Temporary Auditing Solution: Remote Audits

Following the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the LWG began granting 3-month certificate extensions in late February 2020. After which, when it was clear that the global situation was worsening, all leather manufacturers that were currently under certification received a 12-month extension from mid-May.

The timelines now indicate that re-audits are due to re-start shortly, while travel to many countries is still not possible. Fortunately, LWG can now offer a temporary solution for when travel restrictions exist and there is no auditor present in the same country as the leather manufacturer wishing to be re-audited. This solution will be temporary and is effective from when it was initially announced on 20 October 2020.

What is a Remote Audit?

The remote audit follows the LWG Audit Protocol, but with added evidence requirements. There is a two-stage audit process:

  1. Remote data gathering, as well as video conference call to tour the site. This will result in an initial certification that is valid for 1 year.
  2. The second stage is an on-site follow-up visit within 1 year of remote audit. If this requirement is met, the certification will be upgraded to be valid for 2 years.

What are the conditions?

There are some conditions that apply, and not all companies will be eligible, as per the below:

  • Re-Audits Only
    The remote audit is only applicable to re-audits, and no new certifications can be attained using this option.
  • Current Members Only
    Remote audits are only available to companies holding a current, valid certificate of membership. Lapsed certifications are not permitted.
  • Location
    Only companies based in countries where there are no local auditors present will be eligible for a remote audit. If it is possible to have an on-site audit, when there is an auditor in the same country as the leather manufacturer, the remote audit may not be used.
  • Medal Ratings
    If there are any medal rating changes after a remote audit, it will need to be reviewed by the LWG Technical Subgroup.