The first step is “Planning and review”. In this step the inspection plan is developed. The inspection plan covers a defined time period and describes how and when the inspection tasks will be executed. Part of the inspection plan is the inspection programme. The inspection programme may stand as a working annex to the inspection plan, or as a separate document referenced within the inspection plan.
The second step is “Inspection framework”. Before inspections can be executed we have to make sure that all necessary conditions are met. The appropriate working procedures and instructions, powers and competences and equipment should be in place.
The third step is “Inspection and enforcement”. In this step the inspection work is done. Here the routine and non-routine inspections are executed and reports of findings are written. Data on the inspections that are carried out and their outcomes and follow-up have to be stored in a good accessible database. See operational steps (chapter 8 for more information).
The fourth step of the process is “Performance monitoring”. To make sure we meet our objectives and targets we have to monitor the output(did we carry out the planned activities?) and the outcome(what were the effects of our activities?). This information will be used for reviewing the plans and for reporting to different stakeholders, for instance the minister responsible, parliament, the general public, the European Commission etc.
From the “Performance monitoring” step we return to the “Planning and review” step (box 1d). Based upon the monitoring results but also possible changes in box 1a (describing the context) the inspection plan (including the inspection schedule) will be reviewed and possibly be revised.