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Governments lean heavily on regulators to ensure public safety, but also to optimise operational costs in times of uncertainty. As a result of travel restrictions throughout the global pandemic, some regulators started embracing self-inspection programs. Regulators that operated with self-inspection software were able to continue inspecting even when there were strict travel restrictions. Since self-inspections proved to perform well in times of uncertainty, regulators started treating their inclusion in the inspection programs as a long-term optimisation strategy that could solve problems beyond the pandemic.

The Canalix customers that use our inspection management software with self-inspection module are more efficient and agile and report a cost reduction effect.

What is a self-inspection program?

A regulator usually adopts a self-inspection program for inspectees with a good track record of compliance and a low-risk level for potential hazards. Those entities can perform inspection checks by themselves while the regulator maintains complete visibility over the inspection procedures and controls their standard. The results are optimised costs, better resource scheduling and agility.


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.

 


Canalix helps regulators adopt remote inspection and self-inspection programs. Self-service inspections are usually conducted by the inspectee. Still, the regulator regains complete visibility over the inspection check’s execution, ensuring that the collected inspection data is valid and the compliance standards are not violated. Generally, self-inspections are executed with a pre-determined frequency, calibrated based on predictive and prescriptive analytics used to assess risk, and as part of cost-optimisation and efficiency improvement strategies.

Related: How do self-inspections improve the regulatory environment?


The benefits of self-inspection software

1. Self-service portals help organisations cut costs, and so do self-inspections

Inspectees with a history of maintaining consistent compliance with safety standards are logically the first cases that can transition to a regulatory self-inspection program. These entities are easy to trust, and that’s why regulators can save the costs of sending a ground crew on-site and transform the process into self-service based inspections.

Many Canalix clients who used the inspection management software report that implementing self-inspections helped them free up resources to work on more complex work at higher risk.

2. Self-inspection programs remain active even when operations get disrupted.

In 2022 regulators have to deal with uncertainties more than ever – global pandemics, budget cuts, and resource shortages. Flexibility is the key to resilience. Many regulators are adopting self-inspections as a tool to employ flexibility in their battle with uncertainties. A robust self-inspection program would help regulators reduce dependence on outside parties to conduct inspections.

This type of flexibility will be precious when disruption occurs and when times are back to normal because the self-inspection programs help regulators continually save costs. 

3. Self-inspections boost productivity, improves collaboration and reduce risk

By creating a culture of continuous improvement, self-inspection changes the overall mindset from policing to accountability. Self-service inspections empower inspectees to take control of their processes and maintain effective collaboration with regulators simultaneously. Advanced digital inspection software facilitates cooperation between regulators and inspectees because of the centralised source of data that makes the self-inspection process visible to the regulator. While the inspection teams are saving time from going on-site, they can use that time to regularly review the self-inspection data and analyse reports to make informed decisions to improve efficiency.  


self-inspections


How to implement self-inspection technology for your organisation?

1. Set communication channels

Suppose a regulator implements a self-inspection program for the first time. They need to know who will perform the self-inspection and what should happen if an issue emerges. The self-inspection program is more likely to succeed than fail when the communication is good. 

2. Prioritise real-time data collection through mobile devices.

Accurate self-inspection data quality = improved inspection management. One of the perks of using inspection management software to perform self-inspections is the availability of real-time data. Regulators must prioritise collecting real-time data such as photos and videos during self-inspection with a tablet or mobile phone because this will enable inspectors to verify the accuracy of data and extract more value from it.

4. Establish precise inspection KPIs and track their progress

For inspection team leaders in regulatory agencies is essential to track the KPIs of inspection performance. Those are the metrics that allow managers to track the performance of inspection teams and check whether the pre-defined objectives are met. Inspection KPIs are the indicators that define the success of the self-inspection process. By tracking their values, team leaders can assess whether the self-service inspection program is working well or if something needs to be changed to meet the regulator’s goals in terms of costs and performance. When regulators have constant access to data, they can quickly adapt their self-inspections to become more efficient.

Related: The essential KPIs for inspection management and self-inspections.


Why your organisation needs a digital self-inspection software?

  • Regulators can transform any inspection type into self-inspection and not lose visibility over the process.
  • The inspection software is configurable, which means that workflows can be configured and automated to guarantee the standardisation of self-inspections and, therefore, inspection data will be reliable.
  • Regulators can gain to save operational time and analyse large amounts of data from self-inspections. That way, they can manage future risks before they become critical.
  • With remote inspection software, regulators can adopt a flexible approach in times of disruptions and keep operations intact.
  • It helps regulators solve one of the most reported issues in the inspection management cycle, including communication, collaboration, resource scheduling conflicts, and data-driven decision making instead of subjective assumptions.

