Report: APP CMHS Project 4

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3.4. Audit Methods

Auditing and monitoring of risk management systems are generally considered to be lagging behind the implementation of risk management systems. Risk management should assist in targeting the audit process in other areas; but this is currently, not as mature as it could be.

Currently, systems in the Australian mining industry are audited by regulators, internally by companies and for certification against Australian Standards (AS) or International Standards (ISO). Certification to AS or ISO standard criteria is a step on the process of maturity for risk management.

There is clearly a role for regulators in encouraging auditors to ask probing questions about the effectiveness of the organisation’s risk management system. If the auditor can identify a significant hazard which has not previously been identified, or a procedure which companies say is being followed but which on examination turns out to be of little value, the effectiveness of the implementation process is brought into question. If regulators regularly find problems that internal audits have failed to identify, the audit system is not effective.

Auditing protocols have been established by regulators in a number of areas including Safety Management Systems. These indirectly assist in checking the adequacy of the risk management processes.

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