Regulators in Europe are increasingly adopting inspection management systems to help automate and streamline their inspection processes. Such systems have become more widespread in recent years, driven by a range of factors, including increasing regulatory complexity, rising public expectations, and technological advances.

The adoption of inspection management solutions varies across Europe, with some countries and regions being more advanced in using such systems than others. For example, countries like the UK, Germany, Denmark, Iceland, and the Netherlands have been early adopters of inspection management systems and have been using such systems for many years.

However, some regulators in Europe still rely on traditional tools and processes, such as paper-based records, spreadsheets, and email. This may be due to factors such as a need for more resources, budget constraints, or resistance to change.

Overall, the trend in Europe is toward adopting purpose-built inspection management systems, as regulators recognize the benefits of these systems in terms of efficiency, accuracy, and consistency. As technology advances and becomes more affordable, more regulators will likely transition to these systems.

Regulators: Purpose-built inspection management system vs. generic project management product

While generic project management software can be useful for managing tasks, it may not have the specific features and capabilities needed for inspections, such as the ability to capture and analyze inspection data, manage compliance tracking, or create and store customized inspection forms and checklists.

In contrast, specialized inspection management systems are designed to meet the specific needs of regulatory inspections and often include features such as regulatory compliance tracking, customized forms and checklists, data analysis and visualization, and collaboration tools. They are purpose-built for inspections and can help regulators automate their workflows more efficiently and effectively.

Using specialized inspection management software can help ensure that regulators follow established regulatory standards and procedures and provide greater transparency and consistency in the inspection process. In the long run, using a specialized inspection management system will likely result in more accurate, reliable, and consistent inspections, which can protect public safety and ensure compliance with regulations.

Related: The difference between customisation and configuration of case management systems

Why do some regulators choose to customize a generic project management software for inspections?

The choice between customizable project management software for inspections and purpose-built inspection management system depends on the specific needs of the regulator, as well as the available resources and budget.

Customizable project management software for inspections can be more affordable for regulators in the short term, as it may be less expensive than specialized inspection management software. Additionally, it can be customized to meet the specific needs of the regulator, allowing them to tailor the software to their inspection workflows.

However, using customizable project management software may not be as effective as using specialized inspection software in the long term, as it may not have all the features needed for inspections, such as the ability to capture and analyze inspection data, manage compliance tracking, or create and store customized inspection forms and checklists.

inspection management system for regulators

Canalix is purpose built inspection management software that enables regulators to achieve their short term and long term goals.

Why do regulators choose purpose-built inspection software?

On the other hand, inspection management software that’s purpose-built for inspections can offer a comprehensive suite of features to meet the specific needs of regulators. While it may be more expensive initially, it can save time and money in the long term by streamlining inspection workflows and providing greater transparency and consistency in the inspection process.

Ultimately, regulators should evaluate their organization’s specific needs and consider factors such as budget, available resources, and required features when deciding between customizable project management software and inspection management software.

Mistakes regulators make when choosing inspection management software

Regulators may make several mistakes when choosing between customizable project management software for inspections and purpose-built inspection management software, including:

  1. Focusing too much on short-term costs: While customizable project management software may be less expensive in the short term, it may provide only some of the features and capabilities needed for inspections, leading to additional costs and inefficiencies in the long term.
  2. Overlooking the importance of customization: While inspection management software is purpose-built for inspections, it may only sometimes offer the degree of customization needed to meet the specific needs of the regulator. Regulators should carefully evaluate the customization options available in both types of software before deciding.
  3. Failing to consider integration with existing systems: Regulators may have existing systems and processes that must be integrated with the new software. It is important to consider how the new software will integrate with existing systems, such as data management and reporting systems.
  4. Ignoring user experience and usability: The success of any software system depends on how easily and effectively users can work with it. Regulators should consider the user experience and usability of the software, including features such as user interfaces, training and support, and accessibility.
  5. Underestimating the importance of data security and privacy: Regulators deal with sensitive information. Ensuring that any software system chosen has adequate security and privacy measures to protect this information is important.

