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Differance between Audit and Survey


  • 1) Audit always forecasts on past activities and then detect the fault and propose the corrective action.
  • 2) Audit always focuses on system operation, system procedure and documentation.
  • 3) Audit always looks only on the system.
  • 4) Audit is focused on software items.
  • 5) Audit of entire system is not possible as it is done on sampling basis like surveillance audit
  • 6) For example an auditor will check satisfactory repair of pump and will enquire, find and analyze as to when pump was last inspected, why deficiency not found before survey etc.


  • 1) Survey focuses on future activities so that equipment continues to function for next survey.
  • 2) Survey focuses on physical status of machinery or equipment.
  • 3) Survey looks on product.
  • 4) Survey is focused on hardware
  • 5) Survey of entire system is possible like safety equipment survey, main engine performance survey etc
  • 6) For example in a survey of fire pump surveyor will check satisfactory repair of pump and noted deficiency removed.


  A major non-conformity means an identification deviation which poses a serious threat to the safety of personnel or the ship or a serious risk to the environment and requires immediate corrective action. The new definition added to major NC after July 2010 is “ major NC now also makes clear that this can be lack of effective and systematic implementation of requirement of this ISM code.”
         When a major NC is raised, corrective action must be implemented before a new certificate can be issued or before existing certificate is endorsed at an annual DOC or intermediate SMC verification. RO may ask to the company for immediate corrective action to at least downgrade the major NC to an NC as early as possible. After verification of corrective action by auditor a short term DOC or SMC valid for 3 months can be issued. Corrective action for the NC and the time frame for the same can be then agreed. Also, a significant number of NCs identified against the same section of the ISM code may be issued as a single major NC. All major NCs including those that are downgraded before the completion of the audit are to be reported to the flag state/ company/ master in writing.


  A non conformity means an observed situation where objective evidence indicates the non fulfillment of a specified requirement of the ISM code.
      When an NC is found, agreement must be reached with the management of the department concerned that the perceived NC exists. Certificate can be issued or endorsed provided suitable corrective action and appropriate time scale (not exceeding 3 months) is agreed. Closure of an NC does not require a revisit by auditor. Written notification of completion of corrective action accompanied where possible with objective evidence must be forwarded. An NC which is not corrected with the stipulated time frame may be upgraded to a major NC and result in invalidation of certificate.


When an extension of SMC is requested for, same can be done if a ship, at a time when SMC expires is not in port in which it is to be verified. Then period by validity of the SMC may be extended. But the extension period cannot exceed 3 months. A ship to which extension is granted should not by virtue of such extension be allowed to leave port without a new SMC. When the renewal verification is completed the new SMC is valid to a date not exceeding 5 years from the expiry date of the existing SMC, before the extension was granted.


     When the particulars, such as ship’s name, company’s name or address mentioned in the SMC or DOC are changed, an additional audit to rewrite the SMC or DOC is required.


 An SMC will be invalidated when
  • 1) A company has not undergone an internal audit of ship annually.
  • 2) There is evidence of major NC.
  • 3) Corrective actions for NCs are not completed within agreed period of time.
  • 4) Amendments in Ism code are not taken into account by the company.


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