Remote video inspections are part of the new normal. Regulatory bodies and inspection entities can both benefit from this regulatory enforcement innovation in the process of reopening the EU economy after lockdown ends. But is it really going to work that way? Not if government agencies ignore the constraints and risks of performing inspections remotely. The key to success of remote inspection programs is to ensure the process flow has good communication between regulatory bodies and inspection entities.
Benefits from remote video inspection programs
Technology proved to be a great ally to regulators during the global pandemic. The digital adoption of inspection management solutions helped regulators to stay efficient even during the lockdowns. The digitally advanced government agencies achieved this by introducing remote inspections in their regulatory policies, and more specifically – video inspections.
The remote video inspection programs can be applied to various sectors – construction inspections, work safety inspections, social care facilities inspections, food safety inspections, fire prevention inspections etc. These sectors benefit from this innovation by saving time in travelled distance and optimizing costs of inspections. On the other hand, the inspection entities are benefiting from a speedy processing of inspections and resolving issues that need fast resolution. For instance, food facilities like restaurants can benefit from fast reopening after lockdown ends; construction project can benefit from more flexibility in the construction schedule; social care institutions can comply with the social distance rules easier when inspections are performed remotely, etc. Long story short, it’s a win-win game when we talk about remote video inspections.
How to prepare for implementing remote video inspections process?
Remote video inspections can be conducted by the rules of regular inspections. It means that actions such as inspection scheduling, filling inspection checklists and managing documentation can mirror the regular inspection process. Conducting remote inspections may sound too liberal for conservative organisations like government agencies. That’s why sticking to the regular inspection model as tightly as possible is recommended for the purpose of acceptance. But it doesn’t mean that the process doesn’t need its own guidelines. A big pie of the changes that covid-19 brought are here to stay and the same is expected for remote inspections. That’s why they should not be looked as something temporary that doesn’t need policies and new rules. Remote video inspections policies and rules should be a talking point before their introduction.
Rules and policies for remote video inspections
1. Basic rules for remote inspections
Regulatory agencies that are planning to introduce remote video inspections should prepare guidelines to help inspection entities and their staff to carry on remote inspections. The very basic rules for remote inspections should outline the types of inspections that allow this method. Usually those are low complexity and low risk inspections.
2. Inspection scheduling rules
The prioritization of inspections should be scheduled according to a certain framework. The inspection management software of the agency can provide data about the complexity score of each inspection and serve as a priority marker.
3. Inspection execution tools
Tools like Skype or Facetime can be used as a medium for the inspection process. The policy of the remote inspection program can require the process to be always with live video so that inspector can direct the process. If the inspection does not happen live, the inspector may not be able to take picture of something or ask some questions.
How inspection entities should proceed to request a remote inspection?
The easiest and safest way to request a remote inspection is via self-submission portal. Once the request is submitted, the regulator can decide whether to accept or decline. This process can be automated with rules that will allow remote inspection for cases that are below certain complexity score and vice versa. For example, Canalix is an inspection management software with self-submission portals that can automatically allow remote inspections to relevant requests or decline if the request doesn’t qualify for remote processing according to the agency’s guidelines.
Technology is indeed a great ally to governments and citizens in times of crisis. 2020 proved that to be very true in the field of regulatory inspections. But to realise the benefits of technology-enabled remote inspections, government agencies must consider the constraints and risks. With error free communication, enabled by self-submission portals and rules-driven automation, both regulators and inspection entities can successfully finish inspections. With relevant and comprehensive guidelines, this new inspection process can bring positive change in the regulatory inspection programs of many sectors.
Are you a public sector professional that wants to implement remote inspection procedures in the work of regulatory agencies? Contact us, we can help.