Related: How is field-service tech vital for public sector regulators?


Canalix helps regulators improve resource utilisation and optimise inspection performance from a distance. The centralised inspection platform supplies leaders with real-time data that serve as building blocks for better decisions. Inspectees and inspectors are empowered with the tools to turn their relationship into a collaborative partnership. The end goal is consistently to increase productivity and reduce operational costs. Try it now.

In 2022 regulators have to deal with uncertainties more than ever – global pandemics, budget cuts, and resource shortages. Flexibility is the key to overcoming the increasing uncertainties. Many regulators are adopting self-inspections within their inspection programs and policies as a tool to employ flexibility in their battle with uncertainties.

What are regulatory self-inspections?

A regulator usually adopts a self-inspection program for inspectees with a good track record of compliance and a low-risk level for potential hazards. Those entities can perform inspection checks by themselves while the regulator maintains complete visibility over the inspection procedures and controls their standard. The results are optimised costs, better resource scheduling and agility.

How do self-inspection add value?

Canalix helps regulators adopt remote inspection and self-inspection programs. The regulators benefit from self-inspection innovations by saving time in the travelled distance and optimising the costs of inspections. The inspected entities benefit from speedy processing of inspection checks and resolving issues that need fast resolution. But there may be many other reasons that turn regulators’ sight towards remote inspections. Below we’ll list 6 of them.

Why are self-inspections the future?

 

1. Self-inspections help government agencies cut costs

Regulators and other government agencies can significantly reduce operational costs by adopting self-inspections. The adoption of self-inspection solutions by Canalix customers is usually associated with an average of 40% improvements in efficiency connected with reduced manual work, faster resource scheduling, and better resource utilisation that ensures that inspectors are always focused on the work that matter the most.

Related: How government agencies can reduce costs in 2022?


Canalix is an inspection management software that works as a modular platform. It can be adopted in a sequenced way – each module at a different stage, by following the tactical goal to identify the area of operations that can be transformed first to achieve the most significant optimisation result. Then by adopting other modules, the digital transformation can scale and therefore, a further modification of processes be performed. Since the inspection software modules are in the cloud, Canalix provides a service model that enables government agencies to remove inefficient or manual processes and speed up the delivery of inspections.

2. Better allocation of costly resources

Canalix, as a self-inspection platform, gives apprehensive visibility to regulators of the pending inspections with the highest risk. The AI engine automatically calculates the risk score of the low-risk inspections and triggers a self-inspection workflow for them. At the same time, costly resources like inspectors can be allocated to the jobs that matter the most, e.g. with the highest risk score. This inspection management mechanism improves resource allocation and helps high-risk inspectees enhance their compliance and safety standards, and low-risk inspectees receive significant autonomy.

Related: Where do remote inspections and resource optimisation meet?

3. Predictive risk

Regulators can monitor repeat occurrences for the same risks and point our areas to inspectees who need special attention to prevent future hazards. This improves efficiency because regulators don’t have to investigate for problems but know where the risk is by looking at the self-inspection data and pointing it out to the inspectee to mitigate it.

4. Improved inspection data quality = improved inspection management

One of the perks of using inspection management software to perform self-inspections is the availability of real-time data. When inspectors receive their data digitally, the quality of data is better; therefore, monitoring risks and tracking inspection performance enable inspection teams to handle potential threats and improve safety more efficiently.

self inspections

Related: Why real-time data is important for inspection management?

5. Stronger collaboration

Real-time data also empowers regulators and inspectees to collaborate more efficiently during self-inspections. The Canalix clients from the regulatory sector report that self-inspection collaboration via the inspection management platform reduces the time needed to complete actions during inspections. That enables inspection teams to move on to the following tasks in their to-do list faster than before.

6. Self-inspection software implementation is easier than ever

Canalix is a modular inspection platform, so it’s easy to adopt the self-service inspections by integrating it into an existing inspection management system. In contrast, adopting a self-inspection procedure was a challenging and time-consuming initiative just a decade ago. There’s the technology and opportunity to implement self-inspection programs quickly and effectively. 


Case study: Reduce operational costs with inspection scheduling software

Read it to understand:

    • The advantages of modular digital transformation
    • The vital architectural practices and technologies that enable modular transformation
    • How a regulatory agency in the UK is benefitting from a modular approach with Canalix.


How can Canalix help you with self-inspection software implementation?