Regulators should carefully evaluate their needs and requirements, as well as the features and capabilities of customizable project management software and inspection management software, before deciding. By avoiding these mistakes, they can select the system that best meets their needs and provides the greatest value in the long term.

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Getting costly resources like certified inspectors and technicians to start and complete on-site jobs on time defines the efficiency of their service. Resource management software helps such teams to maintain the quality of their service by optimising their schedules, balancing the workload, improving the precision of job completion and getting on a long-term cost optimisation plan. With that in mind, resource optimisation software developers are constantly trying to keep up with the demands of the market by giving more power to the organisations when it comes to optimising resources. And by more power, we mean more visibility over real-time data so that the real-time scheduling decisions respond adequately to all kinds of situations.

An example of software that addresses various uses and aspects of resource optimisation issues is Jobtimizer. It’s a tool that understands the need to get costly resources to their scheduled jobs on time, with the required tools, skillset and information.

Allocate the right resource with the right skill to the right job. And even more!

When we talk about resource optimisation software, we’re talking about a tool that matches the right resource with the right job. Automatically. But what if the resource management software optimises other aspects as well? What if there’s an emergency that disrupts the work schedules for days ahead? To reroute expensive resources and create new schedules that keep operational costs under control is crucial for efficiency. And usually, a good resource scheduling software does that. But a great resource scheduling does even more because schedule disruptions also present an opportunity to reduce travel time (compared to the previous work schedule). But to have an efficient rerouted schedule, one must have a fast and prompt reaction to the changes. And this is where the interesting questions and even more interesting answers come.

Jobtimizer - Your AI-Enhanced Resource Scheduler

Talking about benefits is good, but how exactly are they playing our with resource optimisation software?

Match the right job with the right human resource

“Just match a job to the right person who can finish it”. Sounds simple but is it? What exactly are we matching – the skillset, the geolocation of the resource (whether it is the one nearest to the job site) or the availability status? If we juggle through different constraints, job matching becomes a very complex task. Jobtimizer can take all these constraints and automatically make a balanced schedule. The result is that only employees with the required skills and certifications will be eligible for the job and it will be allocated to the one nearest to the job site.

Each schedule is optimal in its own

It’s great that the resource management software enables back-office employees to sneak as many jobs as possible in work schedules, but what about the travelling time? What if the route between jobs is too long. The point of designing an optimal work schedule is to fit as many jobs as possible in it. But also – to reduce travel time, so that on-site workers can finish their jobs without overtime.

Jobtimizer is created with a focus on optimised route planning so that costly resources like inspectors, technicians, etc. won’t have to drive to the same town multiple times a day. Jobtimizer visualises schedules on a map and designs the most optimal route with minimum travelling distance between jobs.
And of course, aside from the benefits for the on-site workers, smart route planning delivers even more:

  • Reducing the carbon footprint
  • Reduce the vehicle maintenance costs by decreasing the millage
  • Last but not least – improves the response time to service calls

High-risk prioritisation

Sometimes high-risk checks should be priorities over low-risk ones. If there’s an emergency that requires a fast response, Jobtimizer allows you to schedule a resource that’s near the location of the emergency check. The best part is that Jobtimizer will automatically make a new schedule for the resource who’s sent as an emergency responder (if the high-risk appointment replaces a low risk one). The power of using resource rerouting tools is most evident in emergencies because at the end of the day there are no missed checks and the service is delivered without compromise in its quality.

Resource scheduling optimisation is about being in the present

Putting a real time-data in the hands of the people who make real-time decisions about scheduling is what makes Jobtimizer efficient resource management tool. Trying Jobtimizer is free, so you can book a demo here or just request a 15-min product tour.

EU countries are re-opening the economy of their communities at different rates for a second time this year. Perhaps it won’t be the last. The COVID-19 rules are changing each one of the public sectors. But one of the most overlooked on is the inspection management area of regulatory agencies.

Keeping communities safe is a top priority for every EU member sate. Safety inspectors are the people who ensure compliance with safety standards. Regulatory bodies are managing the governance on state and local level in order to guarantee the public health. The lower accidence rate in the safety regulated areas usually means that the regulatory bodies are doing their job fine. But when violations of the regulatory rules go undetected with growing rate, it’s a sign for couple of problems – the inspection management mechanism needs to be updated or the inspection capacity of regulatory agencies is over the top.

