ISO 14001 Certification
How to Get ISO 14001 Certified
While many organizations pursue ISO 14001 compliance to improve their general business condition, and to promote emphasis on the conservation of resources and prevention of pollution, a significant percentage of organizations pursue compliance due to customer or market requirements and/or the market advantages that come with ISO 14001 certification.
ISO certification (also known as “registration”), is a third-party activity, performed by an ISO registrar (or certification body) who, upon verification that an organization is in compliance with the requirements of ISO 14001, will issue an ISO 14001 certificate.
The ISO 14001 certification audit process is typically performed in two stages; a Stage 1 audit is used as a preliminary assessment, to determine if the organization is adequately prepared for the following Stage 2 audit; the Stage 2 audit would be a comprehensive assessment which would result in a certificate award. During the course of these audits, a thorough evaluation of the management system would take place, performed through a review of documentation, verification of records, observations of any work-in-process and interviews with affected personnel.
Upon completion of the audit, an audit report is issued, with the auditors recommendation on whether certificate award is justified. Should any nonconformances be noted during these audits, they are typically classified as either Minor or Major. Minor: a lapse has occurred; or Major: there is a breakdown in the system. In the later case, a follow-up audit is typically required. For minor findings, the presentation of a corrective action plan by the auditee to the registrar is typically sufficient.
Once ISO 14001 certification is awarded, this certification is maintained through regularly scheduled surveillance audits (typically performed annually) by the registrar, with re-certification of the program performed on a tri-annual basis (every three years).
This certification is then maintained through regularly scheduled surveillance audits (bi-annual or annual) by the registrar, with re-certification of the program performed on a tri-annual basis.