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COVID-19 Important Updates


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AsureQuality COVID-19 Pandemic Plan and Actions Update #26

AsureQuality is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our people and to ensure business continuity in the essential service of our customers. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework (also known as traffic lights), we have completed a full review of our practices and approaches under each traffic light colour.

Here’s an overview of our current plans and actions:

Laboratory Services:

  • All of our laboratories are currently operating effectively.
  • We have robust plans, protocols, and practices in place across all of our laboratories for each of the traffic light colours.
  • We are working hard to manage any challenges that the ongoing COVID-19 situation is presenting in order to deliver testing services with minimal customer impacts.
  • We are keeping customers directly informed if any significant issues develop.
  • Providing the best forward view of your demand, and where applicable, ensuring that all samples are pre-registered with complete registration information will help us to continue to operate effectively.

Audit, Inspection and Certification Services:

  • We continue to take a precautionary approach.
  • Our preference is to complete all work as it is scheduled, in mutual agreement with customers.
  • The delivery approach for scheduled work can vary depending on guidance from MPI and/ or the relevant standard setting body, and a risk assessment. The approach taken will be discussed and mutually agreed with customers.
  • To protect our people, customers and the community all on-site work is being delivered following appropriate COVID-19 guidelines including: risk assessment, completion of a pre-visit questionnaire, mask wearing, other PPE, social distancing, strict hygiene protocols, and contact tracing.
  • Wherever possible we will limit our people moving from red traffic light zones to orange traffic light zones.

Rapid Antigen testing (RAT)

  • Where customers are conducting RAT on site, we agree our team will comply with the requirement to be tested before entry.
  • We will discuss and mutually agree with customers how the additional time for these processes will be accounted for.
  • We will work with customers to determine how to proceed with respect to costs occurred in the situation of false-positives or other additional costs associated with the COVID-19 situation.

For Animal Products, Plants, Wine, Organics and Treatments

  • MPI guidance:
    • At all traffic light colours, verification is expected to occur on-site.
    • As much preparation and verification work as possible and practical should be completed off-site to minimise the time spent on-site.
    • Unannounced and unscheduled verifications revert to normal frequencies.
    • There are some very limited situations where a fully remote audit can be considered. These are not applicable to all verifications. Situations for fully remote audits are largely limited to where these are not allowed through local travel restrictions or people needing to self isolate.

For Food Act

  • MPI guidance:
    • At all traffic light colours, verification is expected to occur on-site.
    • There are some very limited situations where a fully remote audit can be considered. These are not applicable to all verifications. Situations for fully remote audits are largely limited to where these are not allowed through local travel restrictions or people needing to self isolate.
    • If a food business meets the criteria for, and is offered remote verification, fully remote audit can be delivered (NB: criteria for this is: NP1-3 and TFCP only, not an initial verification, no unacceptable outcomes, and more than two hours travel from a verifier).

For GFSI

  • At all traffic light colours, verification is expected to occur on-site.
  • A hybrid audit can be provided for both announced and unannounced verifications.
  • A fully remote audit can be completed, however, this will not be recognised by GFSI.

 

  • For all other programmes including Engineering, NZGAP, and Industry Quality and Grade the delivery approach for scheduled work will be on-site.

Meat Inspection Services:

  • In alignment with our meat processing customers and the MIA, meat inspection services continue under the agreed protocols for the different traffic light colours under the COVID-19 Protection Framework.
  • For further information, please contact your AsureQuality Area Manager.

Training Services:

  • Our preference is to complete all training as it is scheduled, in mutual agreement with customers.
  • On-site training can continue in all traffic light colours under the COVID-19 Protection Framework within MoH and MoE guidelines.
  • To protect our people, customers and the community all on-site training is being delivered following appropriate COVID-19 guidelines for risk assessment, mask wearing, other PPE, social distancing, strict hygiene protocols, and contact tracing.
  • We also have a number of courses are available using Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) via Zoom.
  • For further information, please look online (external link) , or contact training@asurequality.com

 

We are continuously monitoring the situation and will adjust our plans and actions accordingly. We will be in direct communication again if we believe there are material changes.

If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out our customer services team at customerservices@asurequality.com or your usual point of contact within AsureQuality.