Integrating EMS and QMS Audits - Is it worth it?

B
#1
Integrating Audits - Is it worth it?

Greetings all from across the pond. I have a thought provoking subject that I hope you can shed not a little wisdom on.
Subject:-
"Examining the cost benefits of integrating health, safety and quality auditing"

Specific Issues:-
1. Is it practical to have an integrated system – how much time, money and resources will it take to integrate your separate systems?
2. Evidence that an integrated system improves performance
3. How long after implementing an integrated audit are the benefits visible?
4. How do safety and environmental agencies view integrated auditing – will individual agencies want to be shown separate results for their areas of concern?
5. Will integrating systems compromise standards for individual audits?
6. Will you have to audit more frequently because potentially you’re not being as thorough as when auditing individual areas of interest?

Finally, my reason for asking, I'm after some convincing reasons (save money!)to go down the integration route

OR

some convincing reasons not to go down the route as it will dilute individual areas.

I can appreciate both sides of the 'argument', but would appreciate some comments from the wisest in the land (grovel). Any views, links etc welcome.
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
I think this was cross posted in another forum.

I think this would be very company dependent as to whether or not to integrate audits. I don't see a down side other than how you do audits. If you're focusing on whether or not you're meeting one or more standards, a factor will be auditor qualifications especially with respect to each of the requirements. If you're focusing on whether you're 'doing what we say we are' it shouldn't be a problem.

Re cost savings - I have no idea.
 

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
I am working with a client that is doing just that...integrating health and safety with ISO 9001 (with the intent of eventually doing a 14K system down the road.). Some will overlap well, others will need specific audit time. What we are doing is a health and safety / ergonomics checklist for the Internal auditors to use when they go into a manufacturing area. The audit teams are well trained and seasoned so adding this for them with a bit of backround training is a simple solution. The safety team will review the completed checklists....and will soon be trained as auditors and tag along on audits of specififc regulatory functions ( some should never be combined ) as subject matter experts......eventually leading the audits. This cross function of auditors should prove to be a good tool/team for the ISO-14K implementation...Anyway thats the plan. Save money ?????? Probably in the long run, but the initial investment of time and training may off set it the first year. ROI is yet to be determined, may never be....thats not what it was about. 14K implementation typically pays for itself if done correctly...so my guess is there is money to be saved, how much depends on the company. A system such as this reduces fines as well....
 
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