In the field of conformity assessment, remote activities comprise all activities that take place without the physical presence of the subject of the conformity assessment. They are carried out with the support of digital tools or comparable techniques. There may be special requirements for remote activities.
Primarily, they are used to gather evidence that the specified requirements have been fulfilled (determination activities), though their use is not limited to this. Individual activities can also be carried out remotely in the course of selection. In this context, selection refers to the identification of the object to be assessed and the requirements to be applied to it, the choice of methods and procedures, and the planning and preparation of the assessment itself). Under certain conditions, even representative sampling is possible from a distance, which is necessary, for example, in the case of a large number of identical units, ongoing production, continuous processes or numerous sites.
Examples for possible Remote Activities in Conformity Assessment:
- virtual meetings (e.g. within the conformity assessment body or with clients, public authorities and accreditation bodies),
- web-based reviewing of documents,
- on-site sampling by an authorised person,
- remote audits or assessments using information/communication technology,
- examinations using imaging techniques,
- review and decision via electronic correspondence (e.g. email circulars or online coordination),
- e-learning and webinars (e.g. on competence management and training).
Requirements and conditions for remote activities in the field of conformity assessment as well as opportunities and risks can be found in the current position paper.