I certainly don’t envy those groups who are just starting. It must seem like a mountain to climb when first viewing the workbook.
Gaining recognition for the processes that you already have in place is great, and certainly heart-warming, but filling the criteria can lead to ‘workbook fatigue’ particularly if left to the last minute.
We learnt our lesson the hard way last year. The deadline for submission raced towards us and although we had been implementing the criteria, we had not spent any time in the workbook. A week before the deadline we had a hasty meeting and divvied up the work but it was not an ideal situation. The workbook really should be tackled in small doses as it can just be too overwhelming.
I feel that we left a lot for our auditors to do as we had not attached enough evidence, and in fact auditing took nearly a whole afternoon instead of a few hours. I did feel very sorry for our auditors as none of them had any science background, and were slightly flummoxed by some of the labs tab criteria.
One of the more amusing aspects of preparing for auditing is sorting the houseplants. Most plants in our department don’t live for a long time, either through lack of care, or the environment, so I tend to tour the department and evict all the dead plants! Maybe some of the more green fingered green impacters can help us!
Anyway, I just wanted to give a big shout out and pat on the back to all the new teams this year. The first year is the hardest and the most work, as you are setting up the processes to build on for the future, and I wish you every success.