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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Page 47 of 70

45 Spring 2016 Proceedings systematic conformance and nonconformance that can be traced back to an overarching requirement. This is important for audits and auditors, because it clearly shows the requirement for a process to function as designed. Audits don't rely on guesswork or possibilities; audits use existing requirements to determine conformity. More on Inspections Inspections have been a longstanding tool within the Coast Guard, handed down through generations of personnel within prevention and other program elements. Inspec- tions ensure that defciencies are discovered and proper be that the system designed to maintain the equipment is not functional. More on Audits Audits are not "pass/fail." They help to identify nonconformities (weak nesses or areas of concern within a working system) so that workers know to take some sort of corrective action. Audits are designed to be nonpunitive, identify where improvement is neces- sary, and employ a predetermined process to execute appropriate corrective action. In addition, once the cor- rective action is taken, further steps are noted to prevent nonconformities from recurring. Audits should not be feared — by design, auditors use an agreed-upon standard to measure effectiveness and overall system compliance. While audits are conducted on a periodic basis and are usually less frequent than inspections, they are generally better at identifying Subject matter experts review documents associated with Standards of Training, Certifcation, and Watchkeeping requirements taught at a maritime academy. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Anthony Morris. Audits identify systemic issues; inspections determine if system parts function as intended. Audit result: The system designed to maintain the equipment is func- tional/not functional. Inspection result: Equipment is functional/not functional. Ekaterina Minaeva / iStock / Thinkstock

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