Information required when requesting a COR audit quote

It is the time of the year that businesses begin their search for COR Auditors.  Whether it is your company’s first certification, re-certification or maintenance audit, when you are requesting a quote there is important information you should provide in order to receive an accurate quote from suppliers.

  1.  Who is your Certifying Partner.  Most auditors are certified to conduct audits with more than one Certifying Partner.  It is important to provide the name of your Certifying Partner as each CP has their own audit tool.  Time preparing the final audit report can vary according to the audit tool being used.  You will also want to ensure the auditor you choose is certified to conduct your audit with your current CP.
  2. What type of audit do you require.  Is this audit being conducted to receive your first COR, to re-certify or a maintenance year audit.  The process and time frame for the audit is the same however if this is the certifying audit, most auditors will ensure the company has all the required training and met the initial requirements prior to providing a quote for services.
  3. How many employees work for the company.  Audit protocols set the number of interviews required by the number of employees.  The number of interviews required must be know to determine the amount of hours that must be scheduled for conducting interviews.
  4. How many sites or locations does the company have.  Audit protocols set the number of sites that are to be included in the scope of the audit.  Depending on the number of sites, not all sites are included in the scope of the audit.  Head office must be included each year, the other sites are included on a rotating basis.  Each site included in the scope must be visited during audit activities.  Travel time and expenses are included in quotes and therefore this information is important.
  5. Where are the required documents kept.  A number of businesses keep the majority of their documentation at their head office.  Auditors must know how much time they will require to spend at each site reviewing documentation.  There are certain documents that are reviewed at all sites visited, even if the majority of the documentation is located at the head office.  Examples include emergency response programs and inspections should be available at each site visited.

Each auditor may have additional questions to be answered before a quote is provided, but these are the basic questions that must be answered to ensure an accurate quote.  The majority of the auditors will determine the amount of time required by the number of locations visited and the number of employees interviewed to calculate the number of hours and days it will take to conduct the audit and price their quotes accordingly.

In addition auditors will need to schedule time to conduct observations.  Observations are done when documentation and interviews are completed.  This is the third method of verification and auditors are looking to see that actions noted in documentation or interviews has been completed.

To ensure the quotes you receive are accurate it is important to provide as much information as possible.

An additional tip is when possible conduct your audits early in the calendar year.  Many businesses wait until the fourth quarter of the calendar year to conduct their audits.  This can make it hard to find auditors to meet your requirements and may increase the time an audit takes to pass Quality Assurance Review, due to the number of audits the CP receives during this time.  Conducting audits earlier in the year also provides the business the opportunity to make corrections and re-audit in the rare case a limited scope audit is required.

I hope these tips are useful and wish you all success in your COR audit process.

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Making your OH&S user friendly

As an organization you have written and published a Health and Safety Policy Procedure Manual for your employees’ reference.  In the front of the manual you have included a Table of Contents to assist users locating the information they are looking for.  But have you considered an Index which is more user friendly than a Table of Contents.  What is the difference?

Table of Contents vs an index

Table of Contents is located in the front of the book or manual.  It lists the chapters or sections in the order that they appear in the book along with the page number.

An example is in the Table of Contents the section on Personal Protective Equipment may appear on page 40.  The entry may look like this

Personal Protective Equipment …………………………………………………….. 40

An index is located in the back of the book listing important terms and pronouns alphabetically along with page or section numbers.

An index will note the page or section every time Personal Protective Equipment is noted in the book.  The entry may look like this

Personal Protective Equipment

Ear plugs see Hearing Protection

Failure to wear PPE 40

See Disciplinary Policy 10

Foot protection 25, 40

Head protection 28, 41

Hearing protection 2, 30, 40

Maintenance of 45

 

Having an Index in the back of a printed or electronic manual will make your OH&S Manual more user friendly.  The user can look in the back under the specific piece of PPE they are inquiring about and see every place reference is made to the PPE, including how to maintain their PPE.

Having an Index in the back will assist the employee in finding the information they are looking for.  Employee time is precious and most want to just find quickly what they are looking for and then get back to work.  When an employee can look up in the index exactly what they want to know it reduces frustrations.  If the information is not easily obtained the employee will give up and not wish to look at the manual again.  When the information is easily obtained it will encourage the employee to continue to reference the manual when they have an inquiry.

Consider increasing the user friendliness of your OH&S Manual, increase user interaction with the manual and provide employees an opportunity to own their safety but putting an index in the back of your manual.

If you need assistance in developing the index for your corporate OH&S Manual please contact Betts Passmore at Erco Safety – info@ercosafety.ca

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