The International Rescue Instructors Association (IRIA) third-party audits and assessments are critical for partners who want to meet the demands of international water safety and rescue standards.

IRIA standards are the benchmark with leading Instructors, Industry Experts and Subject Matter Experts (SME) in the water safety and rescue industry who manage the members best interests. A third-party assessment and an audit are not the same thing however.

IRIA audits and assesses both course curricula and instructors, IRIA does not teach courses for any water safety or rescue disciplines.  Let’s review the process.

1. Third-Party Assessment

2. Audit


An Assessment is designed to assist you in making informed decision about your program.  It also ensures that the assessor has all the appropriate documentation needed before the commencement of an assessment to save time and money. 


Auditing is on on-site or an administrative document verification activity performed for scrutiny of course delivery or instructor inspection to ensure compliance requirements are met. An audit may also have follow-up actions.

Phases of an Audit

1. Audit Planning and Preparation: Planning in advance the process to map out the start to finish

2. Audit Execution: Fieldwork of gathering the data and field or on-site meetings

3. Audit Reporting: Report Card of the data addressing important organizational issues.

4. Audit follow-up and closure: When all audit activities are carried out and agreed upon with the audit client.

There may be possible audit corrective measures that take place regarding nonconformity where corrective and preventative actions may occur.


Agencies and service providers have higher standards and expectations for safety and conformity than before.  It is no longer enough to say the training program or instructors are approved, there is now a need to produce the proof.

International Rescue Instructors Association third-party compliance audits satisfy these requests for a higher level of safety and program assurance.  By working with an IRIA assessor your agency or organization can prove that your program safety and structure has implemented the appropriate set of controls.

Third-party assessments are independent audits performed by an accredited auditor.  These audits are designed to be supportive and helpful in collaboration of the audit needs. Assessments are to help people with their programs or methods.  They are to assist you to make informed decisions based off of risk and the compliance regarding your program management.


Audits and Assessments are more than the receiving of a third-part evaluation or certification.  Those in the International Water Safety and Rescue Society whose organizations are committed to meaningful programs and safety of their personnel and the public have additional values for the greater goals beyond the audit process; conformity, compliance and safety save lives!

Bias is an internal struggle that agencies or instructors struggle with.  Professionals find it difficult and challenging to asses their own neutrality with their programs.  This is a great challenger for the smaller companies or instructor groups. These professionals may not be able to identify the vulnerabilities that exist within their own program or work or adequately identify forward risks.

A third-party audit by IRIA helps identify and counteract against these areas that could become critical issues that any instructor or organization would not be able to discover on their own.

This is where an IRIA auditor thoroughly evaluates each clients program or instructor capability to avoid the status quo of a minimum acceptable level. This is where negligence or gross negligence loopholes may be discovered and closed to prevent injury, accident or death, and possible lawsuits.

Surface level reviews may result in certification; but these can leave serious issued undetected that create a significant magnitude of risk leaving the program and instructor cadre vulnerable to negligence.

Why is an external assessor important?

Requirements of compliance and conformity change rapidly and with that so do the risks and threats regarding performance, value and safety.  An IRIA third-party assessment can assist in reducing the burdens of compliance with relevant information and other important safety requirements.

Third Party Assessors

Every time a program or instructor makes a change to the architecture of their training programs it can significantly impact the risk assessment and management needs.  As organizations become more aware of the requirements and benefits of standardization conformity, potential impacts can be directed for the prospective changes needed.  Understanding the benefits and the negative impacts ahead of a crisis or mishap makes the decision to seek an audit much clearer.

IRIA is driven by its cohorts; assessors, membership and the relationship value of the principles of trust. IRIA’s third-party audits do more than simply measure the gaps and requirements, they make it possible to build a better program, stronger instructors and safety for their students’ future operations.

IRIA is critical in creating industry specific safety and compliance standards along with partners that instructors and program managers need to verify their certification process.

As you work towards improving your water safety or rescue program for conformity, IRIA is here to provide trusted actionable recommendations and insights.  IRIA provides your program, your instructors and your course students peace of mind that continually develops your safety posture in society.

  • Pre-Authorization
  • Authorization Process
  • Post Authorization

Where do you start with an Audit?

You need to fill out an application form for the type of audit you are seeking. A review process will begin with interviews and how the process works, such as the length of time and what needs will be required to make the process efficient.  The required documents and fees will be listed and a contract will be sent between both parties.

Why choose IRIA?

The advantage of working with IRIA is the auditors are deep Subject Matter Experts, and IRIA has assessors that are the pioneers of various disciplines.  For example, one of our assessors has vast experience in swift water rescue. He can speak in-depth about the operational and legal procedures of preparing a course curriculum, and the result of the assessment includes observations that are detailed and insightful. 

The assessments will include risk questions, assistance with actionable insights and to assist you with due diligence.


Audit- a methodical examination and review


Assessor-One that assesses

Assessment -The act of assessing

Compliance – Conformity in fulfilling official requirements

Conformity – Action in accordance with some specified standard or authority

Negligence – An act or instance of being negligent

Third-Party – A person other than the principals

Verification – The state of being verified

Referenced: Merriam-Webster dictionary


Accreditation Body-An organization with authority to accredit other organizations to perform services such as water safety or rescue training

Definition by IRIA


ISO 19011:2018 defines an audit as a “systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining audit evidence [records, statements of fact or other information which are relevant and verifiable] and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria [a set of policies, procedures or requirements] are fulfilled.” There are three main types of audits:

1. Process Audit

2. Product Audit

3. System Audit

Reference; ISO

Created by: Executive Board

Date: 8.21.2020

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