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How can a worker get appropriate training for conducting an audit?

Q: I am in the process of reviewing the company health and safety policies and procedures. I am using the H&S Handbook for guidance. I am currently reviewing the audit procedures. I note in the Handbook that 'appropriately trained internal staff, or an external third party can undertake audits'. How might a staff member receive appropriate training to complete audits? We are located in Western Australia.

A: To receive appropriate training to complete audits, employees may complete a relevant, accredited course to receive appropriate certification or a licence upon completion that allows them to undertake audits of health and safety management systems.

Although not as comprehensive, it may be that an employee with existing knowledge of health and safety processes can complete audits if they:

  • regularly attend health and safety conferences (whether in person or via a web conference), presentations, training sessions or information days run by external organisations on health and safety auditing processes; and
  • become a member of a health and safety committee and regularly attend the committee’s meetings to be aware of health and safety issues in the business.

In Western Australia, workers can use the WorkSafe Plan of Worksafe WA to assess your business’ safety and health system, as this can be used by anyone. It can be used for auditing to provide information and ratings on the extent to which an organisation has implemented a systematic approach to the management of safety and health, and the extent to which an organisation is complying with some of the legislative requirements. You can access the WorkSafe Plan at www.commerce.wa.gov.au.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to Training and induction for current advice.

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