Liability Audit

What Is A Liability Audit?

A liability audit is a structured process of exploring and gaining an accurate understanding of a situation BEFORE attempting to develop and implement a solution.

By answering the questions below, and assembling those answers and related documents into an audit package, we can develop and propose the most effective way to proceed.

If you are looking for training or consulting services in relation to the health, safety and competence of your employees there are two options to get started:

  • Have a preliminary meeting with a NWLEA consultant to discuss the details of your situation and determine whether or not they can be resolved by the Northwest Law Enforcement Academy. If so, you can conduct a liability audit and return with the results for a more comprehensive discussion.

  • Another option is prior to attending a meeting, you may want to spend some time diagnosing and documenting the circumstances or events that brought you to seek out solutions in the first place.

Preliminary Questions

1. What are the negative results or consequences that you want to prevent or prepare for?

2. What was the “Trigger Event(s)” that created the need for you to be addressing this issue NOW?

Defining The Situation

“For higher quality and trust, seek first to understand. Diagnose before you prescribe. – Stephen Covey.”

Focus Question: “What is Likely To Happen?”

The first of the four phases of the Liability Reduction Model is the Situation Phase. It consists of four factors:

Factor #1 – Tasks: a descriptive list of the responsibilities and activities that the employee is expected to perform in a safe, effective and consistent manner.

Factor #2 – Needs: What the employee needs to know, to be able to do, and to have at his or her disposal in order to do the job that they’ve been hired to do.

Factor #3 – Problems: What problems or obstacles exist that could prevent the employee from doing his or her job, or expose them to dangerous, volatile or violent situations?

Factor #4 – Trends: What societal, legal or professional circumstances have changed, or appear to be changing, that will affect the employee’s safety or ability to do his or her job?

Situational Assessment Questions:

3. Do you consider your employees to be “High-Risk Professionals?

Note: A "High-Risk Professional" is someone with a reasonable probability of encountering dangerous, adversarial or violent situations during the course of their duties. 

4. What are the tasks and duties that your employees perform that could expose them to dangerous, adversarial or violent situations?

5. What do your employees need in order to stay safe and perform their duties in an effective and consistent manner? (skills, knowledge, equipment etc.)

6. What problems exist, or are likely to be encountered, that could affect the safety or performance of your employees?

7. What trends are occurring, or likely to occur, that will affect the frequency of challenging events or difficulty in performing their duties?

Defining The Current State Of The Solution

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

Focus Question: “What Can We Do About It?”

Before “reinventing the wheel,” it is important to take stock of what liability reduction strategies already exist, whether they are as effective as they could be, and what efforts have been attempted in the past.

The second phase of the Liability Reduction Model is the Solution Phase. It consists of four factors:

Factor #1 – Policy – Policy, Standard Operating Procedures, and applicable legislation that directs the employee in the performance of their duties.

Factor #2 – Training – What past or current training is being provided to the employees to prepare and equip them to do their job? This should include the topic, learning objectives, duration, frequency of the training and who delivers it.

Factor #3 – Equipment – What equipment or technology is currently in place or being considered?

Factor #4 Resources – this includes time, money and manpower dedicated to solving the problem. It also includes the level of “buy-in” at various levels of the organization. (management, employees, stakeholders).

Solution Assessment Questions

8. What policies and equipment acquisitions have already been implemented in an effort to prevent or lower the probability of high-risk events?

9. What measures have been taken in the past that have failed or fallen short to resolve this issue?

10. Has a comparable agency or organization addressed and resolved this issue already? If so what was their solution?

11. What policies, procedures and relevant legislation exist that direct your employees in relation to this issue?

12. What training do employees receive to provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to improve their safety and the successful performance of their jobs?

13. Are there fitness and performance standards that must be met and maintained by the employees doing this job?

14. How much support, cooperation and alignment exists between management, employees and stakeholders to resolve these issues?

Where To Go From Here

There are three options associated with implementing the Liability Audit and applying the Liability Reduction Model to mitigate risk and address the specific needs of your organization:

Self-Conducted Audit – you or a designate from your agency, can use this page as a guide to answer the questions and collect the results of your own liability audit. Upon the completion of that audit, you may want to review the course descriptions of training that NWLEA has to offer. Perhaps an existing course will mean your needs.

Liability Reduction Workshop – you or a designate from your company can attend a Liability Reduction Workshop which consists of a one-day training seminar. The first portion of that training would involve a detailed explanation of what the Liability Reduction Model is, how it works and how to use it in addressing the needs. The second, half of the training would be applying the model to the specific needs and circumstances of your company. Click on this link for a more detailed course description of The Liability Reduction Workshop.

Consultant/Subject Matter Expert – for a more comprehensive audit and solution, you could secure the services of a Subject Matter Expert qualified to address the specific concerns and dynamics of your situation. This could include an investigation involving a review of policies, SOP’s and relevant legislation, reviewing incident reports, conducting employee surveys and interviews etc. The end result would be a written needs and problem analysis and a proposal containing a range of potential solutions to consider.