Companies first began to audit their activities for environmental, health, and safety issues in the 1970s. The goal was to provide assurance to their boards of directors that their operations complied fully with government regulations and company guidelines for environmental, health, and safety matters. Today, leading audit programs are mastering a new role: assessing the efficacy and value of environmental, health, and safety management systems. At the same time, these programs are adapting to a business climate in which every corporate function is under continuous pressure to deliver added value. Without slackening efforts to verify compliance, they must make the most of staff and other resources and better understand and serve the needs of audit programme customers across the organisation.