With GCSE, A-level and university exams all underway I am sure we are all reminded of our school and/or university days. Like most I left university promising that I would never take another exam, but life isn’t like that. Not only did I go back and do a second degree but we are examined in all sorts of contexts throughout life.

It is easy to see an inspection by a regulator as an exam, and yes there are many parallels, however simply doing lots of revision is no longer enough. Inspectors will certainly expect key individuals to know their stuff but an essential feature of all inspections now, is the requirement to show your ‘coursework’. The knowledge has to be applied in a demonstrable way on a day to day basis; risk assessments, change control procedures, audits and bona fides checks must be all be part of what the business does, as a matter of routine. I am a strong believer in the principle of ‘little and often’, these things should not be onerous for a business if they are scheduled properly over time. More than that, these things shouldn’t just be a tick in a box, they should be genuinely helping the business improve in real time.

How much cramming will you need to do before your next inspection?

Written by John Finey