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TAPA EMEA has confirmed that all TAPA Security Standards certifications can be completed remotely as of 1 May 2021 using standard meeting communications equipment and the current TAPA audit templates.
This follows the successful use of TAPA’s Remote Virtual Audit (RVA) process for re-certifications of the TAPA Standards in EMEA, which was introduced at the start of the year. This initiative was put in place to address a backlog of re-certifications which had built-up in the region since the Covid pandemic forced national lockdowns and travel restrictions, preventing auditors from visiting sites.
The move is also another natural step in the region’s digital transformation, says Steve McHugh, TAPA EMEA’s Executive Director Standards. “We had planned for the RVA option to be available to support the growth of our Standards certifications in 2022 as part of EMEA’s digital roadmap. However, our successful experience of allowing remote re-certifications, and the need to provide the best solution for our members, means we have accelerated the introduction of the RVA process. This will not only clear our current certifications backlog but also add another dimension which promotes the use of all the TAPA Standards,” he added.
Companies completing re-certifications or adopting TAPA’s Facility Security Requirements (FSR), Trucking Security Requirements (TSR) or Parking Security Requirements (PSR) for the first time will also continue to have the option of physical visits to audit locations, subject to national and local Covid safety requirements.
TAPA’s decision has been welcomed by the Association’s audit bodies. Scott Swanson, TAPA Product Manager EMEA at Bureau Veritas Certification EMEA, commented: “The TAPA Standards programme has been greatly enhanced as a result of the new RVA process, which is very well written and allows both the auditor and auditee the information necessary for a successful audit. The value to the auditor is that there is an established process ensuring that all requirements for a successful audit are available for the conduct of the audit. The value to the audited company is that the procedure allows them the opportunity to understand the focus of the audit in terms of security systems and to identify possible weaknesses before the audit event. If the process is implemented properly, the execution of TAPA audits should actually be much easier. I am very happy with the new procedure because it sets a very high standard for the commissioning of future TAPA audits.”
A copy of the RVA procedure is available in the Latest Downloads on the Standards & Certifications page of the TAPA EMEA website.
This explains the alternative solution to a physical on-location, in-person audit of the TAPA Standards and sets out the conditions and process to be followed by TAPA-approved Independent Audit Bodies (IABs) or Logistics Service Provider/Applicant Authorised Auditors to complete and submit audits for all qualifying operations.
Furthermore, Transported Asset Protection Services (TAPS) has developed a new training to support Remote Virtual Audits. The course is not Standard-specific and is being delivered by Jeff Dowson, a leading independent auditing expert with longstanding experience of the TAPA Standards. This is a two-part training over two four-hour sessions, and the first course will take place on the mornings of 14 and 21 May 2021. The training will benefit learners with auditor experience of any Standard who have delivered physical audits and who have a good understanding of how to manage an internal or external audit.
The course costs €499 per person for TAPA EMEA members or €1,499 for non-members, plus VAT if applicable, and will combine theoretical and practical training over 2 group workshops, culminating in a real-life audit. It will enable participants to: