The GAP Audit is a powerful tool to monitor the health of your SMS. As professionals we are required to monitor our personal health with an annual wellness exam by our doctor as a preventative measure to illness and diseases that might otherwise go undetected.
The GAP Audit can be used in a like manner to evaluate your SMS between registration audits. None of us like to hear about discrepancies during the IS-BAO Registration Audit, even though we understand the value. It is our makeup as professionals to not want others such as the IBAC reviewers or corporate managers to see our shortcomings that might be indicated on the formal audit report.
Conducted between registration audits, the GAP Audit can be a powerful tool to evaluate documents, processes, policies and procedures in depth to locate current and latent issues that if left uncorrected could impact the safety of the operation.
The GAP Audit is strictly between the operator and the audit team. It is not sent to IBAC and can remain completely in-house for use only by department personnel. Often, staff are more accepting of the findings with the knowledge that those discrepancies will not be seen by anyone outside the department. Transparency is the norm because everyone understands it is preparation for the registration audit and drives continuous improvement in a less formal environment where being open and transparent will be accepted by everyone without reservation and help prepare the operation for the formal audit.
The GAP Audit helps maintain the safety momentum of the department. By conducting the GAP Audit a year in advance of the registration audit, the operator has plenty of time to correct non-conformities uncovered in their documents, processes, policies and procedures; and, the confidence they are ready for the next IS-BAO Registration Audit.
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