Hi Mark –
If these protocols are intended to be used as proof of validation, I would definitely raise it as an issue. Validation protocols serve a GMP purpose in that they provide proof that a particular system or piece of equipment is able to consistently and reliably perform as expected within defined specifications. Therefore, they should be controlled in an appropriate document control system, and be reviewed and approved by the appropriate people to ensure correctness, completeness, and sufficiency for the purpose. Documentation should also provide sufficient evidence that the protocol was executed correctly and completely by a qualified individual, that no steps were skipped, and that expected results and acceptance criteria are met. The initialed and dated steps and hand-written observations on the protocol help provide that. Even better, screen shots or other objective evidence should be provided to show that test criteria were met.
Based on the description you provided, there is no proof that anyone did anything other than type a bunch of stuff into a spreadsheet, perhaps on the day before your visit!
Sometimes the “old-school” way of doing things is still considered best practice. Alternatively, a forward-thinking software company could invest in tools that would let them maintain the necessary control and accountability electronically while eliminating all the manual work.