How to have a successful ISO 14001 audit?

ISO 14001 sets out the criteria for an environmental management system that helps organisations comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements, to minimise how their operations negatively impact the environment and continually strive to improve their environmental processes.

Once you have achieved certification for ISO 14001, you will need to be audited every year to ensure you are staying compliant with the standard and that you are doing what you are saying you are doing.

Your certification and ongoing audits are conducted by accredited bodies. These bodies are called Certification Bodies, some of which operate internationally and, as ISO standards are international, the expectations are the same globally in terms of compliance with the ISO standard, whilst there may be some differences to local legal requirements and legislation.

To prepare for your ISO 14001 audit, let’s look at what the auditor will expect to see.

 

– Auditors will want to see that finding and using information is easy – are you using a document management system that makes accessing information simple and intuitive? Can your entire workforce use it?  Also, are document reviews undertaken regularly, is this process monitored and controlled?  Are processes clear and accessible?

 

– Auditors want to see that you hold yourself accountable – show that teams are following procedures by logging their activity and verifying data by requiring signoffs by authorised persons.

 

– Roles and responsibilities – auditors, will want to understand how individuals fit into overall goals of environmental policies. Employees should be able to articulate this in their own words.  There should be documented evidence of regular Management Review Meetings, including any agreed actions and improvements resulting from discussions in those meetings.

 

– Auditors want to see that employees have the ability and will to provide feedback and implement improvements. This is achievable by establishing a standard practice for providing feedback.

 

– Likewise, there should be a system in place which allows any corrective actions to be recorded, including environmentally-related incidents.  Effectiveness of improvements should be measured by authorised persons and issues should be discussed during Management Review Meetings, where further improvement suggestions may be made.

 

Supporting all of the above should be a robust reporting mechanism, enabling Environmental Management System Key Performance Indicators to be reviewed and monitored as required.

 

Or… skip the hassle and switch to an ISO Management Software tool to help stay in control and continually improve your management system

Ready to breathe a sigh of relief? All of these points can be easily managed with ISO management software. The software offers a platform where you can easily store, manage, share, and streamline business processes and workflows.

What’s more – in some instances audits, including ISO Legal Compliance audits, can be completed entirely online, saving you the hassle of meeting in person & all of your documentation will be presented in an organised fashion for the auditor – ensuring a smooth and efficient audit process.

Book a demo today to try it out and see for yourself!

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