6+ Reasons Your Facility Needs an External Operations Audit

By: Pam Westerman - President & COO
If you are in a leadership role in a theme park, water park, or other leisure operation, you want to assure that all staff members are doing their jobs correctly, efficiently, and safely. After all, if this is not the case, then you and your facility face several risks. You have a greater risk of an accident or incident occurring. You have a greater risk of employee turnover because employees are not happy or do not feel valued. You have a greater risk of negatively impacting your attendance because your guests did not receive positive interaction or a memorable experience.

How can these risks be lessened? One way is to have an outside company conduct an audit of your facility. Simply put, an outside operational audit assures that your facility’s activities comply with your overall policies, and also explores the effectiveness, safety, and efficiency of the operation. Regardless of how well you believe your staff is performing, an outside audit from an experienced firm can provide you with the confidence in knowing that your pre-determined policies and procedures are indeed being implemented. Outside auditors can truly be your “eyes and ears” so you will know whether or not your staff is being compliant.

1. Compliance to Operating Policies.

An external audit can help identify areas where your company’s practices and policies are no longer being implemented, or are not being consistently followed. An external audit has no reason to be anything but honest about the status of how policies are being followed, so you can rely on the independence of the observation and the recommendations being made.

2. Credibility.

Internally and externally, your facility’s brand and overall marketing strategy will carry more weight if your operation can say it is regularly audited by an outside company for safety, efficiency, and guest service.

3. Accident Prevention.

A park should take every measure to help ensure that accidents do not happen, both involving employees and guests. An outside audit that offers recommendations for safety improvements or that calls attention to non-implementation or non-consistency of policies, and that does so after an impartial review, could help keep your business from risking major loss due to an accident.

4. Enhanced Guest Experience.

ITPS audits offer critical observations of how your employees interact with your guests. You will know whether or not they do everything possible to create a memorable guest experience as they fulfill their basic job duties.

5. Increased Efficiencies.

ITPS knows that inefficiencies can impact guest service and revenue potential. An ITPS audit will let you know how well your staff groups, services, and assists guests according to policies.

6. Process Improvement.

The ultimate purpose of an ITPS audit is not only to make sure that your facility’s processes are being followed, but to also provide recommendations for improvements, leading to a more positive operation.


+Covid-19 Protocols.

An ITPS Audit+ will address your facility’s protocols for a Covid-19 operation and will provide you with insight on how your employees and guests are adhering to the required compliance factors.

“At Hersheypark, our systems, procedures, and teams are audited on a regular basis as the safety and security of our guests and employees is paramount. In our long-standing experience, International Theme Park Services conducts effective and comprehensive audits. Their organization takes its time to thoroughly understand our operation on multiple levels to performing the audit. With years of industry experience, we have found International Theme Park Services to be easy with which to work in coordinating efforts, and the staff is friendly and helpful.”

Laura Woodburn - Hersheypark Assistant General Manager

Ride Operations Audits
Third-Party Audits Improve Operations and Guest Satisfaction

A Rides Operational Audit includes a full appraisal of the facility’s rides department operation through visual observation. ITPS will audit the facility’s rides and attractions in an attempt to assess the level of guest safety, service, efficiency, and entertainment value that the park offers. Through an analysis of each ride, attraction, operator position, and guest services offered, ITPS will make recommendations towards the improvement of the overall rides and attractions program.

ITPS utilizes a mobile inspection app to create a customized checklist and perform the operations audit for your facility. This software allows ITPS to ensure the facility’s policies and procedures are adhered to consistently. Audits also utilize a scoring system to allow comparison to past audits. Any major findings can be e-mailed from the field at the time of the audit

Ride operations audits conducted by the ITPS team follows a format that allows for each auditor to observe and note a checklist of important items including:

Safety. This series of checks examines each ride’s presence of a fire extinguisher, placement and functionality of entrance and exit gates / fencing / restricted areas, ride signage, proximity of the operator to control panel and emergency buttons, and the employee’s level of distraction.

Ride Operation. In these observations, we watch for operators to properly check heights of riders, make sure entrance and exit gates are properly secure, that restraints are properly checked, and that operators are in their designated safety zones, as well as check for use of hand signals, visual scans, and verbal cues, safety spiels, and overall attentiveness.

Efficiency. Here, we watch operators for proper grouping of guests, efficiency in loading and unloading, ride balancing, handling wait times, and ability to fill a ride to capacity.

Show. In this category, we observe the operators’ grooming standards, adherence to uniform standards, and non-verbal communications.

Courtesy. This series of audit checks notes how each operator verbally acknowledges guests, their level of helpfulness, their level of friendliness, and their ability to create memorable experiences.

Cleanliness. For this check, we note overall cleanliness of the ride, surrounding ride area, and vehicles as applicable and as much as possible.

ITPS has conducted audits for all aspects of the operation including: Ride Operations, Maintenance and Safety, Food & Beverage, Merchandise, Games, Guest Services, Group Sales. A sampling of clients are listed below.

Hersheypark - Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA
La Feria Chapultepec Magico - Mexico City, Mexico
Enchanted Kingdom - Manila Philippines
Cincinnati Zoo - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Warner Bros. World - Abu Dhabi
Playcenter - Brazil


Contact ITPS

International Theme Park Services, Inc.
2195 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, Ohio 45206
United States of America
Phone: 513-381-6131