Conducting audits in corona lockdown – is that even possible? In my blog post, I’ll first tell you what the process of an audit looks like when the business is open and what interesting things I check in the process.

It´s open – Procedure of an audit

In my last blog post, I told you about our remote project work during Corona, which resulted in the “Hygiene and Infection-protection Management” (HIM) certification. Specially developed for the hospitality industry, the operators of restaurants, bars and hotels show with the certificate that they do everything for the hygiene and infection protection of their guests.


A “normal” audit with opened businesses would look like this:

As the auditor, I sit down in a quiet corner with the person responsible for the restaurant, we discuss the procedure and start with a document check. Here, I look at the hygiene concept and the personnel planning. Meanwhile, I keep an eye on the behavior of the employees and guests.

I observe whether the instructions, which are in written form, are actually followed. How do service staff react if guests enter the restaurant without disinfecting their hands or if the mask is not properly fitted? Do small mistakes happen occasionally, or does it seem as if the employees are not aware of the instructions?

Checklist is completed

This is followed by a tour of the premises. Here, for example, I look at how many people are allowed to use the staff rooms at the same time and how the employees in the back office or kitchen implement the requirements. Depending on the workload, I also manage to talk to the employees and mentally tick off some of the items on our checklist through interviews.

Together with those responsible, the checklist is completed and a final discussion is held. Are there still issues that need to be worked on or can we prepare everything for the certificate handover? If all requirements are met, the restaurant receives a certificate and this seal:


Toilet check? The audit checklist is long

An audit like this is quite extensive, and some people might be surprised at all the things we check. We not only check whether disinfectants are used, but also how suitable they are for the respective purpose. For example, are guests offered a disinfectant that is not virucidal but only intended for bacteria?

In brewpubs in particular, it was common practice before the pandemic to place cutlery on the table in a jug from which each guest took his or her own cutlery. In times of the pandemic, however, managers should avoid this as far as possible and rather distribute the cutlery individually to the guests and not have it already on the table.

We also take a look at the toilets. Toilets?

Oh yes, especially in the men’s toilets people often forget to keep the minimum distance at the urinals.

Cleaning of the work clothes

We often give the advice here that center toilets should be blocked off so that the men can stand at least 1.5m away from each other.

How do employees handle their work clothes? Can they wash them on site or should the employees clean the clothes themselves at home? Are there washing instructions for this? We ask to see proof that the employees have been instructed to clean the laundry at a minimum of 60°C.

Lockdown – and now?


Audits in lockdown

Currently, all restaurants, bars, pubs and hotels are closed. An audit with opened and running businesses is no longer or not yet possible. However, our customers would like to continue to be certified according to HIM, so that they are well prepared for all hygiene requirements as soon as things get going again.


More in my next blog post

How a closed-door audit works, what benefits it brings, and whether our customers see me like the famous TV chef and restaurant critic Gordon Ramsay – you’ll learn all about it in my next blog post.



Alina Roeder

Alina Roeder


Alina Roeder is an auditor and product manager in the systems area. In addition to her commitment to a wide range of services, she is responsible for our human resources management standard “Excellent Employer”. She is also involved in projects, e.g. of the International Paralympic Committee.
Her career-tip for you: If you notice that you are not challenged enough, encourage and challenge yourself.

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