7 simple steps to Acquire An ISO 14001 Certification in IndiaJuly 23, 2021 2021-10-01 10:21
7 simple steps to Acquire An ISO 14001 Certification in India
7 simple steps to Acquire An ISO 14001 Certification in India
So what’s all this buzz about ISO 14001 Certification and who needs it? There’s no simple answer to this. In short, this is an international standard that you’ll have to follow while designing and implementing EMS (Environmental Management System).
As the name suggests, ISO regulates this certification. Multiple ISO member countries around the globe have agreed to this standard before it was finally updated and released.
This has allowed ISO 14001 certification to have global recognition. In the year 2017, more than 2,75,000 certifications were issued and this number has only risen. So let’s cut to the chase.
Assuming your organization needs to file an EMS, what are the steps that’ll lead you up to an ISO 14001 certification. That’s exactly what you’ll learn here along with everything there’s to know in between.
Steps Involved In Acquiring ISO 14001:
We are about to see 7 simple steps involved in acquiring an ISO 14001 certification. You’ll have to start by learning and doing your research about this global standard and you’ll be concluding the process by registering your audit options.
Step 1: Gathering In-depth ISO 14001 Knowledge
Knowledge about EMS and the requirements of ISO 14001 is important. You’ll first have to double-check if your business qualifies for the certification.
EMS: Environmental Management System is a growing interest for various companies. EMS encompasses the methods and means to manage your company’s products, services, public opinion, societal impact, and employee safety.
Requirements Of ISO 14001: Before you apply, you have to check if your documented EMS evidence is meeting the required standard. But the standard dictates no criteria over your modus operandi and how you record your evidence.
Step 2: Executing Gap Analysis & Initial Environmental Review
Initial Environment Review: If you’re trying to formulate an EMS, performing an initial environmental review is your first step. This tells you the progress of your organization and creates a road map for its future.
You’ll first have to assess your previous environmental issues. Following which you’ll have to check if any of your regulations have an operational impact. Finally, create an outline of how your current operations are being managed.
Gap Analysis: A gap analysis would tell you how much your current arrangements differ from the ISO 14001 standard. Once you identify these “gaps”, you can formulate an accurate plan that aligns with the standard.
Step 3: Educating Your Employees & Organizational Members
Acquiring ISO 14001 Certifications in India would involve a lot of audits and reviews. These audits will not just be focused on your company on the whole. The individual employees from your organization might also get questioned.
They will get examined to check if they have enough knowledge and skills to achieve the intended results. Their “awareness” and “communication” abilities would be an auditor’s major concerns. If your employees aren’t trained, kept up to date, or proven incompetent, your performance in the audit would suffer.
Step 4: Curating Required Documents
Obviously, ISO 14001 is an extensive process that involves a lot of documentation to be in place. You must file your EMS manual and procedures in these documents.
Before you begin to document, you must take a look at your current process. You must then redesign them to address all the standard requirements that are put forth. After documenting them, you must begin to modify all your current processes that are not in alignment.
Here’s a short list of requirements:
- Scope Of EMS
- Environmental Policy
- Identification and Evaluation of Environmental Aspects
- Environmental Objectives
- Operational Control Procedures
- Procedure for Emergency Preparedness and Response
- List of Interested Parties
- Address risks and opportunities
- Competence records
- Evidence of Communication
- Monitoring Performance Information
- Compliance Evaluation Record
- Compliance Obligations Record
- Internal Audit Programme and Results
- Management Review Results
- Nonconformities and Corrective Action
Step 5: Improve & Implement Your EMS
As we just discussed, after documentation, you’ll have to standardize your EMS inside your organization. This involves educating your employees to make them follow the procedures.
They must also collect records (proof of adherence) which will, in turn, help you make improvements to the system. But make no mistake, this would need 3 months or more. During this period, you’ll have to implement your EMS and collect records that you did so.
Step 6: Auditing & Recording Your EMS Performance
ISO 14001 Certifications in India consist of a lot of auditing. But to save yourself time and cost, you’ll have to focus on keeping this process as efficient as possible.
So before you go for the final auditing, make sure you perform a lot of internal audits. Ask yourself “Is my EMS working?” and if not, find ways to improve it. So when a registrar comes for a final audit, you can be prepared.
Step 7: Apply For The Registration
If you’re here, congrats. Let’s now talk about performing your final registration audit. For this, you’ll have to select a registrar who will then perform regular surveillance audits thereafter.
The task of this registrar is simple. He’s going to check if your EMS aligns with the ISO 14001 certification standard.
If certain pieces of your EMS seem to misalign, the auditor will be issuing a “Non-Conformance” document. Once you correct all your nonconformances, that’s pretty much it. You’ll be issued an ISO 14001 certification.
The time and cost that it takes for you to achieve a successful registration are highly subjective. The more prepared you and your employees are, the faster you’ll receive the certification.
You can also take mentorship from a company that has also gone through the process. This will help you dodge away from making a lot of expensive mistakes.
The chances of you getting an ISO 14001 certification in India with no nonconformance history is really low. But you can reduce their number. Hire an auditor on your own and perform as many internal audits as you possibly can.
Make sure he’s qualified to identify nonconformances. Work on resolving them and educate your employees on the same. This will certainly increase your odds.