Proceedings Of The Marine

SPR 2016

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.

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43 Spring 2016 Proceedings Audits: Reasoned Processes to Improve Quality While 5 to 10 percent of the success of a system can be attributed to the auditor/audit team, the other 90 to 95 percent of the solution resides with the leadership and their team. An audit of any of the standards or codes should ideally be carried out by independent, mature auditors for the sole purpose of determining whether or not the sys- tem in place is working as desired. With top-to- bottom client buy-in, if nonconformities are discovered, the information should be welcomed and respected as a starting point to initiate the corrective action pro- cess. Any disconnect between leadership policy and the work-level manpower should be recognized as a weakness. A good system should bridge this gap, and if it is, indeed, a gap, an audit would make a fnding to that effect. The entire evolution, however, depends primarily on the total commitment of leadership to the process- based management approach to implementation of the ISM Code, the ISPS Codes, and other relevant stan- dards. A viable, safe, and proftable merchant marine hangs in the balance. About the author: Captain Inderjit Arora is the president and CEO of Quality Man- agement International, Inc. (QMII). He serves as a team leader for consulting, advising, auditing, and training clients in management systems, including many courses conducted for the USCG, and is a sought-after speaker at several universities and forums on the subject. He is a master mariner who holds a Ph.D., Master of Science, and MBA as well as a 32-year record of achievement in the military, mer- cantile marine, and civilian industry. Checklist for Operators 1 Auditors don't improve a system. ✔ Auditors have never improved a system and never will; it's the top management/leadership who improve a system by their commitment. ✔ This article urges organizations to recognize that the best service their auditors can provide is to be objective and give an organization correctly written nonconformities (NCs) based on a requirement with clear, correct, and factual evidence, with the nature of the NC clearly stated. 2 Nonconformities are integral to any system improvement. They should be welcome. The only "bad" NC is one not known by the organization. ✔ A nonconformity is the starting point for a correction and corrective action based on root cause analysis. ✔ A closed NC forms the data point leading to a database from which information can be drawn to analyze and predict potential NCs, appreciate risk, and appreciate trends. 3 The maritime industry can meet the objectives and func- tional requirements of the International Safety Manage- ment Code by ensuring that: ✔ Auditing is objective. ✔ One must never consider the auditor a subject matter expert. ✔ Auditors do not compromise their independence as auditors by providing advice; doing so is counter- productive and kills an organization. Only the top management should be responsible for corrective action. ✔ An auditor performs yeoman service by giving a well- worded objective. ✔ NCs encompass the requirement, evidence, and nature of the NC. 4 Auditors must be qualifed. ✔ Being a mariner is not sufcient. ✔ Like other disciplines, auditing is a profession, which requires training leading to competence. Competency based on exposure must be strengthened by training and certifcation as an auditor.

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