Continuing on from our recent series on questions to ask top management, our next series focuses on other levels of management incorporated in an Integrated Management System. Throughout an audit, the auditor will conduct a series of interviews with managers and other staff at varying levels in the organisation. These interviews that are conducted are typically driven by areas highlighted during the initial documentation review and subsequent interview with Top Management. They will also often include the person/s responsible for managing the organisation’s training.
To make this whole process easier, we’ve outlined below a checklist of questions which we believe all auditors should ask Training Managers when conducting an IMS audit.
- Have you established documented procedures for employee involvement, participation and consultation and to identify training needs in relation to performing work activities competently? (AS/NZS 4801 Clause 18.104.22.168 & 4.4.2)( OHSAS 18001 Clause 22.214.171.124 & 4.4.2) Note: OHSAS 18001 requires a procedure which by definition can be documented or not.
- Have these documented procedures been agreed to by employees? (AS/NSZ 4801 126.96.36.199)
- Have competencies been developed for people working for, under the control of, or on behalf of the organisation such as, employees, subcontractors, visitors and volunteers? (AS/NSZ 4801 188.8.131.52) (ISO 14001 Clause 4.4.2)(OHSAS 18001 Clause 4.4.2)
- Do these competencies specifically cover:
- Persons that have the potential to cause a significant environmental impact. (ISO 14001 Clause 4.4.2)
- Personnel performing work affecting conformity to product or service requirements. (ISO 9001 Clause 6.2.1)
- The OHS obligations, hazards and risks associated with the work activities. (AS/NSZ 4801 4.4.2)
- If training needs have been identified do you provide training or take other actions to achieve the necessary competence? (ISO 9001 Clause 6.2.2)
- Does any training provided or any training procedures take into account the differing levels of responsibility, ability, language skills, literacy, risk, characteristics and composition of the activity and of the workforce? (AS/NZS 4.4.2)(OHSAS 18001 Clause 4.4.2)
- Has the training or other actions undertaken been evaluated for effectiveness and have appropriate records been maintained? (ISO 9001 Clause 6.2.2c) ( OHSAS 18001 Clause 4.4.2)
- Are people working for or on behalf of your organisation aware of:
- The OHS consequences, actual or potential of their work activities and behaviour (OHSAS 18001 Clause 4.4.2a)
- The actual or potential environmental impacts associated with their work? (ISO 14001 Clause 4.4.2b)
- The environmental and OHS benefits of improved personal performance? (ISO 14001 Clause 4.4.2b)
- The potential consequences of departure from specified procedures? (ISO 14001 Clause 4.4.2 d)(OHSAS 18001 Clause 4.4.2c)
- Are appropriate records of education, training, skills and experience maintained? (ISO 9001 Clause 6.2.2) (ISO 14001 Clause 4.5.4) (AS/NZS 4801 Clause 4.5.3) (OHSAS 18001 Clause 4.4.2)
While answering yes to all these questions does not assure total compliance to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, AS/NZS 4801, or OHSAS 18001, it does pick up on some of the key aspects of an integrated management system.