Environment / Safety
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An audit provides a snapshot in time of a company’s compliance status. An essential component of any compliance program—health and safety, environmental, food safety—an audit captures compliance status and provides the opportunity to identify and correct potential business losses. But what about sustaining ongoing compliance beyond that one point in time? How does a company know if it has the processes in place to ensure ongoing compliance?
Creating a Path to Compliance Assurance
A compliance assurance review looks beyond the “point-in-time” compliance to critically evaluate how the company manages compliance programs, processes, and activities, with compliance assurance as the ultimate goal. It can also be used as a process improvement tool, while ensuring compliance with all requirements applicable to the company.
This type of review is ideal for companies that already have a management system in place or strive to approach compliance with health and safety, environmental, or food safety requirements under a management system framework.
Setting the Scope
The scope of the review is tailored to a company’s needs. It can be approached by:
- Compliance program/topic where the company has had routine compliance failures
- Compliance program/topic that presents a high risk to the company
- Compliance program/topic that spans across multiple facilities that report to a central function
- Location/product line/project where the company is looking to streamline a process while still ensuring compliance with multiple legal and other requirements
While each program, project, or location may differ in breadth of regulatory requirements, enforcement priorities, size, complexity, operational control responsibilities, etc., all compliance assurance reviews progress through a standard process that ties back to the management system.
Continual Compliance Improvements
Through a compliance assurance review, the company will define and understand:
- Compliance requirements and where regulated activities occur throughout the organization
- Current company programs and processes used to manage those activities and the associated level of program/process maturity
- Deficiencies in compliance program management and opportunities for improvement
- How to feed review recommendations back into elements of the management system to create a roadmap for sustaining and continually improving compliance