Training staff to conduct EHS (Environmental, Health and Safety) audits over multiple locations scattered across the globe is not a simple task. Antea Group’s client, a pulp and paper multinational corporation, needed help to develop its internal auditor capability. The client wanted to build both environmental and health & safety regulatory skills within several worldwide geographic regions. This would minimize auditor travel costs and cut down on the number of different regulatory frameworks that auditors had to understand.
The client had its own robust corporate EHS management system standards and detailed EHS performance standards, but within each standard, an individual facility had to identify its own in-country and state requirements.
Antea Group’s strategy included training the auditors, providing them with tools to maximize their experience, and providing corporate with feedback from multiple stakeholders.
In 2016, Antea Group developed and delivered auditor training intended for the 2-5 year experienced EHS professional that consisted of the following elements:
- Training was web-based, saving considerable development cost and travel costs for trainers and trainees.
- The schedule was thorough but compressed to allow delivery prior to the bulk of the scheduled audits.
- In a series of six four-hour live webinars, Antea Group provided brief audit protocols and training content to satisfy the management and performance standards provided by the client.
- The trainees gave their feedback on the process using on-line survey tools and lead auditor feedback forms.
- A skills progression chart was included to indicate auditor development.
In addition to auditor training, the client felt that its international sites needed extra support from in-country experienced partners for its third-party audits. Therefore, Antea Group’s Inogen partners provided either the environmental or health and safety auditor role in the audit team for six locations in 2016 and three in 2017.
Antea Group’s key EHS auditing and compliance and health and safety staff drove tasks for this training effort, including Peter Schwalbach, the webinar trainer and content author, Mark Robinson, PE, CHMM, CPEA, the environmental protocol and training content developer, and David Matthews, CIH, the reviewer for the health and safety protocol and training content.
- Initial surveys indicated that the trainee auditors attained a greater comfort level with their new roles based on the training content.
- The client was pleased with the year one content and has authorized third-party audits and in-country pre-audit research for another 15 locations.
- During year three of the program, Antea Group anticipates providing lead auditor training since by that time, several of the trainees will have progressed through the skills progression chart to lead auditor level.