How are your Chain of Responsibility (CoR) compliance policies performing? Is everyone getting the message that your company takes its obligations seriously – and for good reason?
Are all your staff on board? All of them? Really?
Have you heard of ‘CoR drills’?
We know of some larger scale retailers and wholesalers that operate distribution centres which have, after creating and implementing a CoR compliance policy, begun conducting drills – random compliance audits.
Usually, these are outsourced to third-party advisers to undertake. They choose a time (e.g. 3am), and pick drivers at random to be audited. This process takes 15 minutes for each driver.
When such audits are conducted at sites across different locations and sometimes even States, the results can provide valuable information about levels of compliance and any issues that arise at different locations.
Most businesses conduct fire drills, right? Why not a CoR drill? Well, these drills will not suit everyone, for two reasons:
- first, they are expensive, so unless your business is substantial, the benefits may not outweigh the costs;
- second, although audits only take 15 minutes, they are somewhat disruptive to your business and the drivers involved. We recommend ‘softening the blow’ by offering coffee and muffins during audits, for example, to allay fears that this is a blitz. The idea is to make this a positive exercise and have staff that are making a difference by participating in the undertaking.
On the upside, CoR drills send all the right messages to your staff, management, transport providers and the regulator. There may be no better way to demonstrate that you take your CoR responsibilities seriously. Also, if you share the results (good and bad) with your transport providers, it is an inclusive practice.
This is what CoR is all about, particularly with the new emphasis on shared responsibility.
Just remember, many companies collect data but not all act on the information. The data you obtain is only as good as what you do with it. If your drills reveal problems or issues, you must act on these. Failure to do so will be a red flag if the regulator ever comes knocking.