Assure360 Auditing (Introduction)

Written by Nick Garland on 04/03/2016 


This is the first in a series of toolbox talks on how to audit using the assure360 iPad application.

First of all log in using your company user and password – this will be an abbreviation of your company name and a 6 digit number. All auditors for a company will use the same details, which shouldn’t be confused with your personal database log-in.

The starting point is to select what kind of inspection – for now lets concentrate on Full Inspection. The audit covers all issues from a complex asbestos site up to and including a large demolition project.

This takes us to the main Client & Site Register page. You will need to complete all of the fields, and until you do, the side nav bar will remain greyed out. It should look something like this:

Now we can start completing the inspection itself. I will go into more detail on another blog, but here are some basic issues that catch out the unwary.

The goal is to get green progress bars for all sections. If a section is not applicable (e.g. Temporary Works, or Working Method prior to start), you can hit ‘All N/A’ at the top of each page. This effectively strikes out the whole section. Until the status bar changes to green you wont be able to send the inspection

When complete – press ‘the Burger’ (three horizontal lines top left of the screen) then ‘Site’ – then SEND. This builds the email to send on to the Assure360 team. As soon as you have sent it – the sent date will appear under the site name.

Assure360 works best in recording non-conformance and best practice, rather than mere compliance (e.g. ‘is the certificate on site, Compliant, photo taken).  My rule of thumb is – there should always be further management action required, otherwise why record it? If you record merely ‘compliant’ issues, it adds to the audit time, it creates actions that need to be closed out by the office (even if it is only to say ‘Compliant on site’), and it conceals (wood for the trees) genuine best practice. Therefore avoid taking photos of routine compliance.

If you identify non conformance, the first decision is whether it is minor, major or critical. This is very much a judgement call, but some rules of thumb that I use are:

  • Minor – this is a lesser issue that you want to track and monitor or a more serious issue with significant justifiable mitigation. It could be a slightly untidy site with the possibility of a trip hazard, paperwork that isn’t quite up to date, improper use of PPE, missing DOP certificate for plant that is definitely in date etc… Where there are repeat issues over a series of audits, you may want to ‘promote’ a normally minor issue to a more major one.
  • Major – where the non conformance could lead to harm or injury or where enforcement action could result (e.g. HSE letter / email). Examples could be unshaven operative, unsafe behaviour on a scaffold tower, incomplete paperwork (no mitigation), missing DOP where the plant is actually out of date or it’s not known one way or the other. Again, where there are repeat issues over a series of audits, you may want to ‘promote’ the issue to critical.
  • Critical – where the non conformance could lead to serious harm or injury or where enforcement action could result (e.g. improvement notice / prohibition notice). The logic of promoting a repeat offence all the way to critical is if the HSE identified the same issue on multiple inspections – the company is clearly failing.

All non conformances must have all three text boxes completed. The final box is the most important – what can we do to make sure ‘it’ doesn’t happen again (see below for more on this). Photos are optional, but help a great deal later. Don’t forget to assign % responsibility – shared responsibility is common. e.g. the lighting was not isolated – the CM should have identified it in the method, but the supervisor should have known… If you assign responsibility to ‘Operative’ – you must choose which one (touch the blue Operative and select – the name will appear underneath). If you decide an operative is at fault (e.g. climbing on the hand rails of a scaffold tower) then you should also reflect the issue in the competence questions (Needs Supervision / Needs Extensive Supervision). Consider other operatives that witnessed the behaviour but did nothing  – should their Professionalism (competence question) be questioned?

Until the progress bar is green, there is something missing in a section. It is perfectly OK to N/A a question.

Best practice (‘wow! this site is really well set up’, or ‘that is a great method’, or ‘that is a clever way to deal with Y’ etc…) is a very valuable tool and allows you to praise and share with all of the team.  Hit ‘Compliant’, take a photo and complete the first and third boxes. First describe what was so great. and the final box should detail how you are going to share it. The middle box – hit the Quick Fill button.

Further action doesn’t have to be re-write X policy or retrain Y it could just be:

  • Raise at the next H&S management meeting as a lesson learned
  • Remind the CM to do XYZ
  • Raise at the next Supervisor meeting as a lesson learned
  • Raise this best practice at the next Supervisor (or H&S) meeting.
  • Provide rubber cable tidies to all sites

Don’t hesitate to call or email the team with any feedback positive or negative. Were especially keen on ‘it would be nice if it could do X’ or ‘I often come across Y but it doesn’t cover that’. That’s all for this introduction, more to follow.