Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/665311
44 Proceedings Spring 2016 www.uscg.mil/proceedings With America's port activities constantly changing and growing, the Coast Guard has been forced to rapidly ascer- tain the impact to our workforce demands to effectively meet our maritime customers' and partners' needs. For example, it's imperative that the Coast Guard continues to facilitate commerce in a secure and safe environment. To help meet this demand within the scope of our stated mis- sion requirements, Coast Guard leadership must innovate and adapt different methods to carry out mission require- ments. One such area of focus involves reviewing our over- all maritime compliance regimen to look for opportunities to audit overall systems as a means to achieve and maintain compliance from our maritime customers and partners. So what is the difference between auditing and inspecting? Can auditing be used as our primary source to determine compliance? Are inspections still a useful tool as part of our overall security and safety compliance strategy? Audits Versus Inspections Auditing is a process that independently evaluates and mea- sures procedures, processes, and standards. The process may include reviewing work instructions, guidelines, laws, regulations, or other government or commercial require- ments, including contracts. The audit determines conformity, shows if procedures were performed as intended, and determines whether each requirement was followed or executed as planned. In short, audits are generally designed to verify conformity to stated requirements. Unlike audits, inspection activities and processes tend to be more specifc. For example, an inspector might do an in-depth examination of an action or piece of equipment to make sure it's doing the exact thing it's supposed to do as it relates to the function of the overall system. In most inspec- tions, there is usually a dedicated checklist with specifc items that need to be visually checked or seen operating to ensure they exist or properly function. Inspections determine compliance with a specifc regula- tion or standard, are generally designed to fnd defciencies or nonconformities, and are conducted with much greater frequency than audits. In sum, the result of an inspection might be that a specifc piece of equipment is found to be not functional, whereas the findings of an audit might Audits vs. Inspections What's the difference? by mR. AnThony D. moRRis Mission Management System Administrator Force Readiness Command U.S. Coast Guard Training Inspections, such as this one of an engine control room, are imperative to discovering defciencies. U.S. Coast Guard photo by ENS Jordan Ortiz.