Know your risks are being managed with effective Operational Audits and an integrated Assurance Program.


SPAN has an in-house team of assurance specialists and auditors that have first hand experience in designing and implementing assurance programs and conducting operational audits for large and small organizations with high risk operations. SPAN provides an end-to-end solution for auditing and assurance that drives efficiency and provides maximum value. 



SPAN caters to every business' specific needs by tailoring one or more of the following services: 

Corporate Assurance Programs

Audit Program Management

Audits and Assessments

  • Aligning and integrating assurance activities across the organization to maximize value and reduce duplication 
  • Incorporating and prioritizing operational risk, compliance and due diligence obligations
  • Ensuring responsibilities and accountabilities are clearly defined and that assurance quality is being achieved, so nothing is missed 
  • Audit program standards, processes, procedures, training and competency requirements
  • Internal auditor training development and delivery
  • Annual audit scoping, planning, scheduling and resource estimating
  • Audit program oversight, support and review
  • Lead Auditor services including leading, coaching and supporting internal and external audit personnel
  • Certified auditors who are independent, professional and experienced, and have the combined technical and audit capabilities to suit any audit situation
  • Independent and objective audit reporting and presentations for Boards and Executives 




Assurance Image


The modern business environment is becoming increasingly complex. Advanced engineering and technology solutions are effective in preventing failures but incidents do still occur. Major incident investigations continually identify the root cause to be breakdowns in processes and human interactions over time. The "swiss-cheese" model of multiple barriers failing resulting in an incident is still relevant, but experts agree that the relationships between processes and people are much more complex. The most effective way to prevent incidents is to do everything well all the time by planning ahead, recognizing what is independent, what is embedded, and the right mechanisms to identify and track areas of improvement, as displayed in the diagram on the right.

A cornerstone of any top performing company is the ability to verify operational performance and management system effectiveness over time and continually eradicate gaps in operational processes that can lead to failures. An effective assurance program is a critical component of management systems to identify failures, mitigate risks and drive continuous improvement. 

“A number of past CSB investigations have found companies focusing on personal injury rates while virtually overlooking looming process safety issues – like the effectiveness of barriers against hazardous releases, automatic shutoff system failures, activation of pressure relief devices, and loss of containment of liquids and gases. Furthermore, we have found failures by companies to implement their own recommendations from previous accidents involving, for example, leaks of flammable materials.”

Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso, Chairperson, US Chemical Safety Board



SPAN's operational assurance approach, experience and tools have been built up over years of first hand experience as internal audit group leads as well as through the provision of audit and consulting services.  

The Right Approach

SPAN has honed its approach to operational assurance into a practical and efficient model for companies to use. SPAN believes assurance must be embedded into operations to extract the greatest level of value by ensuring all inspection, monitoring, assessment, and audit activities are identified, managed and working effectively.  

SPAN offers a flexible approach to conducting Current State Evaluations identifying any assurance gaps and verifying they get addressed as part of the program design and implementation. Critical assurance practices that already exist throughout the organization should be identified and tested for effectiveness at providing reliable assurance. SPAN also identifies any low value or duplicated processes and provides recommendations to redeploy or save valuable resources.

At the top of the assurance pyramid is the formal audit program that provides independent and objective management system and compliance assurance. These activities are very resource intensive and SPAN ensures they are designed and implemented in the most efficient manner, and confirms they are providing the Board and Executive with the assurance they need.  


The Right Experience

SPAN has decades of experience designing and implementing in-house assurance programs, and conducting management system and compliance audits. Our team prides itself on continuously learning and improving, so we stay at the forefront of emerging standards, regulations and techniques. Our clients benefit from our up-to-date learnings through the design and implementation audit and assurance programs, auditor and specialist training, coaching and other knowledge sharing activities.   


The Right Tools

SPAN has extensive experience working on assurance programs for clients. We have proven methods and tools to leverage, including: 

  • Templates for assurance programs,
  • Procedures
  • Checklists,
  • Audit Protocols,
  • Concordance mappings between multiple sets of standards and regulations, and
  • Octane software for conducting audits, capturing data and reporting on results and action plans.    

Our tested and proven methods including our built in approaches based on extensive experience, allows us to work more efficiently and get results faster, all while maintaining a high quality standard of care.

SPAN's assurance services are risk-based, resource-optimized and aligned with stakeholder needs. From field operations to corporate, SPAN’s integrated approach validates and verifies that operational performance is being achieved, risks are being mitigated and commitments are being met. Boards and Executives and Board Members demand a clear line of sight into your organization. SPAN designs, implements and embeds operational audit and assurance programs to meet client needs.



Our assurance and audit services are flexible and efficient to cater to your needs. We have the right experience, approach, tools and certifications to enhance your assurance practices and help you drive continuous improvement.

Evan Baker, Assurance Practice Lead, SPAN

What our clients say

"Our member companies were concerned that their information could be unsecure, and we were concerned we couldn't scale up our systems as our programs grow; we are solving both by implementing Octane."


VP Performance, CEPA - Canadian Energy Pipeline Association

"Our clients are often shy to speak publicly, but I can say that they commonly rave about our people and how easy we are to work with. As an owner I am proud to claim that we have a 100% client satisfaction rate and I encourage you to ask for references to hear those stories for yourself."


Principal and Owner, SPAN Consulting

"I'm glad we have Octane. I can't imagine doing these assessments with a spreadsheet."


EVP - Plains All American Pipeline

Case studies and resources

Plains All American Management System Implementation

Plains All American uses Octane to accelerate implementation of its API RP 1173 Pipeline Safety Management System.

Download Case Study

SPAN's Top 10 Gap Assessment Best Practices for API
RP 1173

We have created a list of best practices to make sure you get the maximum value out of your API RP 1173 Gap Assessment.

Read More

Whitepaper: Management System Auditing with ISO 19011:2018

Our Assurance Practice Lead Evan Baker provides insights into the updated auditing standard for Management Systems

Download Whitepaper

Whitepaper: Implementing API RP 1173 - How to get started

We have created this introductory Whitepaper to explain the basics of API RP 1173 and enable you to get started.

Download Whitepaper

A sample of our specialists

Evan Baker

Assurance Practice Lead | Senior Consultant

Evan Baker

Assurance Practice Lead | Senior Consultant

Evan Baker - Assurance Practice Lead, Auditor, Senior Consultant


An Environmental, Regulatory and Assurance Systems specialist and certified auditor with 30 years experience developing and managing audit and assurance programs, management systems, environmental impact assessments and applications, and leading environmental teams, programs and projects.


His work has included oil and gas, pipelines, water and wastewater plants, rail, power plants, wind energy, and chemical industries in Canada, the US, Europe and South America.

Tom Lofthouse

Senior Consultant

Tom Lofthouse

Senior Consultant

Tom Lofthouse - Assurance Specialist, Program Design Lead, Senior Consultant


Tom is an Operational risk and assurance specialist and certified auditor with 20 years of experience developing and managing EH&S assurance programs, management systems and compliance projects.


Industry experience includes pipeline, midstream and upstream oil & gas, mining, manufacturing, power generation and major construction projects across the United States and Canada.

Alex Eddington


Alex Eddington


Alex Eddington - Principal


Alex has spent his career of over twenty years designing, implementing and auditing management systems in pipelines, midstream and upstream oil and gas, along with utilities and municipal operations.


Alex has led the design and implementation of multiple Pipeline Safety Management System and Operations Management System implementations and supporting processes such as risk management, regulatory management, Health & Safety, Asset Integrity, Process Safety and Safety Culture to name a few. Alex is also a certified management system auditor and typically supports most SPAN projects as a technical expert and advisor.  

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