Health and Safety, Environment and Quality Audits – a risk-based approach
17th July 2018
The author provides a step-by-step guide for auditing external safety, health, environment and quality (HSEQ) standards: ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environment) and (ISO 45001), while also aligning to ISO 19011, the international standard for management systems auditing.
This is important because the requirement for compliance professionals to undertake "combined" audits has become a critical function of their role. Potential time and cost savings are the most obvious business benefits.
Asbury -- a chartered fellow of IOSH -- takes us through the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) structure systemically and explains what auditors and senior managers should be looking for at each stage of the process.
Each chapter includes documents, forms and practical tips to make learning easier. The book contains 50 case studies and 90 auditing hints interspersed through its chapters. These are referred to as "A Factors" and are intended to aid success by consolidating the reader's knowledge and skills.
Whenever I had a spare few minutes, I found myself randomly opening the book and absorbing these useful nuggets.
As well as its technical content, the latest edition provides guidance on how to write an audit report, including tips on following up any issues identified using a specific, measurable, agreed, realistic and time-bound action plan. This auditing process keeps faith with ISO 19011, the standard that sets guidelines for management system auditing.
I found the appendices particularly helpful. They include a guide to online content, letter templates and even examples of examination questions, covering both the NEBOSH certificate and diploma.
There is a huge appetite in the industry for guidance on the standards, particularly ISO 45001. You do not have to search very far among the HSEQ community to find advice, assistance and support through articles, social media and expert panels.
Asbury's book is well researched and will be relevant to all HSEQ auditors and particularly managers, not least because the new standards require senior management to understand and lead on management systems. It will also be useful to those with an interest in governance, assurance and organisational improvement.
The hard copy is not cheap but, when you consider the cost of buying the standards, it represents good value.