Auditing and the Kokoda Trail | Part 2

By: Auditor Training Online | Posted 05 Jul 2017

Author: Jackie Stapleton

How auditing is preparing me for the Kokoda Trail
Part #2

Firstly, to follow on from our first article and the results of our foot taping – NO blisters for the PNG Kokoda team! Some new ‘hotspots’ were identified during our 30km Kokoda Challenge walk and these were promptly taped up during the day.  So, a very positive outcome for the team.

Jackie & Friends


If you missed the first article in our Kokoda series, you can catch up here.

I am now busy putting all the equipment I need, together.  I am accumulating quite a pile of it actually. 

Of course, the trekking company has provided a ‘Gear List’ which I am slowly working my way through.  Anyone that knows me well, knows I love a good list. 

Looking at this Gear List I can’t help but refer to Clause 7.1.3 Infrastructure in ISO 9001:2015.  This clause states that the organization shall determine, provide and maintain the infrastructure necessary for the operation of its processes and to achieve conformity of products and services.  Infrastructure can include equipment …..

The Draft ISO 45001.2:2017, Clause states that hazard identification is on-going and proactive taking into account c) routine and non-routine activities and situations, including consideration of:

  1. Infrastructure, equipment, materials, substances and the physical conditions of the workplace

So, what equipment have I bought so far?   More importantly, what equipment have I bought and tested so far!  Oh no, I said the word test – now I’m wondering where that might fit into our management systems world?  Where do we test (or check)?  We have an entire clause on Performance Evaluation – Clause 9.  ISO 9001:2015, Clause 9.1.1 Monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation which states that the organization shall determine:

  • What needs to be monitored and measured
  • The methods for monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation needed to ensure valid results
  • When the monitoring and measuring shall be performed
  • When the results from monitoring and measurement shall be analysed and evaluated

Sorry, I got distracted there, Standards do that to me …… now for my list of equipment and then HOW did we determine the monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation of these items: 

  • 30-40 litre backpack
  • Walking poles
  • 3-litre Backpack bladder
  • Hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Gaiters
  • Skins style shorts (no chaffing)
  • Shirts for trekking

Of course, there’s a lot more than this for me to take, however these are the key pieces of equipment that I have been using and testing in my training.
So, why would I have to test these items?  Well, for several reasons:

  • Some of them are completely new to me and I need to learn how to use/wear them
  • Some of them are new pieces of equipment as well, and do they do what they are meant to do?
  • And finally, I’m going to be wearing or using these items for 6-8 hours a day for 9 days so I need to make sure they do the job without causing any issues or breaking on me

Reflecting on the testing we have done so far, I can’t help but think about the PDCA cycle that is still referenced in our management system standards today.  The PDCA cycle was made popular by William Edwards Deming when he introduced it into his teaching in Japan in around 1950.

ISO 9001:2015 describes PDCA as:

Plan: Establish the objectives of the system and its processes, and the resources needed to deliver results in accordance with customers’ requirements and the organization’s policies, and identify and address risks and opportunities
Do: implement what was planned
Check: Monitor and (where applicable) measure processes and the resulting products and services against policies, objectives, requirements and planned activities, and report the results
Act: take actions to improve performance, as necessary

So, to apply this to our equipment I see the application of PDCA as the following:

Plan: the objectives were to use the exact same equipment for the 30km Kokoda Challenge and all associated training. 
Do: What we did was a 30km Hike which replicated (as best as it could) the incline and decline of Kokoda.  The only thing different was the humidity and heat of course.  To break this down it was:

  • 30-40 litre backpack – packed with the day's food and water, weighing in at 9.5kg, which is approximately what the pack weight would be every day for the PNG Kokoda
  • Walking poles – learn how to lengthen/shorten them and use them for incline and decline hiking
  • 3-litre Backpack bladder – fill to capacity, set the correct length and ensure I knew how to extract the water out when thirsty!
  • Hiking boots – the BIG test.  The correct way to tie the laces; tightness; comfort particularly on decline to ensure toes did not hit the end of the boot
  • Hiking socks – comfort, prevention of chaffing, management of sweaty feet
  • Gaiters – prevent debris entering boots, fit and comfort.  Actually, one of my team mate’s gaiters proved to be too tight around her ankles so modifications are required.
  • Skins style shorts (no chaffing) – check (insert a tick), no chaffing!
  • Shirts for trekking – I actually wore a quick dry t-shirt for the test.  I would like to wear quick dry singlets for the PNG trek so I am considering how I can test these over a long distance now.

As briefly mentioned above overall there were positive results.  Changes implemented as a result of the testing are:

  • Move the magnet for my 3-litre backpack bladder hose so that it is clipped in a more convenient spot on my front strap of my backpack
  • A ‘hotspot’ was identified on my top left foot from my boots being tied too tight.  Laces are now not tied as tight on my left foot – this must be my BIG foot!
  • Gaiters – my gaiters were fine however one of my hiking mates proved to be too tight around her ankles and started to cut off circulation.  Lucky she’s a seamstress and can fix that tight elastic up.
  • Plan testing of different style singlets – which is a challenge considering it is winter here!

Continue to Test as above with the changes implemented – Continual Improvement!
ISO 45001.2:2017, Clause 10 Improvement states that the organization shall determine opportunities for improvement and implement necessary actions to achieve intended outcomes ………

Wow!  It’s never ending, is it?  That’s why improvement is an ongoing continual process.  Always learning and improving.

Well, I think that helps with moving forward with our training and testing. I will keep you posted and don’t hesitate to share your experiences with us on our social media pages too!