Alex Carmichael: SSAIB Adapting to Ever-Changing COVID-19 Coronavirus Situation

Alex Carmichael: SSAIB Adapting to Ever-Changing COVID-19 Coronavirus Situation

Over the past few months, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have conducted our audits remotely. This was done with the agreement with our main stakeholders – e.g. the Police, among others – and with the cooperation of you, our registered firms.  It has been a challenging time for us all and it is not over yet, so we thank you for all your support and flexibility during these uncertain times.

As Government begins lifting its restrictions on social mobility, we too are amending our auditing procedure to enable site audits to take place where it is safe and practical to do so. We still intend to carry out - with the agreement of our main stakeholders - remote audits, with site visits to your customers’ sites to verify the systems and services you deploy are in compliance with relevant standards, i.e. those applicable to your scope of registration with SSAIB.

SSAIB Bulletin 1108 - dated July 20, 2020 - describes how, and in what circumstances, onsite audits will be conducted. Our auditors will be in contact with you prior to an audit to confirm timings and ensure that COVID-19 secure arrangements are in place – both at the premises of the registered firm and, if applicable, at any customer sites that the auditor may wish to visit. This ensures the safety of our auditor, our registered firms’ staff and the staff of their customers as well.

SSAIB’s head office functions are continuing on a remote basis - as all staff are working from home. We are currently working to make our head office COVID-19 secure and expect that the head office will become partially operational in early September, but full services will continue as normal during this transition period.

Our aim is to ensure continuity of service to existing registered firms and to provide an opportunity for organisations seeking to gain certification for the first time. By continuing to offer certification services throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we have fully supported the fire and security industry which provides essential services to the whole of the country.

All the changes we are putting in place currently will – of course – depend on the coronavirus situation, which is changing daily. Local lock downs are occurring and there is discussion of a “second wave.”

SSAIB is adapting to these situations and will adjust our services and operation to meet this ever-changing situation. We expect the current situation to continue until such time that an effective vaccine against the coronavirus is developed and a vaccination programme has been completed.

Once again, I can only thank you for your understanding and continued cooperation during this time.

Alex Carmichael
Chief Executive