Frequently Asked Questions

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The audit system is called HASMAP (‘Health and Safety Management Profile’) and aims to evaluate the effectiveness of each school/ service’s management of health and safety risk. The audit will focus on either the whole school/ service or just one topic (e.g. manual handling) and takes a sample of our work on risk control to check strength or weaknesses.

HASMAP is the audit tool devised by the Universities Safety and Health Association specifically for use in universities. It has been accepted by the Health and Safety Executive as a valid audit method for Higher Education, recognised by the Chairs of University Councils, and endorsed by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association.

We need to make sure that every area of the University implements health and safety procedures effectively to create a safe and healthy environment. The best way to do this is through a system of checks and balances that let you know where you are now. The audit is part of this system and will highlight your strengths (the areas of best practice you can share with others) and the areas where you need to focus resources to improve. It will also identify where the University need to provide more support, training and information to help you achieve the expected standards.

The audit begins with a pre-meeting to agree the process, timescales and scope. You then have approximately 3 weeks to prepare for the audit itself which starts with a meeting to confirm the process details. Over the next few weeks, identified staff will be asked to answer questions and bring documents as written evidence to the audit team. You’ll then receive a report setting out key findings which you can discuss and respond to before agreeing an implementation plan to deal with any issues raised.

Each audit assesses how well a school/ service is managing health and safety risks.

  • Full audits look at a whole school/ service, including all the relevant topics: e.g. from office management to hazardous substance control. They are led by the centrally based Health and Safety Audit Manager along with the Health and Safety Manager.
  • Topic audits look at a specific subject: e.g. manual handling in a school/ service. They are led by your local Health and Safety Manager and often occur after new topic procedures are introduced.

Senior Managers, local Health and Safety Co-ordinators, anyone with relevant specific health and safety responsibilities - e.g. DSE (Display Screen Equipment) Assessors - and any operational staff identified as part of the audit process. 

Staff just need to answer questions as fully as possible, find any documents or records needed to provide evidence of those answers and possibly show the Audit Manager and/ or Health and Safety Manager around the area.

As part of the audit process people are selected for interview. You may have been asked because you have useful information to share, or you may have been randomly selected from the staff list. You will be asked questions about your role in relation to health and safety - the key thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong answer. The aim is to give the auditor a true picture of the current situation to see how well the systems work, not apportion blame or name individuals.

That depends on the size of the School or Service. A full audit should take between 4 to 8 weeks, whilst a topic audit will take between 2 to 4 weeks.

We will notify the Head of School/ Director of Service no later than 3 weeks before the audit. However if an external agency (e.g. Health and Safety Executive) intervenes, of if there are other internal concerns, we may change the timetable to bring forward priority areas.

We take a flexible approach and do understand the pressures placed on key staff in schools/ services, but all areas of the University do need to be audited over the next 5 - 10 years. The timetable tries to consider School / Services workloads, (e.g. exam timetables, summer break etc) wherever possible. If an audit is scheduled at an unsuitable time the Head of School/ Service Director should discuss this with the Health and Safety Audit Manager to see if we can reach a compromise.

The Head of School/ Service and managers identified by them will receive a performance summary and full report. We’ll also copy it to your Dean or Head of Service Group. We’ll ask you to prepare a response to it, supported by your Health and Safety Manager and to discuss this with the Audit Manager for their final decision. You can then develop an action plan with your Health and Safety Manager and choose how to share the report with staff across your school/ service.

The Health and Safety audit team are fully trained to ensure consistency in the HASMAP process. The Health and Safety Audit Manager is also an accredited ROSPA and ISO18001 lead auditor and will approve all final reports before they are issued as well as keep an index reference file to substantiate all findings.

Your Health and Safety Manager will support you through the process and help you to develop an implementation plan at the end of it. If you have further questions you can contact the Health and Safety Audit Manager Lynn Clarke on ext. 38043 or by email on

Once a year, the Dean or Director of Service Group, their Heads of School/ Service and the Health and Safety Manager discuss the progress of the faculty/ service group to see how well they have managed health and safety risks over the previous year. They focus on the school/ service health and safety objectives or plans, as well as on the self-assessment questionnaire provided by Health and Safety Services which needs to be completed and returned each July.

By considering your progress, the review process should help you to:

See whether your risk management is effective and check you are meeting your health and safety objectives, local Key Performances Indicators (KPIs) or other local measures.

Celebrate your achievements and good health and safety performance.

Examine whether the inspection schedule is on target and proceeding effectively and the local health and safety committee (link to HSC standard) is occurring.

Review the effectiveness of any actions taken to rectify weaknesses or after any serious accident, incident or near miss.

See whether local health and safety documents reflect current priorities, plans and targets; this can often be part of the usual University Integrated Planning Exercise (IPE).

Target your future resources effectively by supporting your planning process.

The answers need to be recorded and returned to Health and Safety Service by the 31st July each year. The answers from all faculties and service groups will be drawn together to form the basis of an annual report to Health and Safety Committee and to the ‘Sustainable, Effective and Efficient Organisation’ strategic enabler theme group. This will enable the University to track improvements to current performance in the four University–level agreed health and safety KPIs (risk control, surveying, competence and leadership).

Yes, as well as answering the specific question set, you may find it useful to consider any other objectives, KPIs or other measures to assess your current health and safety position.

To support this process, information provided through audits will be used to independently validate the self assessment findings. Where a school or service has not recently had an audit (or is not scheduled to be audited with the next 2 years) it may be chosen as part of a representative sample whose information will be considered in more detail by the Head of Health and Safety or the Health and Safety Audit Manager.