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According to the Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation at Florida (USA), an internal audit is “an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.”

Regarding  Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality (HSEQ), the purpose of an Internal audit process must be to assess the effectiveness of the Integrated Safety Management System in a company. Company is defined as “the owner of the ship o any other organization or person such as the manager, or the bareboat charterer, who has assumed the responsibility for operation of the ship from the shipowner and who, on assuming such responsibility, has agreed to take over all duties and responsibilities imposed by the Code”.  Thus, the Company is responsible for implementing and maintaining as structured and documented system “enabling to implement the company safety and environmental protection policy” (ISM Code, Part A, clause 1.1.2).

The role of maritime HSEQ internal audit is to provide independent assurance that a company processes are operating effectively.

When a company decided to implement a harmonized ISM Code, ISPS Code, HSEQ management system is taking in their hands a strategic decision to improve their onshore and onboard processes and is leading into the most effective way to ensure safety at sea, prevention of human injury and avoidance of damage to the marine environment.

Harmonized ISM, ISPS, HSEQ internal audits must be performed in 5 standard steps:
  • Planning the audit schedule
  • Planning the process audit
  • Conducting the audit
  • Reporting on the audit
  • Follow-up on issues or improvement found.
Focus on process improvement to get the most out of an ISM ISPS HSEQ internal audit

Processes improvement is the most important elements of a harmonized management system and must be the main motivation to maintain the effectiveness of the SMS implementation. Our auditors are trained and qualified not just to proceed conducting the audit, our professional network is committed to point out areas of a process that may function better if changes are made.