2017 has seen a large number of Queensland small water service providers reach their audit anniversary date. For most this was their first experience of a regulatory water quality audit.
Viridis has three very experiences Exemplar Global drinking water QMS lead auditors and has undertaken a number of these audits. It has been a test of logistics, as well as auditing skills. We have been all over the state of Queensland, Far North Queensland, the North West, the Downs and many places in between.
These are regulatory audits and most, if not all, service providers would not have undertaken these audits without a requirement to do so. However, the experiences have been very positive. Most have seen this as an opportunity to assess where they currently are, in terms of risk management and use it as a tool to improve. As auditors Viridis puts a lot of emphasis on developing recommendations and opportunities for improvement (OFI) that really add value. By providing OFIs we are essentially bench-marking service providers against their peers. If we feel that something could be done more effectively we provide advice through OFIs. Often this knowledge is gained through observing another service provider doing something well.
We'd really like to see service providers embrace the continual improvement process of these management plans, which is similar to the Plan Do Check Act philosophy of the ISO standards. The audit is the Check stage, now it's time to Act and implement improvement. Then the cycle starts again!
Thank you to all the service providers that choose Viridis as your auditor, we really enjoyed working with you. To those that we are about to audit, we have some great experience and have refined the process, so it will be as painless and informative as possible.