API Summer 2021

what matters most is that the person carrying out the audit is competent, has extensive practical, theoretical, and technical knowledge, and can carry out the audit without “fear or favor.” It is critical, too, to match their experience to the way you work, your customer groups, and the activities you operate. Determine competency. In the UK, we use two common acronyms to deter- mine competency. KATEL Knowledge. Attributes. Train- ing. Experience. Limitations. SKATE Skills. Knowledge. Attitude. Training. Experience. These help set expectations and help a proposed auditor provide evidence for their competence or background as it relates to each one. Support not sabotage. It’s important to decide if an audit will be open (i.e., staff will know when the auditors are coming and have time to prepare), or if the auditor will show up without advanced warning. Either way, remember that an

>> Safe and Sound

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• measure the culture of safety across several areas of your operation; • provide solutions to pinch points and rescue/support hot spots; • provide a review of your safety brief- ing and supervision effectiveness; • independently assess the customer experience and engagement; and • review the work carried out by external services such as inspection, maintenance, or training providers.


Hiring the right auditor for your oper- ation is a key consideration. “Initially, our staff were daunted at the thought of being monitored externally,” says Long, “but the inspector soon put them at ease and involved them in a manner that gave them ownership of their role.” Internal or external. You can use an internal auditor (someone from your own operation), or an external auditor. Each approach has pros and cons, but

audit shouldn’t be a tool to catch people out, but a way to support an operation, its managers, and its staff. “A safety audit is imperative for our busi- ness,” says Collett. “It allows our staff and directors to feel confident that every- thing within the business is sound, and instils confidence in our customers.” Measure safety across all areas of your operation. Photo: Vertex Training

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