Audit and Inspection

DWQR Audits

DWQR undertakes a range of audits.

Audits are an important way of checking how Scottish Water is performing and ensuring that the Regulations are being complied with.  DWQR regularly inspects the following areas:

  • Water Treatment Works
  • Management of the Distribution System
  • Sampling and Analytical Services
  • Consumer Contacts about Water Quality

When selecting areas to audit, every attempt is made to follow a risk-based approach at the same time as ensuring the audit programme covers the whole of Scotland.




In common with other scrutiny bodies in Scotland, DWQR aims to publish findings of audits in a form that is accessible to consumers.  We will also use a scoring system similar to other bodies that undertake inspections for different aspects of the process we are auditing.  No overall score is allocated to any particular asset, laboratory or consumer contact.  Instead a number of scores are given to reflect different aspects such as the design and construction of an asset and how well it is being operated by staff.  The scoring system has six points as follows:

1 Unsatisfactory Limited strengths.  Significant deficiencies, some of which present a serious risk to water quality that needs to be addressed immediately.
2 Weak Some elements satisfactory, but a number of problems in key areas that have the potential to impact on water quality.
3 Adequate Positive points outweigh negative ones, but a number of deficiencies exist that need to be rectified.  No immediate risk to water quality.
4 Good Overall condition and performance are acceptable.  Any weaknesses identified do not present a risk to water quality.
5 Very Good Very strong performance and generally robust.  No serious deficiencies identified.
6 Excellent Exceptionally high quality with evidence of industry best practice.  No deficiencies identified.
Most actions are acted upon promptly.

At each audit if DWQR finds any deficiencies, recommendations will be made as to actions Scottish Water needs to take to put things right.  DWQR will track progress to carry out the recommended actions.  Sometimes DWQR revisits the site to check that all recommendations have been discharged. Where deficiencies are serious, DWQR may threaten enforcement action against Scottish Water unless the problem is rectified immediately.  Most recommendations are quite technical in nature and do not necessarily mean there is an immediate threat to drinking water quality.  Scottish Water co-operates fully with DWQR's audit programme and, in most cases, any problems are fixed very promptly.  DWQR often collaborates with other UK regulators as part of a benchmarking exercise to ensure a similar approach to drinking water regulation is used across the UK.

Summary reports for DWQR audits may be accessed via the menu at the left of this page.  Consumers will appreciate that it is not appropriate to publish detailed audit reports about treatment sites and processes for reasons of security, however the summary report will give an indication as to how well the site performed.