Updated report writing standards
The Scheme is making changes to how Monitor reports are produced which will affect all reports written after 1 August and these are detailed below.
Please note that this does not impact upon scoring in any way and only affects how the report is written.
Use of bold italics
The Scheme previously asked Monitors to support a score of 8 by having at least one bold italic comment in that section of the report. This guidance was introduced to assist those site managers who are keen to achieve the highest scores and wanted some direction from the Monitor. By definition, a site achieving an 8 point score is addressing all applicable questions and prompts to an excellent standard and the bold italic comments are therefore occasionally causing confusion and frustration for both Monitors and the sites and companies receiving the reports.
Therefore bold italicised comments will no longer appear on 8 point scores. Monitors may still offer suggestions on areas for improvement on an 8 point score if there is something appropriate that could be done, but this should just appear in normal text, and no longer in bold italics.
Detailed summary of findings
Ordinarily all Code sections should address all the Checklist items in so far as they are relevant and applicable to the site in question.
However for high scoring sections (8 points or higher only) it would be appropriate to concentrate on the most impressive aspects of performance and not refer necessarily to some of the more routine aspects of compliance such as the control of radios and mobile phones; the presence and use of spill kits; the presence of a hazard board; having an open door policy in relation to workforce consultation etc.
In these instances, the narrative should focus on the truly excellent or exceptional aspects of what was seen or discussed. We can safely assume that everything was being addressed, hence the 8 point score, and just pick out the ‘best’ or more interesting aspects of what was witnessed or discussed at the time of the visit that led to the high score.
For low scoring sections (scores of 5 or lower only) it would be appropriate to focus on the areas for improvement. In these circumstances it may be best not to mention the absence of higher-level aspirational performance such as leaving a legacy; conducting safety campaigns and providing financial advice and counselling services. Of course, within a low scoring section, Monitors should continue to recognise and praise positive performance and good practice so that a report is not unnecessarily negative.
It has been agreed that nothing should change for scores of 6 and 7.
- You will no longer see bold italic comments on 8 point scores.
- The report narrative for a low scoring section of 5 or less will detail what was seen, i.e. reference all Checklist items, including routine requirements but use bold italics to focus on the fundamentals which are not being achieved and should not necessarily reference some of the more aspirational requirements.
- High scoring sections of 8 or higher should focus on what has made that site excellent or exceptional, commenting on what they do well and what was interesting and/or unusual. It does not need to reference the routine aspects which could be considered a ‘given’ on a high scoring site.
- Scores of 6 or 7 remain unchanged.
- These changes do not impact upon scoring in any way and only affect how the report is written.
These changes to the detailed summary of findings should encourage Monitors to focus on the relevant rather than the routine or inappropriate. Sites scoring poorly need to be encouraged to achieve compliance or perhaps move from barely ‘compliant’ to ‘good’ – a report detailing every single thing they are not doing can be demoralising, overwhelming and may not result in improvement. Likewise, a site scoring well should be recognised for the excellent and outstanding things it is doing rather than receiving a list of everything they are doing, including what many would consider to be routine requirements on a high scoring site.