New remote assessment tool launched for Scottish quality assurance

Following the suspension of all face-to-face assessments of its quality assurance schemes, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has launched a new, remote assessment tool.

Developed in conjunction with Lloyds Register, the new remote assessment tool will enable a full quality assurance assessment to be conducted in processors, auction marts, hauliers, pig farms and cattle & sheep farms and is recognised by United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

QMS is the public body responsible for promoting the PGI labelled Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb brands in the UK and abroad and also promoting Scottish pork products under the Specially Selected Pork logo.

The quality assurance schemes run by QMS cover more than 90% of livestock farmed for red meat in Scotland.

It offers consumers in the UK and overseas the legal guarantee that the meat they buy has come from animals that have spent their whole lives being raised to some of the world’s strictest welfare standards.

‘A 2-stage process’

“The remote assessment will be a two-stage process which includes the submission of documents by a member to a portal or directly to the assessor for review,” said Kathryn Kerr, head of brands integrity with QMS.

A telephone interview or a livestream assessment of the physical standards using Lloyds Register Remote or similar platform will then take place.

“The remote assessments ensure that that members’ certification continues seamlessly in these exceptional circumstances and provides a workable solution which still continues to underpin our world-class standards.

“Of course, we appreciate that not every member will have the ability to complete both elements of the assessment.

“Therefore, when face-to-face assessments resume these members can be assessed as a priority to ensure continued compliance.”

Members that are due their annual assessment will be contacted by a Lloyds Register assessor to conduct a remote assessment in the coming weeks.

More information on the new assessment process can be found on the QMS website.