Environmental Compliance Auditing, Monitoring and Reporting
Focused Vision Consulting Pty Ltd (FVC) draws on a team of highly experienced environmental professionals to resource projects with the full spectrum of environmental consulting needs. Our capabilities include environmental compliance auditing, monitoring and reporting, with some staff having been RABQSA accredited in the development and auditing of management systems.
What is Environmental Compliance Auditing, Monitoring and Reporting?
First of all, what is environmental compliance?
Businesses may be required to comply with environmental legislation, regulations or other guidelines, including where they:
- have been granted environmental approvals and therefore need to comply with legislation or conditions of that approval
- operate under certain legislation or regulations which they are required to comply with
- have an accreditation that they need to demonstrate compliance with, in order to maintain that accreditation.
Compliance with these documented environmental requirements, and proving this, is environmental compliance.
In order to check this compliance, a business’s system/s, plan/s, procedures, or other documentation where environmental management commitments have been made is required to be monitored and may also require an environmental compliance audit on a regular basis. Regular reporting submitted to regulatory authorities can also be a tool for demonstrating environmental compliance. In some instances, regulatory authorities may also undertake audits to ensure compliance with environmental approvals granted.
Monitoring and auditing of environmental compliance can be conducted either internally by representatives of the business or by an external, third party, such as an accredited lead auditor (or regulator, in some cases).
Only an accredited auditor can undertake regular audits of ISO accredited management systems, which have been prepared and operate in accordance with recognised international standards. These audits must be carried out at least every two years, in order for the system to maintain its accreditation. Accredited auditors must also certify that the system is ISO compliant in the first place, which is referred to as a certification audit. Accredited auditor’s fees can be costly and therefore, being as prepared as possible before their arrival is advisable.
Internal monitoring and surveillance audits are a great way of ensuring that systems or plans are compliant, working as effectively as possible and will “pass” the auditor’s “test” quickly and easily (if accredited auditor or regulator audits are required). These monitoring and internal monitoring and surveillance audits can be conducted by representatives in the business, or by a third-party consultant (not necessarily an accredited lead auditor).
Environmental reporting is simply the written communication of the outcomes of environmental monitoring, audits or general environmental performance. Such reports can take many forms and may include annual reports to stakeholders, to regulatory authorities or to accreditation bodies, to demonstrate environmental compliance with company values, regulatory commitments or standards such as ISO 14001.
Key Environmental Compliance Auditing, Monitoring and Reporting Capabilities
The environmental compliance auditing, monitoring and reporting capabilities of the FVC team include:
- environmental monitoring (for more details, see here)
- environmental compliance auditing or surveillance audits of environmental management plans, environmental management systems, granted licenses and permits and general company environmental performance
- development of surveillance audit plans (“checklists”) for internal audits
- internal training of personnel in conducting audits
- annual environment reports
- compliance reporting for regulatory authorities of management system accrediting bodies