On Thursday, 7 July 2022TIC Council hosted, jointly with Cotecna, a webinar entitled: "Remote Activities of Conformity Assessment”.

The webinar opened with welcoming remarks by the moderator, Ileana Martinez, Trade and Accreditation Director of TIC Council, who presented the speakers and the main topic of the webinar. Additionally, Ms. Martinez introduced to the audience the Guidance Paper on Remote Activities which was published by TIC Council on March 2022 and that provided the basis for the discussion.

Pia Kathöfer, Corporate Regulatory Affairs Coordinator at TÜV Rheinland, kickstarted the event by explaining her role within the creation of the Guidance Paper and the reasoning behind its conception and development. She stated how the objective of the paper was not only to provide technical guidance to operators, but also chiefly to strengthen the confidence in the use of remote activities in conformity assessment, contributing to a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and to a higher acceptance and trust of these new methods.

Specifically, Ms. Kathöfer mentioned how the key parameters for deciding on the use of remote activities mainly consist in an assessment of the risks of the process involved and in the ability to fully assess compliance with all relevant requirements. Moreover, integrity, efficiency, effectiveness and impartiality of the process should always be guaranteed. Limiting factors to be taken into consideration include legislative and regulatory provisions and characteristics of the product or service that cannot be assessed without the use of human senses. Finally, it is important that the technical infrastructure is working properly and that the personnel involved is adequately trained.

Kamlesh Parmar, Director - Middle East - VOC & Commodities at Cotecna, talked about the role of remote activities at Cotecna and shared some facts and figures of relevance. There has been a marked increase in the amount of remote activities performed in the TIC sector in general due to the shifts in the industry following the last two years of COVID-19 pandemic. Remote activities have been aided in their increased popularity by their geographical accessibility, by sustainability considerations (due to the lesser amount of traveling involved), by reduced costs and by a heightened grade of innovation thanks to the use of new and advanced tools to perform them.

Finally, Imran Sayed, Senior Product Director at Cotecna, addressed technological issues related to remote activities, with a focus on their future and evolution. Thanks to the better quality of digital connections – mobile, web and Internet – a data-driven remote testing environment is definitely possible. Drones and AI use can further augment the use cases for remote activities, although right now we are just in the early stages of this evolution. Remote activities and on-site activities will, in any case, coexist in the future.

The panel closed with a Q&A session in which the panellists answered the questions and doubts that were posed by the audience, before and during the webinar.

If you wish to know more, you may have a look at the presentation and the recording of the event.

Check our list of webinars to find about more about TIC Council’s work in providing thought-provoking presentations on the current market trends and legislative developments around conformity assessment.