|Tips to Write Good Inspection Reports|
Writing good inspection reports is the result of continuous effort. A lot of practice is needed for an inspector to become successful in writing good inspection reports. However, an inspector should consider the following elements while writing inspection reports.
As an inspector you must write your inspection report objectively. Hence, you should keep yourself impartial, unbiased and unemotional. In addition, you must be aware of the facts you have already gathered. You have to present these facts fairly in your inspection reports. Distortion or emotional tone of words must be avoided. Never emphasize on the significance of the evidence because it may considerably diminish the value of your report.
You should remain aware of maintaining the quality of your inspection report. Since the overall quality of an inspection report depends much on how you communicate your findings to the reader, you should as far as possible present your findings in your report precisely and exactly. Precision and lucidity of an inspection report mostly depend on proper dictation, phrasing, and sentence structure.
You should use your own discretion in determining whether you should quote or paraphrase a witness in your report. You should consider these factors according to the significance, or length of the statement. If quotation is necessary, you should quote the exact words of the witness with quotation marks; otherwise, you should omit quotation marks.
Exaggerations destroy the authenticity of an inspection report. So, you must be careful about exaggerations. Even one small exaggeration may throw doubt upon the authenticity of other statements presented in the report. Instead of stating that something was obvious; you should only state the facts clearly and exactly.
E. Opinions, conclusion and inferences
It is advisable not to include opinions, conclusion, and inferences in inspection reports. Only stating the facts should be your business. Stating your personal opinions and inferences in an inspection report may make its authenticity questionable. Your only goal is to present the facts in such a way so that there is no need for conclusions or interpretations.
The use of superlatives in your inspection reports may lead your readers to doubt your objectivity. For instance, the statement 'A violation is found…' is more reasonable and stronger than 'The worst violation is found…' To state, 'He is a skilled worker' depicts a more convincing and stronger picture than 'He is a highly skilled worker.'
Accuracy means correctness and truthfulness. It increases the acceptability of an inspection report many times to the reader. Hence, before submitting the final report, you should verify and cross check the accuracy of your findings and computation. Even a single typographical error in time or date may throw doubts on other facts in your report.
H. Technical Writing and Acronyms
If you work with chemicals with complex scientific names, you will see that many of these chemicals have been identified by acronyms. Much care should be taken when using acronyms. It is advisable to use the scientific or common name in your report for the first time. Afterwards, you can use acronyms of the chemicals.
You should present all the facts and findings of your inspection in a simple and plain language. If the subject matter is very complex, try to avoid any kind of elaboration. Instead, present only the facts, findings, and necessary explanations. Readers always like to get the facts from an inspection report as quickly as possible. Use short sentences and short paragraphs in your inspection reports as they are easily digestible and reader friendly.
A good inspection report depicts a complete picture to the reader. So, try to state all information that is relevant and factual. Use your own discretion in determining which facts are relevant and necessary. Completeness means that all the known facts and details have been included in an inspection report and no further explanation is needed. Remember that your report is totally complete only when it exactly answers the questions of who, what, why, when, where, and how.