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Using Operational

Audits as a Continual
Improvement Tool.
-Regulator's PerspectivePipeline Safety Forum
2 June 2015

Ken Colosimo
Technical Leader, Audits
National Energy Board
Tel: 403-292-4926

Slide 2

Session Objectives
Understanding Concepts and Requirements (KC)
Understanding Changes Required if Continual
Improvement Outcomes are Incorporated into
Internal Audits (KC)

Sharing Information regarding Driving

Continual Improvement through
Audits (AE)

Continual Improvement - Concept

Continual Improvement (simple definition)
On-going practice of making or becoming better or
improving quality

Continual vs Continuous Improvement

Continual = stepwise/periodic
Continuous = on-going

Continual Improvement - Requirements

NEB has consistently promoted Continual
Improvement since 1999 (+/- 16 years)
2013 OPR update formally included Continual
Improvement in the regulations
2013 OPR update also contains requirements
that support continual improvement practice

Continual Improvement - Requirements

OPR 6.5(1)(x)
A company shall, as part of its management
system and the programs referred to in section
55, establish and implement a process for
conducting an annual management review of the
management system and each program referred
to section 55 and for ensuring continual
improvement in meeting the companys
obligations under section 6.

Continual Improvement - Requirements

2013 OPR update - continual improvement
G,O,T and Performance Measures
Focus on identification and management of hazards,
potential hazards and near-misses
Requirements to establish data management systems for
monitoring and analyzing the trends in hazards, incidents
and near-misses
Requirements to evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of
MS, programs and processes

Understanding the Regulations

Continual Improvement
as part of its management system ..establish and
implement.a process for ensuring continual
improvement in meeting the companys obligations under
section 6.
A company shall establish, implement and maintain a
management system that is systematic, explicit,
comprehensive and proactive

Continual Improvement must therefore be:

explicit, proactive and ensured

Continual Improvement Present

Observed Practice
Continual Improvement is generally considered
implicit in management practices and
management systems
Improvement is measured usually in changes to
#s of failures or NCs (not better ways to do

Internal Audits Observed Present

Audits focus on Compliance and Conformance
Objective reviews of practices and procedures
not necessarily included (usually compliance to
Formal measurement of Continual Improvement
is limited to measures of #s of nonconformance/compliance


Audits & Continual Improvement

Audit owners/Management should change audits
with respect to what is audited and how audits
are conducted e.g.:
direct auditors to include an evaluation of the MS,
programs, processes and practices from the
perspective of best/better or appropriate practices
direct auditors to include an evaluation of on-going
long/medium and short-term measures of
performance and outcomes not on change in #s of

Audits & Continual Improvement

Audits are only measures against a requirement;
therefore, to better use audits to aid in continual
improvement, changes would be required within
the management processes and MS.
Specifically, Sr. Management should consider
changes to G, O, T and Performance Measures
to include content and measures that allow for
short, medium and long-term performance

Continual Improvement

An Auditor and Program Designer

Alex Eddington, Principle
SPAN Consulting