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COVID-19 Pandemic Plan and Actions Update #32


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AsureQuality COVID-19 Pandemic Plan and Actions Update #32

With the announcement of the shift to Phase Three of the response to Omicron, we wish provide an update on how we currently see our operations and service delivery. 

Laboratory Services:

  • All of our laboratories are currently operating effectively within the current Omicron constraints.
  • We continue to have robust plans, protocols, and practices in place across all of our labs. Some of these precautions can impact our normal productivity, but are deemed to be very important to help protect our people and ensure service continuity.
  • We will be 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.

Food Testing Laboratories:

  • Given the unique nature and current situation of these services, we continue with a separate, more frequent communications process for our food testing customers. If you are not receiving these communications, or for further information, please contact your Customer Experience Representative, or call 0508 00 11 22. 

Audit, Inspection and Certification Services:

  • Our preference remains 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. 

For Animal Products, Plants, Wine, Organics and Treatments

  • MPI guidance:
    • At Orange, 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.
    • Where an auditor or auditee are not available due to illness, audits may be rescheduled. 

For Food Act

  • MPI guidance:
    • At Orange, 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 fully remote verification, a fully remote audit can be delivered (NB: criteria for this are: NP1-3 and TFCP only, not an initial verification, no unacceptable outcomes, and more than two hours travel from a verifier).

For GFSI

  • At Orange, 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.

 

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

 Meat Inspection Services:

  • Meat inspection services continue in alignment with our meat processing customers and the MIA.
  • For further information, please contact your AsureQuality Area Manager.

 Training Services:

  • Our preference remains to complete all training as it is scheduled, in mutual agreement with customers.
  • Essential on-site training can continue in all traffic light colours under the COVID-19 Protection Framework within MoH and MoE guidance.
  • To protect our people, customers and the community all essential 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.
  • Face to face training is now available as captured in the public schedule (external link) .
  • We also have a number of courses 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 to us via customerservices@asurequality.com or your usual point of contact within AsureQuality.