· 6 min read
During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the China-based company Unibond Seafood International needed to provide verification of Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) compliance for its Qingdao facility. Though NSF’s team could conduct the certification audit on-site, strict worldwide travel restrictions prevented a critical third-party official from attending the proceedings. To ensure the audit could take place, Unibond Seafood took advantage of NSF EyeSucceed virtual audits and next-gen livestream communications.
Using smartglasses paired with NSF EyeSucceed’s next-gen livestreaming and data capture capabilities, the NSF team and field auditors worked in real time with an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) officer to conduct full audits over two days.
The solution enabled the U.S.-based ANSI official to witness and engage with the team throughout the auditing process, experiencing the visual perspective of the on-site auditor through a client interface on his computer. He could talk to the auditors, offer guidance, request information, capture images and record video.
From the initial document review to the final meeting, the entire two-stage audit proceeded smoothly with the remote participation of the ANSI officer, thanks to NSF EyeSucceed’s remote auditing technology.
"We successfully passed the VQIP certification audit performed by NSF's team, enabling our company to align with U.S. standards, improve our food safety management system and increase our core competitiveness for entering the U.S. market,” said UZP’s Executive Deputy General Manager Sui Pengpeng.
The U.S. FDA established VQIP certification under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in order to improve the safety of imported food products. Food suppliers that earn VQIP certification benefit from increased speed and predictability at U.S. ports.
The program requires a facility to be audited by an accredited third-party certifier like NSF Certification, LLC. In addition, an FDA-recognized accreditation body — in this case, ANSI — must witness and certify the audits.
Business disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many companies to rethink their established auditing, verification and certification processes. NSF EyeSucceed’s remote auditing capabilities help audit teams and clients respond promptly. And we’re continuing to develop innovative solutions for our clients to work more efficiently and cost-effectively.