Compliance Auditing

6 June 2019

Who we audit?

We audit main contractors on how well they comply with the Licence to Practise contract conditions specified by Client organisations. Licence to Practise is aimed at assuring the Client that the main contractor is contracting with electrical contractors who only employ licenced electrical workers on their projects.  By auditing responsible main contractors, we help them, on behalf of their Client, to discern in favour of a competent electrical workforce comprised of individually assessed and licensed workers.

To date, we have conducted 312 compliance audits on behalf of Client organisations. An analysis of the audits by Client is provided in Fig. 1 below.

Chart SS audits

Where we audit?

We conduct most compliance audits onsite.  Some audits are carried out at the main contractors office and when appropriate, some are carried out by a desk-top method. Visiting site provides the auditor with an opportunity to determine the authenticity and quality of the evidence.  It also provides an opportunity to observe and cross-reference this evidence with other validating sources.  During the visit, we take time to inform and persuade site representatives on how to use the system to ascertain and manage the competency of the electrical sub-contractor’s workforce on behalf of the Client.

What we audit?

Audits are structured around a series of questions based on compliance obligations contained in the Licence to Practise contract conditions. We report directly to the Client on the extent to which the main contractor has used the system to ensure that unqualified, underqualified and self-designated electrical workers are not employed on the project. The audit examines both the directly employed and subcontract workers and also includes HV and ELV workers where they are required to carry out related LV installation activity. We audit the main contractor to ascertain if they have taken sufficient steps on behalf of the Client to ensure that electrical workers are licenced and connected to the project before commencing work on site and throughout the contract period.

When we audit?

The frequency and duration of compliance audits are usually determined by the scope and program of each contract. We make use of information provided by the Client or the main contractor to plan and agree on-site audits.  However, the system is designed to give the Client and other stakeholders, including the SparkSafe auditor, an online view of those who have been licenced and connected or otherwise with each project.   The online system means that the Client, and the auditor, are facilitated with a 24/7 opportunity to assess the composition of the electrical contractor’s workforce. Each occasion of auditing provides the Client, with an opportunity to determine the extent of prior disclosure and upfront visibility of who, at an individual competence level, is scheduled to work on their project.

Why we audit?

The audit process is carried out to provide clients with an important due diligence report that underpins their quality, safety, and value for money objectives. We conduct audits to instil confidence and assist Clients in building and maintaining their reputation as responsible buyers of electrical contracting services. Auditing compliance, against specific contract conditions, such as electrical Licence to Practise, also addresses a blind spot, that Clients have historically been obliged to tolerate.