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American Public Transportation Association

 WORKSHOP: Basics of Internal Operational Auditing

​Saturday, May 14, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

(30 person limit)

Route 8: Management, Workforce Development & Policy  

The City of Charlotte is offering its internal auditor training to APTA conference attendees. Led by Continuous Improvement Officer Regina Dobson Cousar, this four-hour workshop is one that transit professionals who conduct quality audits, safety audits, or environmental audits will enjoy. This class will provide tips on how to improve your audit process and communicate results for continuous improvement. Charlotte Area Transit System Quality Assurance Manager Celia Gray will share examples from quality and safety and security compliance audits of CATS operations and maintenance departments. 
 
Instructors:
Regina Dobson Cousar,
Utilities Continuous Improvement Officer, City of Charlotte/Charlotte Water, Charlotte, NC
Celia Gray, Quality Assurance Manager, Charlotte Area Transit System, Charlotte, NC 
 
AUDIENCE: Agency mid-level management, supervisors, and transit professionals who conduct or participate in quality audits, safety audits or environmental audits
 
FEE: The course is open to all Bus & Paratransit Conference registrants at no additional charge.
 
REGISTRATION: Please pre-register by completing the Workshop Registration Form. On-site registration is on a first-come, first-served, space and materials available basis.
 
QUESTIONS? Contact APTA’s Lynne Morsen at 202.496.4853 or lmorsen@apta.com.
 
Workshop topics include: 
 
1. Internal Auditing
•         Attributes and standards - the role of the internal audit
•         Differences between an internal and an external audit
•         Agreements - department/division sample charter
•         Overview of ISOs – Best Practice Frameworks
2. Contemporary Internal Auditing
•         Types of internal audits – what are you trying to accomplish?
•         Economy, efficiency and effectiveness = Sustainability
•         Why audit?
•         Benefits of operational auditing – Eyes on the Prize
•         Steps in the internal audit process: an overview
3. Ready, Go, Set! - Planning and Preliminary Fieldwork
•         Performance standard for planning the audit
•         The planning memo - notifying and opening
•         Case study – a review of well written internal audits
•         3 phases on an audit plan
•         Ready - the importance of preliminary work
•         Set - business risk control matrices
4. Documenting Internal Controls
•         Evaluating and documenting the system of internal controls
•         Performance standard for controls
•         Methods of documenting internal controls
•         Flowcharts
•         Critical control points
•         Cost/benefit considerations
•         Case study
5. Audit Programs
•         Performance standard for engagement objectives and scope
•         Standard for developing the audit program
•         Criteria for audit programs
•         Audit objective, scope, test steps, sample
•         Case study
6. Fieldwork Techniques
•         Audit evidence
•         Handling sensitive information
7. Audit Findings
•         Performance standards for communicating results and monitoring progress
•         Attributes of audit findings
•         Sharing your audit findings
•         Template for audit findings
•         Case study
8. Working papers
•         Record retention rules
•         Purpose of audit working papers
•         Working paper techniques
•         Electronic working papers – Go Paperless!
•         Sample audit working paper
•         Performance standard for quality assurance and compliance
9. Audit Reports
•         Fundamentals of audit reports
•         Recommendation options
•         Strategies for issuing timely reports
10. Effective Audit Communications
•         Understanding patterns of communications
•         Possible barriers to overcome in the interview
•         Interview strategies
•         Diffusing the difficult interview
•         Do’s and don’ts of effective interviewing
•         Closing
•         Strategies for conducting effective closing conferences
•         Case study
11. Sampling
•         What is a sample? Is it bigger than a bread box?
•         Rule of Thumb and the ANSI Z table
•         Audit testing
•         Sampling terminology and methodologies
12. Risk Assessment Strategies
•         Determining risk – using FMEA
•         Effects of risk
•         Identifying auditable activities
•         Risk criteria
•         Trends in risk assessment 
 
Bios:
As Continuous Improvement Officer for the City of Charlotte, Regina Dobson Cousar applies continuous improvement methods such as PDCA, Six Sigma (DMAIC/DFSS), Management of Change, Change Execution, Statistical Process Control, and Behavior and Consequence management for improved organizational operations, resiliency, sustainability, and technological innovation. She implements best practices and management systems such as PROSCI Change management, ISO 55001 (asset management), ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environmental), NELAP/ISO17025 (lab), OHSAS 18001/OSHA VPP (safety), and other business process improvement approaches. She has led and supported improvement projects and training for the Charlotte-Douglas Airport, Solid Waste Services, and the Charlotte Area Transit System. She serves on citywide teams focused on organizational development, competition, and process improvement, such as the Smart Cities team, the citywide EMS team, the Environmental Cabinet, the Executive Risk Taskforce, and the Community Engagement team. She has a Masters in Chemical Engineering and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership at Northeastern University. She was named PROSCI Change Manager and was a RABQSA Certified Lead Auditor for ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems. She was the Environmental Compliance Manager at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department and held other engineering responsibilities for the City of Charlotte, Mallard Creek Polymers, Radian Corporation, and Rohm & Haas Co. Cousar served as Chair, Mecklenburg County Industrial Facilities and Pollution Control Financing Authority, appointed by the County Commission. Her publications include “Approaching Customer Service of the Future with Continuous Improvement and Pilot Studies”, AWWA Journal April 2012. Recognition she has received includes Customer Service Champion, 2010 City Manager Award.   
 
Celia Gray oversees the development, administration and maintenance of quality plans, records management, and audits. As the Charlotte Area Transit System’s (CATS) Quality Assurance Manager, she works with all areas to assure that processes are appropriate, documented, understood, and followed. CATS’ QA section assists Safety and Security with the internal audits of the System Safety Program Plan and oversees the Mayor Youth Employment Program secret shopper quality inspection of buses. Gray is an ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence and an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor. Prior to CATS, as Quality Services Manager at Wolverine Tube, Inc., she took the Decatur, AL Plant through their initial ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems certification in 1997. She has an engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. 
 
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