From ISO 14001 Environmental Certification Step by Step, Revised First Edition


Clause 4.5.4 of the Standard requires the organisation to have an auditing programme and auditing procedures to determine that the Environmental Management System (EMS) is working as planned, and to ensure that there shall be feedback of the results to management. Anyone who has experience of a quality management system will be accustomed to this activity.

As stated in Chapter 8, the internal auditing process is an extremely powerful tool for maintaining and improving an organisation's performance. Unfortunately, many people regard it as a chore, because it takes the auditors away from their regular jobs which are already time consuming; the people being audited likewise can resent the interruption to their work. Some people also are not happy about being 'checked up on' by outsiders.

Auditing must be carried out, and it is up to the management to provide the necessary resources and give the process their full support. This can be done as part of the launch process described in Chapter 10.

This chapter is not about how to carry out audits, this is dealt with in the training your auditors will receive, but it discusses some of the organisational aspects of auditing which are included in model Operating Procedure 21. These are:

  • The audit programme (or schedule).

  • Selection and training of auditors.

  • Reporting the findings.

The Audit Programme

The first question is 'How often should each part of the EMS be audited?' The Standard gives guidance to the extent of saying 'periodic' audits and that the...

Products & Services
Accounting and Financial Services
Accounting and finance services are focused on properly recording the exchange of money and providing/investing capital. Investment and venture capital specialists are included in this group.
Quality Registrars and Registration Services
Quality registrars and registration services certify that a company’s quality management system meets specific industrial standards. Management system registrars perform pre-assessments and gap assessments, define corrective action plans, and perform final assessments and registration.
Inspection Services
Inspection services examine products, parts, equipment, repairs, services, installations, and facilities to ensure quality, consistency, and condition, as well as conformance to required standards and/or procedures.
Environmental Regulatory and Compliance Services
Environmental regulatory and environmental compliance services perform site and facility assessments, analyze permitting requirements, review designs and recommend modifications, and represent clients before regulatory agencies.
RoHS Compliance and Testing Services
RoHS testing and compliance services providers test a manufacturer's products for restricted or hazardous substances and certify compliance to RoHS or WEEE standards.

Topics of Interest

Introduction By now you will have carried out the following items in the project plan: You will have written the Register of Environmental Aspects, Register of Environmental Legislation, Operating...

Overview Since the introduction of ISO 9001:2000 there are certain sections of the industry that see compliance auditing as being no longer 'fashionable' and performance auditing is the only way...

Health and safety management is an integral part of business risk management, with auditing being an essential component for helping ensure efficacy and continual improvement. Audits should not be...

16.11: Role and Objective of Environmental Auditing Environmental audits are often regarded as the best tool for bringing about environmental reform of industrial practices. This may be true provided...

Too many internal audit results create a sigh of relief or a scream of frustration from the auditee who has been told he or she has passed or failed . Many readers may believe that is an outdated...

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