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COVID-19 Important Updates


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AsureQuality COVID-19 Pandemic Plan and Actions Update #31

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 important precautions are impacting 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.

Auckland and Christchurch Laboratories:

  • Given the unique nature and current situation of these services, we have established 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 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.
  • As the situation evolves, we will be reviewing our ways of working and delivery approach to ensure they remain appropriate, that we have the needed flexibility, and where possible, transition to remote options.
  • 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 are limiting the need for travel for our people.

For Animal Products, Plants, Wine, Organics and Treatments

  • MPI guidance:
    • In Phase Two and Three, fully off-site verification is the preference.
    • If an on-site verification component is required (inclusive of inspections and /or surveys) then as much preparation and verification work as possible and practical should be completed off-site to minimise the time spent on-site.
    • Audits with on-site components must take place for higher risk businesses. We will advise if this is required.

For Food Act

  • MPI guidance:
    • In Phase Two and Three, fully off-site verification is the preference.
    • If an on-site verification component is required then as much preparation and verification work as possible and practical should be completed off-site to minimise the time spent on-site.
    • Audits with on-site components must take place for higher risk businesses. We will advise if this is required.
    • RBM audits combined with other Standards required to be on site (WW/ GFSI/ NZGAP) will remain on-site.

For GFSI

  • In Phase Two and Three, 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, IVA Inspections and Industry Quality and Grade, the delivery approach for scheduled work in Phase Three will be on-site.

Meat Inspection Services:

  • Given the unique nature and current situation of these services, we have prepared a separate standalone communication for our meat inspection services customers. If you have not received this communication, or 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.
  • Essential on-site training can continue in all traffic light colours under the COVID-19 Protection Framework within MoH and MoE guidance. This does require all participants to be fully vaccinated in the current red-light settings.
  • 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.
  • 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 to us via customerservices@asurequality.com or your usual point of contact within AsureQuality.