Part 15: The Road To SHEQ Certification – Clause 9.2

Auditing Your SHEQ Management System.

The Auditing component of SHEQ Certification focuses on the evaluation of compliance, and the internal audits, which can be done through creating an audit program.  This video gives you an overview of these concepts and how you can incorporate auditing into your SHEQ management system in order to help achieve the intended outcomes.

Hi, and welcome to another video on the road to SHEQ certification.  In this particular video we are going to be looking at clause 9.2, which is auditing of clause 9 – performance evaluation.

A quick overview of the various different clauses we have gone through already;

We looked at clause 4.1 and 4.2, which is internal and external issues, needs and expectations of workers and interested parties, defining the scope of the management system, looking at the interrelationship of processes.

Clause 5 looking at leadership, commitment, the SHEQ policy, roles, responsibilities, accountability and authority, worker consultation and participation. 

Then in clause 6, we had a look at the strategic risk assessment.  We had a look at hazards, risks, environmental aspects and impacts, compliance obligations related to the organization.  We had a look at planning to act.  We had a look at objectives and we had a look at change management.

As a part of clause 7, which is support, we had a look at providing suitable resources to ensure that the SHEQ management system is able to achieve its intended outcome.  Resources being infrastructure, people, equipment, finances.  We looked at competency and awareness; making sure that we are providing competent and aware individuals so that we can ensure the SHEQ management system is established, implemented and maintained to achieve the intended outcome.  We had a look at communication, documented information, how we communicate internally and externally. How we manage documented information (being documents and records) within our SHEQ management system to achieve the intended outcome.

We also had a lengthy look at clause 8; our customer requirements, planning, product and service realization process, managing of our service providers and contractors, and verification and validation, and products and services being realized.

In clause 9.1, we had a look at SHEQ performance indicators in assessing the effectiveness of the SHEQ management system and the controls, in achieving the intended outcome.

Now in clause 9.2, we have a look at auditing.  Within this auditing component, we are going to have a look at the Evaluation of Compliance and also the Internal Audits.  So in order to be able to summarize all of that, we will develop an Audit Program, which would speak to the internal audits and the evaluation of compliance. Within and audit program, we want to establish what are the objectives of the audit program - Where are the various different sites? What do we want to achieve through the audit program? Has the audit program been approved and authorized by the senior manager? What are the risks involved in the audit?

Then applying our understanding of risks to the development of the audit program and the audit plan, because some of the divisions may be more significant or a higher risk than some of the other departments.  We would then want to apply risk-based thinking to ensure that we audit strategic processes more regularly than other process.  So, we apply risk based thinking.

Within our audit program, we want to look at auditor competency.  If were auditing quality, health, safety and environmental, we need to have auditors that can either speak to all standards, or are subject-matter experts in one of those.  And particularly also from an evaluation of compliance perspective, do the people understand the compliance obligations or the legal and other requirements?

We need to have a look at audit planning and frequency based on our understanding of risk. We need to determine and develop audit criteria.  In our audit program we need to speak about the methods that we are going to apply and the sampling that were going to apply to our auditing techniques. We want to look into the classifications of findings, such as take notes, observations, minor nonconformities, major nonconformities, and obviously conformities.

Within our audit program, we also want to speak to how were going to report, what is the outcome of the audit process, how we are then going to take action around the audit findings, and we obviously need to retain documented information on the audit program, the audit plan, and the audit documents.

So let’s just talk about an audit for a second. What exactly is an audit? Well if we look at 17021 and ISO 19011 (which are the ISO standards for auditing), an audit is basically an independent, systematic process of comparing audit evidence (from the auditee) with audit criteria (for the auditor) to raise audit findings.

I think regularly within an audit process, we focus too much on the fact that people think an audit is a negative process, and generally the audit objective is to evaluate the suitability, advocacy and effectiveness of the SHEQ management system in achieving the intended outcomes.  So basically, when we audit, we are auditing to identify where the system is doing well – I’m looking for conformance.  But just by virtue of that process, I may identify nonconformities.  I think auditing sometimes has a very negative reputation, where it needn’t have that. It’s a systematic, independent process of comparing audit evidence with audit criteria, to raise audit findings. 

After considering all of the audit findings against the audit objective, we then raise an audit conclusion.  And obviously lots of independent audits would then be evaluated against their audit objective and audit conclusion, to ultimately come up with an overall audit conclusion for the audit program. So that’s just an overview of the auditing component and how we would apply that to our SHEQ management system to evaluate the effectiveness of our SHEQ management system and the various different controls and processes in achieving the intended outcome. 

​We trust that you enjoyed this video.



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