SESHA 2005 Symposium - PDC Description

Performance-Based Auditing: A Different Approach to Enhancing Your EMS

Yturri, Jeanne
(Zephyr, Austin, TX)

Look up "audit" in Webster's and you will find that it simply means to examine or verify. Yet anyone who has conducted an environmental or safety audit knows that it is a complex process that is intended to provide meaningful information that can be used to drive improvement. No matter what how big the facility or the number of topics being addressed, it is vital that the auditor see what is "real" and not miss something important. A different type of audit, called a performance-based audit, has emerged as organizations improve the way they manage their environmental and safety issues. In a standard regulatory compliance audit, the auditor considers potentially applicable regulations and then reviews documents and records, makes observations, and conducts interviews to verify whether compliance requirements are being met. Performance-based audits are "results-oriented" and rely mostly on observations and interviews to identify whether controls and practices are in place to prevent or reduce the potential for harm in terms of injury, ill health, or impacts to the environment. When done correctly, performance-based audits will decrease or eliminate risk and ensure regulatory compliance. This professional development course will provide an overview of the elements of an effective management system, including a "how to" and the benefits of conducting performance-based audits.

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