Preparing Your NBP EMS for 3rd Party Verification Audit – An Auditor's Perspective
Abstract:The National Biosolids Partnership (NBP) Environmental Management System (EMS) demonstration agency program has grown to over 50 members. Each of these agencies is committed to develop an EMS for biosolids that includes participating in a 3rd Party verification audit of their EMS. The intent of these audits is to bring in an independent, fresh “set of trained eyes” to ensure environmentally sound and effective biosolids operations and build credibility and acceptance with the public.
The focus of an audit is on verifying that an EMS conforms to the rigorous system requirements and program performance expectations of the NBP. In the course of verification, areas of strength as well as areas for improvement are identified. Successfully completing the audit process demonstrates a healthy system and leads to certification by the NBP. Certification is the “Seal of Approval” that an agency's program conforms to high national standards. Certification entitles an agency to publicly display the NBP Seal and derive well-earned recognition for its program.
The first group of these verification audits has taken place in the last 12 months. These audits have yielded a wealth of information and insight into how (and how not) to shape and tune your EMS into a robust system that is prepared for the audit process.
The purpose of this presentation is to share these insights from the detached viewpoint of an auditor. This auditor's perspective will provide orientation to the audit process, how to see your system through and auditor's eyes, how to avoid or address potential EMS trouble spots, and suggestions for EMS streamlining that will facilitate effective use as well as audit preparedness.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2004
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