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Audit principles

The audit process is designed to allow the inspector to determine if the process and procedures, subject to the audit, is in practice a true reflection of theory. It is the system, process or procedure that is subject to audit and not the people in or around the premises. For example, the audit of staff training procedures will look at the sequence of events detailed in writing being performed in reality. If the procedure states that ‘all staff will receive comprehensive fire safety training on a quarterly basis’, the inspector will expect to see evidence of this.

The efficiency with which the task is completed may be of relevance, but is not primarily what the inspector is looking for. Only if the task is not carried out will reasons be looked for.

The inspector will start by looking at a system and frequency for review to ensure it is actually in place. Following this, each element of the system will then be audited, including the review process.

The important factors to be considered are:

  • establish that a system exists (management policy or procedure)
  • check each element (hazard identification, risk assessment, control measures, review)
  • only check samples (select particular components of each element)
  • check by observation and communication (look and listen for evidence, talk to persons)
  • identify deficiencies (in the areas selected for audit)
  • address deficiencies