How digital inspections are facilitating the re-opening?

The answer to these problems usually is solved with reorganization and optimisation of resource utilisation. While in normal times government agencies had roadmaps ahead of time for optimizing their work, COVID-19 now complicates things. For instance, enforcing regulatory compliance via inspections in nursing homes, schools, restaurants, office buildings has become more challenging and at the same time more important. Many entities from these sectors have been closed and in order to re-open will need inspection.

Together with the increased inspection workload, there are new regulations lurking behind the corner (new hygiene standards because of COVID-19, social distance rules, etc.) that are going to complicate things additionally. Regulatory agencies are facing challenges and if they don’t find good ways to address them, the reopening of the economy might be slowed down. This will affect not only the public health, but also the wellbeing of everyone within the community.

Changing the inspection management process is crucial for the relaunch of the economy

inspection tablets canalix

Even though a lot of changes happened in 2020, most of the inspections in the public sector are performed the same way as 20 years ago. It’s enough to deduce that there are problems that need to be solved not just because of covid-19, but because they’ve be overlooked for a very long time. For instance, a lot of processes in the regulatory inspections are still paper-based and require full time working hours in office. On the top of that, administration staff needs to spend extra time on manual processing and clearing of data errors.

Digitalization of inspections

There are countries that transformed their regulatory agencies – the UK, Iceland, Canada, some US states, etc. But other countries are still not there. When we talk about removing paper-based processes and replacing them with digital ones, we don’t talk only about implementing digital inspection checklist instead of a paper one. We talk about taking a data-driven approach in the digital transformation of inspections.

How the data-driven approach transforms regulatory agencies?

The data-driven approach in inspection planning brings previously collected field data to use when setting up the priority of inspections. This enables inspectors to focus on risk and therefore improve the efficiency of inspections. What makes the difference in this approach is that inspectors are able to focus on the areas that are at higher risk and the event of violation in regulations is more likely. The risk-focused inspection method requires from inspectors to have special tools at their hands in order to work efficiently.

The new tools inspectors use for on-site inspections

Performing field inspections the old fashioned way – with many sheets of paper and a lot of manual work – can be optimised. Inspectors can use tablets and digital checklists for data gathering on the field, their inspection scheduling can be automatically updated on their devices in real time with different constraints taken into account. The inspection routes can be optimised so that inspectors can cover more inspection ground and travel less.

The early adopters of inspection management solutions in countries like the UK, Canada, Iceland are known to be benefiting these digital transformation perks. But for them and for the late inspection management software adopters there is a new challenge that came with Covid-19 – the remote inspections.

remote inspections

Remote inspections in the workflow of regulatory bodies

One year ago nobody would have imagined that it is possible to perform remote inspections on nursing homes or schools. But 2020 changed a lot of things, including our perception of what’s normal. The new normal requires new methods of performing inspections. So how do we transform inspections into remotely done work?

First there needs to be done a broad distinction for which inspections can be done remotely and which not. For regulators with paper based process it will be hard to attain visibility on all inspection data. But agencies that have already transformed their inspection process can easily gather and analyze data in order to determine the most prevalent risk factor, complexity score and the impact on community for each inspection entity. With this factors being addressed, regulators can take on the following strategies:

1. Assign self-inspection for low risk inspection sites.

Let’s take for an example a nursing home. In this scenarios the administration of the nursing home will be provided with an access to a self-service portal and inspection checklist that needs to be filled. The staff of the nursing home can perform the inspection on their own while filling the necessary details on the digital checklist and then submit the information for inspector review.

The self-inspection is a simple process that can be easily implemented on an already existing digital infrastructure. Nonetheless, experimenting with self-inspections can be a great first endevour for the late government agencies adopters of digital inspection solutions.

Related: Why Self Service in Inspections is Important?

