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Auditor Selection and Competencies. How to make the right decision?

by , 24 March 2015
The following tips should help you make the right choice when selecting an internal auditor or for the audit team.

As a first important aspect, don't forget that your internal auditors or audit team should be independent of the component of the OHSMS that they are auditing by:


- selecting internal auditors who have not provided OHS services, advice or consultancy to the selected area for at least two years prior to the commencement of the audit; or
- putting in place suitable arrangements to manage any potential conflicts of interest where internal auditors have provided OHS services, advice or consultancy to the selected area in the two years prior to the commencement of the audit.


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Important note!

Choose an audit team that is sufficiently qualified, competent and experienced to perform OHS audits.

Where the internal auditor(s) are not sufficiently qualified, competent and experienced, the internal auditor(s) may be supported by other experts to enable them to perform audits competently.

When determining the suitability of internal auditors, the audit team must take into account the following essential criteria:

• Relevant tertiary qualifications;

• Knowledge of current South African Occupational Health and Safety legislation (Act and Regulations);

• Successful completion of a recognised OHS auditor training course; and
• One year of recent experience in an OHS role.

Also, you should know that each division, auxiliary operation and wholly owned subsidiary shall be audited at least once over a one-year cycle.

Moreover, your audit team, in consultation with the OHS and Injury Management Department, shall assess each division, auxiliary operation and wholly owned subsidiary, and determine a nominal risk classification, based on the known operational risks of the organisation.
 
As a a final note, you should also bear in mind that some divisions may have departments with nominal risk classifications that vary from the overall risk of the division.

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