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    The Basic Steps for EMS ISO 14001 Certification

    Apr 18, 2018 | Articles

    The Basic Steps for EMS ISO 14001 Certification

    Knowing where to start if you want to prepare for ISO 14001 certification can a bit confusing. To help you get started in preparing for ISO 14001 certification for your Environmental Management System (EMS), let us look at the basic steps to take to ensure that you do not miss anything in the implementation of the EMS and preparation for the certification process.

    1. Leadership Support

    As with the implementation of any policies or major changes in the organisation, leadership must be involved. Indeed, you need to follow a top-down approach in implementing an EMS for ISO 14001-certification purposes. As such, management must support the implementation. Educate the management team regarding the benefits of implementing ISO 14001:2015 and make sure they are all on board regarding the steps to take to ensure the full cooperation of all employees throughout the organisation.

    1. Know the Legal Aspects

    Identify South Africa’s legal requirements regarding environmental management. Also, identify all requirements regarding the ISO 14001 EMS. To this end, you might want your management team to undergo relevant training as available through WWISE.

    1. Create the Scope for the EMS

    You cannot know the limits of the EMS unless you have properly defined the framework. This will prevent inclusion of business operations that do not affect the environment. If the scope is too broad, you will work on the EMS for a long time without ever getting to the ISO 14001 certification phase. To this end, you can use our templates for scope and implementation. You will also benefit from our ISO 14001 consultation services. Important tools for the purpose are environmental policy and aspects that define how your organisation affects and interacts with its operation’s environment. The above two documents are crucial for the successful development of the ISO 14001 EMS for certification purposes.

    1. Identify the Procedures

    Certain procedures and processes are directly related to the EMS. You need to identify the relevant procedures to follow and processes to implement for consistency in dealing with environmental impacts. This will include the procedures in response to environmental impact emergencies. You will appreciate the training we provide. You can also make use of our e-learning facility.

    1. Implement Relevant Procedures

    Usually, the procedures will be connected to the processes already in use in your firm. You may already monitor your waste disposal activities and have procedures in place to ensure disposal according legal requirements. It is not always necessary to document processes, but it is important to know which processes to document for ISO 14001 certification. The key element here is to decide which processes have a potential environmental impact. These processes must be documented to ensure that damage to the environment is minimised or eliminated. We can assist with compulsory documentation needed for ISO 14001 certification.

    1. Address Training and Awareness Issues

    You cannot implement an EMS for certification purposes without widespread awareness of the ISO 14001 standard, requirements, and impact of the organisation. Run awareness campaigns and train the employees regarding ISO 14001. We provide e-learning facilities for this, in addition to training courses that can also be presented at your firm. Employees must be aware of what the organisation is doing regarding the EMS and must understand their roles in the process.

    1. Decide on A Relevant Certification Body

    Note that the International Standard Organisation does not perform certification audits. You need to use an independent and accredited certification body. Identify a relevant one and work towards certification. Speak to us about the certification bodies for more information.

    1. Collect the Required Records

    You need to implement the EMS to know if it is working. This includes measurement and record keeping. You will collect the required documents for the auditing process to show that your organisation meets the requirements set out in the documents. These documents will also serve to show whether the processes involved are effective and where you need to make changes in the EMS for ISO 14001 certification purposes. Meticulous record-keeping practices are required for this purpose.

    1. Internal Audits

    Every process in the organisation must be audited internally before being externally audited for certification purposes. You cannot know where the shortcomings are unless you perform checks. This is what the internal auditing process is about. It makes it possible to identify problem areas and to make the necessary corrections. So, you will need to train relevant employees to handle the internal audits. You will also need to train the staff who will lead the internal audit teams. We provide a range of internal auditing courses to help with this. You can also make use of our internal auditing services.

    1. Management Reviews

    The EMS must be monitored, measured, controlled, and improved. EMS implementation for ISO 14001 certification purposes is only the start. To ensure optimal functioning of the EMS, regular maintenance is essential; it is crucial to have regular management reviews. The process involves reviewing relevant data and reacting to the data correctly. We assist with ISO 14001 EMS management reviews and maintenance.

    1. Respond with Changes

    You need to respond to problem areas through corrective steps. This involves identification of core problem areas and taking the appropriate actions to correct the causes of the problems. The root causes are identified by means of measurements, audits, and reviews.

    1. GAP Analysis

    Let an external organisation, such as WWISE, perform a GAP analysis to identify shortcomings and recommend corrective steps. Make the necessary changes in preparation for the certification. The GAP analysis will help to identify any shortcomings in the documentation.

    1. Certification Audit

    The certification audit is done on site and involves the review of the records and documentation relevant to the ISO 14001 EMS. A detailed report is issued with the findings. If your organisation does not meet all the requirements, you will need to address the areas of non-conformance. Once all areas of compliance are met, your organisation will receive ISO 14001 certification.

    Make use of our expertise in planning and implementing ISO 14001 for certification purposes. You will benefit from our training options, consultation services, and auditing expertise.