Canalix puts the power of an advanced AI engine in the hands of regulators who wish to implement our self-inspection module. With this technology, regulators enable their inspectees to mitigate risks before they emerge. Aside from the efficiency benefits, this digitised inspection process grants significant cost-optimisation benefits for the regulators and empowers their inspectees to predict potential problems.

Contact us to learn how our self-inspection platform can be integrated into your inspection management system. 

Read also: How to improve the engagement level of self-inspections?

One of the major shifts in inspection management that happened in the past 15 months was the mass adoption of the remote inspections model. The remote inspection management allowed regulators to efficiently comply with travel restrictions and pandemic safety regulations. It also enabled them to apply successful resource allocation optimisation.

What did regulators found in the remote inspection model?

Regulators saw an opportunity to improve the quality of their inspection services and to develop a new customer-friendly way for performing low and medium risk inspection.

Related: Why remote inspections are important for the reopening of the EU economy?

Of course, the pandemic didn’t invent remote inspections. The digital transformation of the inspection management model has been around for some time. So there comes the question: why this revolution happened now? Why not in 2010? The reason for that is mostly psychological – redefining the operational processes is a big step for conservative organisations such as public sector regulators. The pandemic was the trigger that provoked this major shift and made the change necessary.

How remote inspections are boosting resource allocation optimisation?

Adopting a remote inspection model can happen fast. But obtaining value and connecting the new inspection model to optimised resource allocation techniques, requires thought and time. How do we make sure that remote inspections will deliver resource optimisation value?

Set KPIs

When we talk about resource allocation optimisation, we should know what resources we’re aiming to optimise. If we look for an intersection point between remote inspections and resources, then it would be cutting the cost of inspections and improving the quality of completed work.

In that case, public sector regulators will have to set KPIs to measure the success of resource allocation optimisation. The adoption of the remote inspections model is the perfect time for optimisation of that kind. Possible KPIs will include reduced time spent on travel, cutting travel costs, increasing the number of completed inspections, reduced number of pending cases in the backlog, etc.

Help inspectors and case managers embrace the needed change

The adoption of the remote inspections model requires changes from the human resource’s end. Inspectors need to convert their inspection M.O. into a remote version, specific criteria must be set about which inspection case is eligible for remote inspections and which not so that case managers can make sense of this new prioritisation.

Related: Remote video inspections – benefits, constraints and risks

What are the pain points inspectors should focus on while adopting the remote inspection model? For example, an inspector who performs a remote inspection may need to ask the customer on the other end to interact with an object. A pre-defined list with the higher risk areas may serve as a good guide for the remote inspections. The digitalisation of inspections makes it easy for inspectors to prepare a pre-defined risk-oriented scenario for each remote inspection based on the data for the case in question.

Long story short, what inspectors need to focus on when converting to remote inspection is the interaction points. How would each interaction happen? To do that effectively, inspectors must be able to prepare a scenario for each inspection based on the data submitted for it.

resource allocation optimistion and inspection management

Remote inspection workflow + resource allocation optimisation

To illustrate the importance of this point, we will describe a classic workflow that our inspection management system Canalix triggers for remote inspections.

An inspectee calls the regulator’s office to request an inspection. Then a support agent sends him a link to a self-service portal where the inspectee can fill in the required details. There the user can upload pictures, video or other shreds of evidence needed for categorising the priority of the case and its complexity.

Once this information is submitted, a case manager can schedule a remote inspection or make another relevant action – assign an on-site visit due to higher complexity or downscale the case to a self-inspection procedure due to its low risk. Since this whole procedure happens digitally, the regulator is saving hours of work, driving and manual paper processing.

The reopening of the economy after the pandemic covid-19 waves serves as a great example of the efficiency of this inspection management system. However, this example is valid for other disaster scenarios. In such situations, efficiency is vital to response time. That’s why the remote inspection model is here to stay. The question is how long will it take for the rest of the world to adopt it.


Resource optimization and business scheduling software

CASE STUDY: OPTIMISING THE RESOURCE ALLOCATION IN REGULATORY AGENCY
          • reducing the scheduling time with up to 75%
          • increasing efficiency of operations with 40%
          • fully eliminating errors in the resource allocation process.
Download a case study.


Conclusion

The remote inspection model can go hand-to-hand with resource allocation optimisation. The effective implementation of remote inspections enhances the regulator’s ability to reduce operational costs, improve the response time and deliver efficient inspections even when the inspector can’t do an on-site visit.

The adoption of remote inspections is not a complicated idea. But it has a serious impact on inspectors, case managers and ordinary citizens who need regulatory inspection services. That’s why any change of the inspection model should be put in a framework to drive value – whether it would be in terms of resource optimisation or just productivity boost.

