COVID-19 Coronavirus – Our Position & Advice to Clients


Status

Assent Offices: Operating Remotely – No issues. ✅
Assent Consultants: Remote Preferred, On-Site subject to COVID-Secure Controls – No issues. ✅
UK Travel:
Travel when Necessary ⚠️
International Travel:
No Travel 🛑

  • Revised: 23rd June 2020 –
    Remote working remains the preferred delivery method however onsite visits will be facilitated from 6th July 2020, providing appropriate controls are in place client-side.
  • Reviewed 11th May 2020 –
    We are monitoring updated government guidance for employers.  Currently we can provide all our services remotely. There is no change to our policy.
  • Reviewed 17th April 2020 –
    Assent continues to follow UK Government advice and are operating fully Remotely.  Find out more.
  • Revised 24th March 2020 – All Travel prohibited.  Remote Working – No Issues.
  • Revised 17th March 2020 – Office staff & Consultants now working remotely.
  • Reviewed 13th March 2020 –  Following COBRA Meeting. No Changes.
  • Reviewed 9th March 2020 – No Changes
  • Created 4th March 2020

Introduction

The COVID-19 Coronavirus has the potential to severely affect organisations and communities in the UK.  

This blog explains the steps Assent has taken to mitigate the risks to our business and how we are managing the changing threat.

We do not address the details of the Coronavirus here and you should refer to the official advice below.

Official advice from the UK Government and international authorities is constantly changing as the situation develops.  Check the following information for the most up-to-date information.: 

 

Threats to Assent

Assent’s core services require consultants to travel to client premises, primarily within the UK.  

While we believe this presents a relatively low risk of infection, our consultants may come into contact with people who have travelled to/from affected areas or fall ill through other means.

If our consultants are required to self-isolate or fall ill, this may affect the delivery of services to some clients. Appointments may be delayed or conducted remotely using video conferencing and screen sharing.

Staff are based in our offices or use coworking spaces within the UK, which may increase the risk of infection from third parties.

Our office operations are fully resilient and we do not believe there will be any impact.

 

Mitigating the Risks to Assent

Assent has implemented and tested business continuity procedures to ensure the company is incredibly resilient to business disruptions including COVID-19.

Our back-office staff can work indefinitely from other locations, including their homes, with no material impact to client services and we have already cross-trained each role to cover holiday and sickness absence.

We use cloud technologies to maintain resilient communications (telephony, email & conference facilities) and have secure access to data during a disruption, with no reliance on physical premises.

Our consultants have access to the same resilient technology, and while they do travel to client sites to conduct their work, we believe that any disruption caused by Coronavirus can be easily managed by:

  • Delivering auditing and project work through remote means including conference calls and screen sharing. 
  • Postponing audit programmes and projects until the risk subsides.

It is our preference to continue to deliver services where possible to prevent project delays.

Assent continues to monitor official guidance and if we do implement contingency plans above, our office will be in-touch with you to arrange this and provide any required support.

While an individual consultant falling ill would have an impact on the clients they work with, systems are already in place to enable other Assent consultants to continue the work.  This includes:

  • Project management system containing project plans and updates,
  • Audit reports and visit notes stored centrally,
  • Central Admin calendar recording all appointments. 

In our office areas we are making alcohol-based hand sanitizers available and promoting awareness of hand-washing.

 

Communications with Assent

We will keep clients and other interested parties up-to-date on our Coronavirus strategy. 

If a member of Assent staff tests positive for Coronavirus, we will inform those who could be affected as soon as possible.

You can use the normal channels of communication to reach us.  We also operate a service desk which will be constantly monitored by our team. 

Email Our Service Desk

 

Reporting Site Closure, Illness & Isolation

If someone in your organisation becomes ill with Coronavirus and they could have come into contact with a member of our team please let us know immediately so we can limit the potential spread of the virus. Contact our office or the Assent Service Desk

 

Please let us know as soon as possible if your organisation implements Coronavirus plans which could affect your work with Assent, including:

  • closing offices,
  • restricting visitors, 
  • restricting travel.

Summary

This policy will be kept under constant review in line with government guidance. We intend to maintain normal business operations as much as possible.