What are The Steps for ISO 14001:2015 Certification?

ISO 14001 focuses on the implementation and maintenance of an environmental management system. Implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS) can help you manage environmental risks, provide assurances in legal compliance and demonstrate your environmental credentials to your stakeholders. Below are the basic steps needed for ISO 14001:2015 Certification Process.

Steps for ISO 14001:2015 Certification1. Learn about the ISO 14001:2015 Standard
You will need to understand ISO 14001 (and ISO 9001 if you are combining), to help you understand what you need to do in your company to meet the requirements of the standard.

2. Perform an ISO 14001 Initial Environmental Review & Gap Analysis
A useful step could be to undertake a gap analysis between the management system processes you currently have in place and the requirements of ISO 14001. Use the Gap Analysis Checklist to determine where you need to change your existing EMS.

3. Plan your ISO 14000 project
Create a Project Plan to determine your tasks, timeline and resources. Consider a Step-by-Step Workbook to guide you.

4. Train your organization on ISO 14001:2015
Employees and management must receive ISO 14001 awareness training in what ISO 14001 entails, what the legislative requirements are for environmental management. Awareness programmes must be developed and implemented to ensure that every employee knows their role and how to respond to emergencies, what must be done, and what may not be done.

5. Document your ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System
Design ISO 14001:2015 documents such as Environmental Manual and Procedures. Most of the portion of the project is see your current processes, and redesign them to meet all of the requirements of the standard. Once you have modified or developed processes to meet the standard, you will need to control those processes. Documenting the processes as EMS System procedures is part of this control.

6. Implement your EMS and conduct business
Once your system is developed and documented, employees will follow the procedures, collect records and make improvements to the system. For about three or more months, your organization will run the EMS, collect the records.

7. Audit your EMS
Awareness programmes must be developed and implemented to ensure that every employee knows their role and how to respond to emergencies, what must be done, and what may not be done. Perform internal audits to see how your system works and improve it. This prepares you for an Audit by a Registrar.

8. Go for Certification
If you are conducting effective internal audits, they will give you a clear indication as to whether your business is ready for certification. Be aware that most certification bodies work on fairly long lead times and that a first time certification is a two-staged process; so forward planning and early dialogue is key.

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ISO 14001 Procedure Document for Quick ISO 14001 Certification

It is easy to assume that every single process that is in place to support your Environmental Management System needs to be documented. ISO 14001 procedures documents are written particularization every method that your company must follow to satisfy the necessities of the ISO 14001 standard. These are clearly written, simple to follow directions for your management, everyone, who works to follow within the day to day operation of your Environment Management System.

The ISO 14001:2015 Procedure should define how the organization’s bloodstream (the flow of documents) will function. The procedure for internal audits must define responsibilities for planning and conducting audits, how audit results are reported, and how records are maintained. This means that the main rules of conduct of the audit must be addressed.

The ISO 14001 procedures documents designed and developed as per Environment Management System standard and requirements of ISO 14001 Certification. The ISO 14001:2015 documents set covers various type of ISO 14001 procedures like communication, documents control, internal audit, training and more, it very useful of implements and upgraded environment management system and guide of process ISO 14001 certification, implementation and requirements.

List of Required ISO 14001 Procedures

The ISO 14001 mandatory procedures documents have 7 various procedures help the organization to make the best environment management system and quick process improvements. All the ISO 14001 procedures required for quick ISO 14001 Certification are listed below:

  • Procedures for identification of environmental aspects and its environmental impacts
  • Procedures for identification of legal requirements
  • Procedures for communication
  • Procedures for operational control
  • Procedures for emergency preparedness response
  • Procedures for monitoring and measurement
  • Procedures for training.

How to Structure ISO 14001:2015 Documentation

The development of the ISO 14001:2015 documentation and record control system for Environmental Management System (EMS) is a very important part of the implementation, as it will define the method of creation, publishing, withdrawal, and using documents and recording. It is up to the organization to create the most appropriate documentation, as it will affect the way you maintain and improve your EMS.

Which document is more important?

Before starting to develop ISO 14001:2015 documentation, it is important to get a clear picture of the purpose of each type of document and its position in the documentation hierarchy. There are several types of documents used to establish an EMS: manual, procedures, policy, objectives, work instructions or SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), and records and forms. Each type of document and record has its place and role in the EMS. The documentation for an Environmental Management System should be structured as follows:

Structure of ISO 14001 Documentation

1) EMS Manual: It is usually the first document that the certification body wants to see to get familiar with the system. In cases where it is a small company or a company with simple risks, all procedures can be included in an EMS Manual.

2) EMS Policy: A policy represents a declarative statement by an organization – something like a constitution of the system – and all other documents arise from it. The policy is written by the top management and its purpose is to define the general direction and aim of the EMS. The Environmental Policy also provides a framework for establishing EMS Objectives.

3) Procedures: EMS procedures can have different formats and structures. They can be narrative, i.e., described through text; they can be more structured by using tables; they can be more illustrative, i.e., flow charts; or they can be any combination of the above.

4) Work instructions, guidelines, and SOPs: Work instructions can be part of a procedure, or they can be referenced in a procedure. Generally, work instructions have a similar structure to the procedures and cover the same elements; however, the work instructions include details of activities that need to be realized, focusing on the sequencing of the steps, tools, and methods to be used and required accuracy.

5) Records and forms: Finally, there must be some evidence that activities and processes are performed in the way prescribed in the procedures and work instructions. This is the main purpose of the records and forms. Most of them are filled in by employees, but some of them are filled in by the top management. The best way to make them practical is to avoid requiring employees to write essays. Having records with checkboxes instead of empty rows for employees to write sentences will ensure that the forms or records are filled in quickly and easily.

Take a look on how to use ISO 14001 – Environmental Management System Manual

ISO 14001 is the Environmental Management System standard. This manual has been developed and organized to help all organizations interested in the development of an Environmental Management System (EMS) which is compatible with ISO 14001. It is designed to provide guidance on the intent of ISO 14001 EMS. EMS internal program developers should use this manual.

The purpose of ISO 14001 manual is to define and describe the environmental management system, to define authorities and responsibilities of the management personnel involved in the operation of the system, and to provide general procedures for all activities comprising the environmental management system

Look after following points before using ISO 14001 – Manual

The process begins with an Initial review not required by the standard, but essential for program development and then embraces Policy, Aspects, Objectives and Targets, etc in the order they appear in ISO 14001. Each section has the same format:

  • Definition: This section describes what the sub clause of ISO really means.
  • Purpose: This section describes what the sub clause of ISO hopes to achieve in the Program.
  • Procedure: This section describes how you should build your program to comply with the sub clause, what things you should consider, and how you will integrate the procedures into what you already do.
  • Tips: Tips are just that tips on things you should think about in reference to this section and reminders about what types of line items need to be included in the procedure and documentation.

This manual was written by experienced developers ISO 14001 programs. Take the time to read an entire section and then think before you write. It is recommended that you read an article about a day and spend some time thinking before writing the next. For some sections, such as operational control, it may take several days to produce documents and implement the practices. You can consult the manual section on the operational control every few days during this phase to remind you of what you are trying to accomplish.