Canalix is an inspection management system that serves as a solid foundation for a remote inspection model. Its low-code and high configuration saas nature allow regulators to adapt to the change of the current times. Learn how your organisation can find the perfect intersection point between remote inspections and resource allocation optimisation now. Contact us here.

Remote video inspections are part of the new normal. Regulatory bodies and inspection entities both benefit from this regulatory inspection innovation in reopening the EU economy after the lockdown ends. But is it going to work that way? Not if government agencies ignore the constraints and risks of performing inspections remotely. The key to the success of remote inspection programs is to ensure the process flow has good communication between regulatory bodies and inspection entities.

Benefits from remote and self inspection programs

Technology proved to be a great ally to regulators during the global pandemic. The digital adoption of inspection management solutions helped regulators stay efficient even during the lockdowns. The digitally advanced government agencies achieved this by introducing remote inspections in their regulatory policies and, more specifically – video inspections.

Canalix can apply remote inspection and self-inspection programs to various inspection fields – construction, work safety, social care facilities, food safety, fire prevention, etc. These sectors benefit from this innovation by saving time in the travelled distance and optimising costs of inspections. On the other hand, the inspection entities benefit from speedy processing of inspections and resolving issues that need fast resolution. For instance, food facilities like restaurants benefited from swift reopening after lockdowns ended; construction projects can benefit from more flexibility in the construction schedule; social care institutions managed to comply with the social distance rules easier when inspections were performed remotely, etc. Long story short, it’s a win-win game when we talk about remote video inspections.

How to prepare for implementing remote and self-inspections software?

The rules of standard inspections can be applied to remote inspections or self-inspection plans. It means that inspection scheduling, filling inspection checklists and managing documentation can mirror the regular inspection process. Conducting remote regulatory reviews may sound too liberal for conservative organisations like government agencies. That’s why sticking to the standard inspection model as tightly as possible is recommended for acceptance. But it doesn’t mean that the process doesn’t need its guidelines. A big part of the changes that covid-19 brought are here to stay, and the same is expected for remote inspections and self-inspection plans. That’s why they should not be looked at as something temporary that doesn’t need policies and new rules. Remote and self-inspections policies and rules should be considered as ever-evolving procedures now.

Rules and policies for remote video inspections

1. Basic rules for remote inspections

Regulatory agencies planning to introduce remote video inspections should prepare guidelines to help inspection entities and their staff carry on remote assessments and self-service based inspection checks. The basic rules for remote inspections should highlight the inspection reviews that allow this method. Usually, those are low complexity and low-risk inspections.

2. Inspection scheduling rules

The prioritisation of inspections should be scheduled according to a particular set of rules. Canalix’ inspection platform has a stand-alone inspection scheduling software that serves as a module that can schedule low-risk inspections to self-inspection procedures and fill the calendar of inspectors only with high-risk inspections.

Read also: Make inspections risk-informed with risk-based inspection software

3. Inspection execution tools

Tools like Skype or Facetime can be used as a medium for the remote inspection process. The policy of the remote inspection program can require the process to be always with live video so that the inspector can direct the process. If the inspection does not happen live, the inspector may not be able to take a picture of something or ask some questions. At the same time, self-inspections need stand-alone evidence submission portals. The best way to approach self-inspection procedures is by going with a modular transformation approach. 

How should inspection entities proceed to request a remote inspection?

The easiest and safest way to request a remote inspection is via the self-submission portal. Once the request is submitted, the regulator can decide whether to accept or decline. This process can be automated with rules that will allow remote inspection for cases below a specific complexity score and vice versa. For example, Canalix is an inspection management software with self-submission portals that can automatically allow remote inspection for applicable requests or decline if the request doesn’t qualify for remote processing according to the agency’s guidelines.


Case study: Reduce operational costs with inspection scheduling software

Read it to understand:

    • The advantages of modular digital transformation
    • The vital architectural practices and technologies that enable modular transformation
    • How a regulatory agency in the UK is benefitting from a modular approach with Canalix.


Technology is an excellent ally to governments and citizens in times of crisis. 2020 and 2021 proved that this is a very accurate statement when it concerns the field of regulatory inspection management. But to realise the benefits of technology-enabled remote inspections, government agencies must consider the constraints and risks. With error-free communication, enabled by self-service evidence submission portals and rules-driven automation, regulators and inspection entities can successfully finish inspections. With relevant and comprehensive guidelines, this new inspection process can bring positive change to the regulatory inspection programs of many sectors.

Are you a public sector professional that wants to implement remote inspection procedures in the work of regulatory agencies? Contact us; we can help.

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.