The New Year has brought a new IS-BAO Standard revision! For operators who are IS-BAO registered, who wish to be IS-BAO compliant, or who just want to ensure they adhere to a widely accepted safety standard, this is a perfect time to review your operation to see if you are in compliance with the updated protocols.
Here are two of the biggest changes of 2017.
1. Annual Review Process
The greatest addition to the IS-BAO Standard this year is a new protocol specifically requiring operators to “establish and maintain a process to ensure that changes to IS-BAO are verified, analyzed and incorporated into the organization’s processes, as applicable.”
While this process was implied in previous years with the compliance monitoring requirements, those protocols did not specifically reference IS-BAO. This year’s new standard heavily implies that operators should be conducting annual reviews of their processes as the IS-BAO Standards are revised every year.
While addressing the new protocol, operators should take the opportunity to review all of their manuals. Manuals should be reassessed to ensure all protocols are addressed and that the procedures described are true to the procedures actually being practiced. Any deficiencies or differences should be resolved through their manual revision or reissue process.
2. Consecutive Audit Limits
In previous years, there was no set limit on the number of consecutive audits a single auditor could perform for an operator, although operators were encouraged to use different auditors.
This year, a new audit procedure standard states that individuals are discouraged from conducting consecutive audits as the lead auditor and prohibited from performing three audits in a row, in any capacity, for an operator. However, this requirement may be waived under certain circumstances if it is deemed in the best interests of the International Standards Programme and approved by the IS-BAO Audit Manager.
The purpose of this change is to help ensure the validity of the audit process and to provide operators with a broader perspective of industry trends and practices and to ensure the IS-BAO does not devolve into a simple box-checking effort.
Operators due for an audit this year may want to start the process a little earlier to leave time for finding and vetting a new auditor.
This year’s ISBAO Standards changes center around the periodic review of procedures and documentation and bringing diverse points of view into the auditing process. 2017 can be a great year for operators to establish a regular review process of their documentation and to grow their network of potential auditors.