2. Perform traditional inspections with inspectors on site for complex and high-risk cases

The high complexity requires more attention. Therefore the cases that impose higher risk because of their complexity need special attention from inspectors on site. The inspection planning of such cases can go as usual. But still – a fully digital inspection process can reduce the covid-19 risks and facilitate the compliance with social distance rules because of the paper-free workflow and fully digital document management.

3. Delegate the compliance with new COVID-19 rules to self-inspection

Some government agencies are keeping their approach conservative, even if they use all of the advantages of the digital transformation. Meaning that they stick to the traditional on-site inspections for both – low complexity and high complexity entities. Still, they can optimise their work by delegating the compliance with new COVID-19 rules to a self-inspection process. This is a smart way to remove the additional weight of new regulations off the tasks list of inspectors on site.

Is this the future of inspections?

Data-driven, risk-focused, remote process. These three pillars have already started shaping the modern era of inspection management before COVID-19. The global pandemic only accelerated this transformation. It’s a hard thing to plan and implement, but this is where third party inspection management solutions are making the difference by helping the public sector to embrace this much needed change.

Transforming government agencies and regulatory bodies is not just a matter of fashion anymore. It’s an essential transformaton with key role for the safety of our communities. Inspection organisations need to act now. Contact Canalix if you’re in need of a fast and easy digital transformation plan.

What does risk-based inspection management mean? It’s a regulatory enforcement activity that focuses on the importance and urgency of intervention against a set of risk criteria. In other words, risk-based inspection software prioritises cases imposing high risk on safety. The priority is being defined on risk factors. The risk factors vary depending on the area where the inspection is performed.

Resource optimization and business scheduling software

CASE STUDY: How a regulatory agency cut costs with resource scheduling software?
          • reducing the scheduling time with up to 75%
          • increasing efficiency of operations with 40%
          • fully eliminating errors in the resource allocation process.
Download the case study.

What’s challenging is finding the right approach to consider different risk factors and form a risk-focused inspection program. With many regulatory agencies on the road to adopting cloud-based digital infrastructures, the need for establishing an effective inspection model becomes more pressing. Reaping the benefits of digital transformation in regulatory inspections is possible when the inspection program is set up according to the best practices. So what is the right approach to adopt a risk-based inspection software?

RelatedHow to formulate cloud adoption strategy in a regulatory agency?

Define inspection entities based on risk criteria

Each economic sector has its specifics. A clear distinction must be made between different regulatory areas and the nature of their inspection process. 

What is the minimum inspection frequency for big facilities in populated areas? What is the minimum frequency for work safety inspections in big construction sites? Each economic sector must be defined by its specific risk factors. Once such a broad distinction is made, the minimum frequency of inspections must be determined; risk scoring methodology should be set, etc. The priority of inspection activities depends on local risk factors. This approach is used in France, Finland, Japan, and the United States.

modular digital transformationWhy is modularity crucial for your digital transformation strategy in 2022?

Download this whitepaper to understand:

        • The advantages of modular digital transformation
        • The vital architectural practices and technologies that enable modular transformation
        • Migration strategies to minimize disruption for the business and customers
        • How Jobtimizer can help public sector organisations make the transition
        • How a regulatory agency in the UK is benefitting from a modular approach


Read it now.

Prioritisation with a risk scoring system

What is a scoring system? The scoring system is based on a pre-defined point scale. The complexity of each inspection case is determined by a score that considers multiple risks. However, some risks have more weight than others. The scoring system reflects that and helps regulators increase the efficiency of inspections. Some of the countries using scoring systems in their inspection management programs are the UK and Netherlands.

Methodology for adopting risk-based inspection programs

If we were living in 1999, perhaps the best methodology would be to build an excel table and ask the inspector to assess the risk scoring manually. But we’re living in 2022, and technology is far more advanced now. The best methodology for adopting a risk-based inspection program is moving inspections onto cloud-based infrastructure and performing them digitally. With the digital gathering of inspection data, the inspection program can be easily transformed into a risk-based one according to the best international practices benchmarked by countries like the UK and Netherlands.

Transforming inspection management is a complex subject. Trying to sum it up would always result in oversimplification of some sort. Book a free consultation with our team, and we will explain to you in detail how to transform regulatory inspections according to the best international practices.