RR368 - Evaluation of FOD's Topic Based Inspection Approach

Overall in this report Risk Solutions conclude that Topic Based Inspection has been a partial success. For the two years immediately following the implementation of Topic Based Inspection it has made no direct impact on overall health and safety performance. We can say that so far Topic Based Inspection has not had a detrimental impact on these outcomes.

The Topic Based Inspection systems and supporting processes are being used by the inspectors and this will, with time, yield valuable management information. Furthermore there is evidence that Topic Based Inspection is starting to influence inspector activities and behaviours as intended. This needs to be encouraged and reinforced.

If Topic Based Inspection is to support the Health and Safety Executive's Field Operations Directorate deliver against the Public Service Agreement targets in response to the Revitalising Health and Safety strategy statement however, it needs to address the current resistance to Topic Based Inspection that is evident amongst the more experienced inspectors. In addressing this it needs to recognise that dutyholders are concerned about the variability and consistency of interaction with inspectors and the way in which the Field Operations Directorate prioritises dutyholders for inspection. Consequently, if differences of opinion about the value of Topic Based Inspection are tolerated within Field Operations Directorate then this will exacerbate these concerns.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

The Research Report Series are produced in Adobe Acrobat. The use of the latest version of the software is recommended which is available at the Adobe website via the link on this page.

Assistance in the use of Adobe Acrobat PDF files is available on our FAQs page.

Updated 2021-04-19