Cooling Tower Audits

Please be aware that there has been a recent change to the legislation (Public Health Regulation 2022) relating to the engagement of auditors for your annual formal audit of your Cooling Tower Systems.

The changes are predominantly to ensure that there is 100% independence of the auditors.

Individuals or Companies involved in the business of installing, maintaining or involved in testing of Cooling Tower Systems are now restricted from engaging auditors and that all auditors are to operate at “arms length.”

This is to  “Strengthen the independence requirements of Auditors….and avoid the conflict of interest”  quote from NSW Dept Health.

Anyone engaged by the firm who organised or conducted the Risk Management Plan or worked on the cooling tower or any laboratory is not allowed to conduct the audit.

The new Regulation, Public Health Regulation 2022 replaces the Public Health Regulation 2012. General information about these changes is provided in the factsheet at https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/phact/Factsheets/phr-key-changes.pdf.

Please see below for the section of the legislation that refers to this. The change is highlighted at clause 15   sub-clause  2.e

Public Health Regulation 2022

Legionella control—the Act,  Division 3  Cooling water systems,  Clause 15


15   Approval of auditors of risk assessments

(1)  The Secretary may approve a person as an auditor for the purposes of section 14.

(2)  However, the Secretary may not approve the following:-

(a)  the occupier,

(b)  the person who undertook the risk assessment,

(c)  a duly qualified person who installed, operated or maintained the cooling water system at any time in the previous 5 years,

(d)  the operator of a laboratory that carried out testing of the cooling water system at any time in the previous 5 years,

(e)  a person employed or engaged by the person who employed or engaged a person referred to in paragraph (b), (c) or (d).

(3)  An application for approval as an auditor must be made to the Secretary in the approved form.

(4)  An approval of the Secretary has effect for the period specified by the Secretary in the approval, unless sooner revoked by the Secretary in writing.