What does risk based inspections means? It’s a regulatory enforcement activity that is performed with focus on importance and urgency of intervention against a set of risk criteria. In other words risk-based inspection management is prioritizing cases that are imposing high risk on safety. The priority is being defined on risk factors. Depending on the specific area where the inspection is being performed, the risk factors are varying.
What’s challenging is finding the right approach to consider different risk factors and form a risk-focused inspection program. With a lot of regulatory agencies on the road to adopt cloud based digital infrastructures, the need for establishing 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 build a risk-based inspection program?
Define inspection entities based on risk criteria
Each economic sector has its specifics. Obviously a broad distinction must be made between different regulatory areas and the nature of their inspection process. After the broad distinction comes more specific one. What is the minimum inspection frequency for large food facilities in populated areas? What is the minimum inspection frequency for work safety inspections in big construction sites? Each economic sector must be defined by its specific risk factors. Once the broad distinction is made, minimum frequency of inspections is defined, then it’s risk prioritisation time based mostly on historical inspection data. The priority of inspection activities depends on local risk-factors. This approach is considered in countries as France, Finland, Japan and United States.
Prioritisation with scoring system
What is a scoring system? This is more advanced approach to prioritisation of risk based inspections. The scoring system is based on pre-defined point scale. The complexity or urgency of each inspection case is being determined by a score that takes into account 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 that are using scoring system 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 inspector to do the risk scoring manually. But we’re living in 2020 and technology is far more advanced now. Long story short, the best methodology for adopting risk based inspection program is by moving inspections onto cloud-based infrastructure and perform them digitally. With digital gathering of inspection data the inspection program can be easily transformed into 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 end up into over simplification of some sort. Book a free consultation with our team and we will explain to you in details how to transform regulatory inspections according to the best international practices.