The International Safety Management Code (ISM) require Shipping Companies to have procedures for conducting both internal and external audits to ensure the ship as well as the shore organisation is doing what is documented in the Safety Management System.
Carrying out internal SMS audits companies measure the effectiveness of their own systems. Internal SMS or ISM audits are potentially more important than external audits for controlling the effectiveness of the system, since companies stand to gain or lose more than the external audit bodies if the system fails. The company, its employees, shipmasters, officers and crews ‘own’ the safety management system and have a direct interest in ensuring that it is effective. As a result, the internal SMS audit, which represents these interests, should be at least equal to if not exceed the thoroughness of the external SMS audit process.
D. van Wolferen Marine Inspection & Consultant performs and carries out ISM internal audits on board operator vessels as well as on their premises.