successfully converted audit program to a virtual format

In response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, where entry to medical facilities, and thus to some biobanks, was limited, converted its intra-consortial cross-audit program to a virtual format.

Whereas the original cross-audits involved a one-day visit to the audited site by the QM coordinators of the consortium partners, the audits have now been changed to a three-week document review phase followed by a one-day virtual interview. Between the document review and the interview, there is also a meeting (also virtual) of the auditors to concretize questions for the interview. A video recording of the interview part enables both auditors and auditees to later review and obtain information beyond the audit report.

So far, Biobank Graz and VetBiobank have agreed to this test balloon and each successfully completed a virtual cross-audit. The audits were conducted by the lead of Work Package (WP) 3 – Quality management (WP leader: Helmuth Haslacher, MedUni Wien Biobank), with five co-auditors from the consortium partners.

The main goals of this internal audit program, which is a main deliverable of’s WP 3 are at one hand to offer a subject-specific review of a biobank’s own processes, and on the other hand to provide insight into well-functioning structures of audited biobanks for partners with more recently established QM-systems. is already looking forward to the next audit, which will take place at MedUni Vienna Biobank in early 2023. Although the cross-audit program will return to its face-to-face format after the end of the pandemic, it is intended to retain certain aspects of the virtual audit, such as the preceding document review and meeting of auditors.