Introduction to audit for PSA 55 Locksmith Standard

Andrew Daly, compliance manager, EQA (Ireland) Ltd, outlines what’s involved in the audit for the PSA 55 Locksmith Standard.

As a requirement of the new PSA Locksmith Standard PSA 55:2016, it is necessary to have a certification body carry out an audit to ensure that the requirements of the standard are being met.

This article aims to shine light on the audit itself so that you are more certain of what it entails and what the auditor will be looking for (see panel). Be assured that while the auditors will be thorough, their objective is to ensure compliance they are not there to look for issues. If you read through the standard clause by clause you will have given yourself a good start in the preparation process.

Half-day audit

The audit consists of a half-day audit to check that all clauses of the standard are being met. The auditor will conduct the audit at your premises (this will be the address that you include on the license that the PSA issue to you) and go through each clause of the standard.

If the auditor finds any areas of the standard that are not being met (i.e., no insurance in place) then they will fill out a feedback report that will outline exactly what the issue is and where it relates to in the standard so that you have a clear idea of what the problem is. It is up to yourself to determine how to fix the issue but you are given four weeks to submit.

From my experience in carrying out audits the best prepared clients and the audits that have gone the smoothest are the ones where the clients simply go through the standard and organise their paperwork around the checklist.

A copy of the PSA 55:2016 standard and related PSA auditing guidelines are available on the PSA website.

KEY AREAS OF STANDARD CHECKED BY THE AUDITOR

Ownership – Company registration documents, name of directors, statement of director’s interest in other PSA licensed operations. Finance – Tax clearance, loans, cashflow statement.
Insurance – Vehicle insurance, public liability insurance, employer liability (not required if no employees), consequential loss of keys, professional indemnity.
Premises – Make sure that the premises is appropriate for the job; that files are stored securely; that an alarm system is in place for the premises; and that it is monitored.
Quotations – Any contracts or quotations made with clients must have your information clearly stated on the paperwork and all prices must be clearly outlined.
Training – Ensure proper training records are kept for employees and yourself, in particular, any training that is relevant to locksmiths.
Operations – This category covers overall record keeping in respect of work assignments for locksmiths. Whatever documentation you have provided to the client for a job, it should show a concise description of the job to be done, the cost of the job and the agreement between you and the client.

EQA(IRL) Ltd is one of the certification bodies approved by the PSA to carry out the audits to PSA 55:2016. They have been carrying out certification audits for the PSA since 2006 and currently cover all standards that the PSA enforce.