GETTING VALUE FROM YOUR BIOSOLIDS EMS VERIFICATION AUDIT
Abstract:Organizations that participate in the National Biosolids Partnership “Biosolids EMS Program” will seek verification of their Biosolids Environmental Management System (EMS) by successfully completing an independent, third party audit of their EMS. Initially, this audit may only be intended to obtain “verification” status for the EMS, however if done effectively and thoroughly, the Verification Audit can add significant and meaningful value to the organization's management system.
Steps in the verification audit process include a review of EMS documentation, followed by an onsite audit that includes verification conformance with all 17 EMS Elements, transaction testing and examination of outcomes. The organization can successfully “pass” requirements for conforming to the EMS Elements by developing an EMS that addresses each requirement of the standard. However, if it is to be truly meaningful, the EMS needs to function effectively and generate results that you want. The Verification Audit can be of great benefit in assessing and continually improving that effectiveness.
By examining how the EMS functions and particularly whether it is helping to produce quality biosolids practices, improved environmental performance and better compliance and generating community awareness, the organization can identify strengths, weaknesses and priorities for their EMS and find ways to continually improve performance in those and other areas. Doing this in cooperation with the auditor provides an objective assessment that will put life and real value into the EMS.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2004
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