What documents are required for ISO 14001 certification?
With the latest revision of ISO 14001, many people wonder what documents are required in this new version. So, in this Edarasystems article, we will not only list the mandatory documents but also provide you with a list of the most commonly used documents required for iso 14001 certification.
What is ISO 14001 certification?
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published more than 21,000 standards; each helping organisations improve their management in one specific discipline. Similarly, ISO 14001 focuses on environmental performance and its management. The standard provides a set of recommendations that can help an organisation build a framework formally known as an Environmental Management System (EMS). This EMS helps business owners and members of the upper management analyse how the organisation interacts with the environment, going on to provide corrective actions that can help to reduce the impact of these interactions. So, not only is the organisation able to improve its environmental performance, but it also manages its resources, energy consumption and carbon footprint. This leads to the enhancement of brand credibility and the acquisition of new customers.
What is the ISO 14001 certification process?
Let us quickly review the certification process to emphasise the importance of documents. This will give you an idea of why you must spend time preparing your documentation. Essentially, an external auditor from an accredited certification body will come to your organisation to ensure that your operations comply with the recommendations of ISO 14001. A significant part of this audit is the documents. In fact, the ISO 14001 audit is divided into two stages, wherein the auditor, the primary stage/stage 1, simply reviews your documentation. This part of the audit is known as a desktop review, and its purpose is to find non-conformance. ISO emphasises documents as it serves as a basis for knowledge sharing and evidence of all the work you have implemented to build your management system. Hence, your documentation proves that you have put time and effort into building a compliant EMS. Therefore, documentation should be taken seriously if you aim to acquire ISO 14001 certification.
List of mandatory documents for ISO 14001
Here is a list of documents that you would have to produce if you wish to be compliant with ISO 14001:
- Scope of your EMS as per clause 4.3.
- Environmental policy as per clause 5.2.
- Risks and opportunities addressed and process developed to mitigate these risks, as per clause 6.1.1.
- Criteria for evaluation of important/significant environmental aspects, as per clause 6.1.2.
- Environmental aspects that are associated with environmental impacts, as per clause 6.1.2.
- List of significant environmental aspects as per clause 6.1.2.
- Compliance obligation documents, as per clause 6.1.3.
- Environmental objectives and plans for achieving them, as per clause 6.2.
- Operational control, as per clause 8.1.
- Emergency preparedness and response plans, as per clause 8.2.
In order to implement ISO 14001, you have to collect all documents required for the ISO 14001 certification process.
Additionally, there are certain mandatory records that you need to produce. Here, it is essential to mention that documents are different from records, as they are modifiable. This means that at any point in the future, you can modify or improve your documents per your changing policies. However, reports remain stagnant as their only purpose is to serve as evidence of your actions. In other words, records are a snapshot of the actions that you have taken to achieve compliance in the past.
The list of mandatory records you would have to produce if you wish to be ISO 14001 compliant are:
- Records of your personnel’s training, skills, experience and qualification, as per clause 7.2.
- Evidence of communication channels, as per clause 7.4.
- Monitoring and measuring results, as per clause 9.1.1.
- Evidence of compliance evaluation results, as per clause 9.1.2.
- Evidence of compliance revaluation results as per clause 9.1.2.
- Internal audit program and the exact steps you took, as per clause 9.2.
- Results of internal audits, as per clause 9.2.
- The exact steps of the management review and its results, as per clause 9.3.
- Results of all the corrective actions you implemented to achieve compliance and address non-conformities, as per clause 10.2.
If you need detailed information about ISO 14001 definition, read Edara Systems different blogs related to this certification. You can find useful information in these blog posts.
Non-mandatory documents for obtaining EMS
Numerous documents are optional but essential for implementing an ISO 14001-compliant EMS. Benefits of ISO 14001 are countless so it is worth giving some time to collect documents required for iso 14001 certification. Even though these documents are not required, experts find these documents to be helpful in the implementation and management of the EMS. These include:
- Procedure for identifying the context of the organisation and expectations of interested parties, as per clauses 4.1 and 4.2.
- Procedure for identifying and evaluating environmental aspects and risks, as per clauses 6.1.1 and 6.1.2.
- Competence, training and awareness procedure as per clauses 7.2 and 7.3.
- Procedure for communication and development of communication channels, as per clause 7.4.
- Procedure for documents and records control, as per clause 7.5.
- Procedure that will be utilised for internal audits, as per clause 9.2.
- Procedure that will be utilised for management reviews, as per clause 9.3.
- Procedure for management of non-conformities, as per clause 10.2.
If you need any information about ISO 14001 certification cost, contact Edara Systems consultants.
Get ISO 14001 certified with Edara Systems consultants
You must supplement a few mandatory documents required for iso 14001 certification to prove your certification is compliant. However, the list of non-mandatory documents mentioned above is commonly used by business owners to build their EMS efficiently. In Edara Systems expert ISO consultants gather together to help organisations meet ISO 14001 2015 requirements and get ISO certified effortlessly. If you need any help, just fill the pop-up form on this page to contact us.