkins stated: “As the UK continues its easing of lockdown measures the Security and Fire Safety sector is adapting to operate COVID safe environments in line with Government guidance, focusing on the protection and safety of staff, customers and the wider public. As such approved companies will now be in a position to provide NSI with suitable and sufficient evidence to award and maintain approval, through a combination of remote and on-site audits. “
“It is clear, approved companies are genuinely striving to maintain standards during the pandemic, which NSI will formally be recognising when audits are delivered.”
The following NSI Circular Letters have been issued to approved companies and are available via the Company Login Area of its website:
- NSI 020 20 regarding ‘COVID-secure’ sites (all approved companies and applicants).
- NSI 021 20 – NSI 023 20 with remote audit guidelines (scheme specific and relevant to Gold companies only).
As a matter of course, all NSI staff are working remotely in line with Government guidance, NSI’s Head Office building remaining closed until further notice.