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Virtual internal audits a win for RTOs, consultants and sustainability

As with many businesses out there, during the pandemic, we reassessed how we did business. The impetus was COVID, but it unlocked a whole raft of new thinking about how we can do things better. At RTO Works, we have always embraced a 100 percent work-from-home model and encouraged a good work-life balance for our team. However, with ASQA’s shift during the pandemic to an online audit approach and their stated intention that it will remain like this, we wanted to highlight why we believe virtual internal audits should also be here to stay.  

If the latest election results are anything to go by, there could not be a stronger message coming through that climate change is a top-of-mind concern for many people. It is estimated that a business flight uses five times more fuel than a car and emits around 100 times more CO2 per hour than a shared bus or train ride. A compelling reason to ask your compliance consultant to conduct a virtual internal audit over one that needs to be travelled to.  

Although independent audits from external consultants are best practice and can be an invaluable exercise to complete, they can also be a very disruptive process for any business. Time is spent preparing a room for the consultant to work from, ensuring staff are available onsite for interviews, documents are sometimes printed out in preparation, and the day-to-day activities can be disrupted for the audit period.   

However, with the shift to a virtual approach, while a virtual meeting or set of meetings can still be conducted, RTOs can provide documentation over a less concentrated period of time, and requested information can be sourced in between conducting day-to-day business, improving productivity. It also offers savings for the RTO who would not have to pay for consultant incurred travel/accommodation costs. 

Every consultant has their way of conducting an audit but having a virtual option would also pose a benefit to the consultant themselves. There is less time away from home that can be better allocated to perfecting that work-life balance we all need. 

So the next time you need an internal audit, why not suggest to your consultant it’s virtual. COVID has proven it’s feasible, RTOs can benefit from a less concentrated approach, consultants get to travel less, it’s in line with ASQA’s stated approach and it’s a win for sustainability!