knowing and applying the laws applicable to your business activities is a basic and non-negotiable requirement.
Our consultants often find “Evaluation of compliance” to be a weakness within an organization’s prospective management system and in many cases not fully understood. Unaddressed this could leave prospective clients open and vulnerable to enforcement actions and prosecution.
There are often common misunderstandings amongst prospective clients that compliance evaluation is simply about ensuring that the legal register is in place and up to date.
In both ISO 45001:2018 and ISO 14001:2015, updating knowledge of compliance obligations including legislative requirements comes under clause 6.1.3. While there is no formal requirement in ISO 14001 or ISO 45001 to have a legal register both standards require that documented information relating compliance obligations is maintained. This documented approach does not cover compliance evaluation!
Compliance Evaluation - the basics
Tucked away in clause 9.1.2 of both ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 Is the requirement to evaluate “fulfillment of compliance obligations”.
The “evaluation of compliance” means what it says on the tin. A clear case of at determined frequency, checking, evaluating, taking action if required then providing evidence and knowledge that the organization is operating within the law and other applicable compliance criteria. Clause 9.1.2 also requires the retention of documented information “as evidence of the compliance evaluation results”.
As consultants we see plenty of poor methodologies around ranging in sophistication from the simple partially formed and ineffective checklists to more sophisticated electronic approaches incorporating algorithms and centrally maintained legal registers. Neither of these approaches should be considered fully robust as both could present the possibility for legal requirements to be missed.
Legal requirements are centrally provided and free of charge in the UK for example health and safety statutory instruments are feely available on the HSE web site. Follow this link. For environmentally themed statutory instruments, follow this link.
Solid compliance evaluation approaches are available to prospective clients made up of a combination of consultant professional qualifications such as registration on the OHSCR register and in combination, the use of effective software packages such as DATs ProActive compliance evaluation software.
Don’t take a chance with your compliance evaluation, if in doubt call us for a free no obligation chat.