5 Questions To Ask Before Your Next Facility Audit

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Like going to the dentist or preparing taxes, a third-party audit isn’t typically an event that people eagerly anticipate. It’s common for quality assurance and facility managers to feel anxiety as the date approaches, particularly when there is a mad dash to gather documents and check off lists.

There is a straightforward way out of the dread-panic cycle. Staying audit-ready year-round helps you remain confident and at-ease, whether your next third-party inspection is tomorrow or a year from now. With the right fundamentals in place, you might find yourself looking forward to an audit—after all, it’s a big win if you know how to ace it.

Since pest control accounts for a significant percent of your total audit score, it’s best to know you're prepared.

To stay audit-ready, ask yourself these five questions:

  1. Do I know what the auditor will look for?

    • Audit standards can vary, and pest challenges can change throughout the year. So, how can facilities consistently keep up? An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program serves as a powerful foundation for any audit, covering the important bases to stay prepared. The IPM plan—which is typically an audit requirement—provides preventive, corrective and ongoing strategies to keep pests at bay. Your auditor may look for specific components within an IPM program, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the most up-to-date standards. For instance, auditors commonly note if your pest control partner has suggested and enacted specific treatments or performed a risk analysis of your facility. Different auditors may have slightly different standards, which shouldn’t be a problem if you communicate them to your pest control provider.

  2. Am I diligent about documentation?

    • If you ever wonder whether you should record a pest-related issue, the answer is probably yes. Meticulous notetaking is critical for a successful audit, allowing your auditor to create a more accurate picture of your facility’s cleanliness and sanitation over time. Auditors may want to review pest sightings or monitoring systems, service reports and corrective actions taken. They will also check your general documentation to ensure proper credentials for the facility (like up-to-date insurance) and for your pest control provider (to ensure they are trained and licensed). This checklist can give you a great idea of the documents you may need to have available. If you haven’t been consistent in your documentation, there’s no better time to improve than now.

  3. Do I know my facility’s pest trends?

    • A great IPM program should be tailored to your facility and its unique pest control challenges, patterns and trends. Walk the interior and exterior of your property regularly to note hot spots where pest activity is common—such as drains, roofs and vents—and note which kinds of pests are showing up. Do you notice different types of pests at certain times of year, or after specific activities like big deliveries? Have you noticed signs of new pests, like bird droppings or new spider webs? By systematically recording these trends, you’ll be better able to help prevent future pest problems and show auditors that you are following your IPM program.

    • You will also need to monitor industry trends. Follow the local and national news, trade publications and your pest control provider to note changes that may affect your facility, like updates to regulatory guidelines or pest outbreaks in your region.

  4. Should I practice?

    • While it’s important to formally assess the efficacy of your facility’s IPM program at least once per year, more frequent reviews can help you rehearse and practice for an audit. You could schedule a quarterly inspection so your pest control provider can alert you to problems. This gives you ample time to address concerns that may require more time-intensive changes or treatments in advance of the main inspection. These experts are also audit pros—they can help point out gaps in your documentation or simple ways to improve your score. Practice also helps you and your team gain experience in the audit process, offering confidence that can replace a hurried, disorganized rush to the finish line.

  5. Is my team in place?

    • An audit is a team event, and it’s vital that everyone knows the game plan. Internally, facility or quality assurance managers can—and should—have help from the whole team, from managers to floor-level workers. Identify and train team members who can help record pest sightings or alert the team to a problem, like a damaged pest control device. And when all else fails, make sure that you have a pest control partner with the knowledge, training, licenses and resources to act as your audit ally. A great partner can make audits far less intimidating, bringing extensive experience in the field and an invaluable bird’s-eye view on the industry and in your field.

Audit Preparation Guide & Checklist From Orkin Commercial Pest Control

Are you done with the pre-audit panic? Want to feel prepared year-round? Download the Audit Preparation Guide—our free eBook with a bonus audit checklist—for comprehensive best practices on staying audit-ready, or schedule a free inspection today to face your next pest audit with confidence.

Face Your Next Audit With Confidence. Ditch the Pre-Audit Panic and Stay Ready All Year Long. Download Guide.

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