Urban Environmental Management
EMS for Cities
Putting up a Green Front
| Policy | Planning | Implementation | Checking | Review |

ISO Certification: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Monitoring and measurement
  • Corrective and preventive action
  • Records
  • EMS audit
The ISO14001 standard requires that the EMS be a 'living and applied' system. As such, checking and correction procedures are important to the standard. This is done through intensive monitoring and measurement; correction and prevention action; keeping proper records and undertaking EMS audits.

The key requirement in this EMS step is to regularly monitor and measure key characteristics of activities and operations that could have a significant impact on the environment. Changes to EMS procedures may become necessary in order to deal with nonconformances with the EMS, with mitigating environmental impacts, or corrective and preventive action.

Under ISO14001, records are not simply documents. "Records" show evidence that an activity has actually occurred - internal memoranda, procedural forms, plans and other materials. "Documents" show evidence of current activities or those being planned. An organization is required to maintain procedures for the identification, maintenance and disposition of records. Training records and results of EMS audits and management reviews must be included.

Another key aspect of checking action is an EMS Audit. This is an audit that focuses on the EMS itself. It's important to note that an EMS audit focuses on whether or not the EMS conforms to ISO14001 requirements. The audit's scope, frequency, methodology and reporting responsibilities need to be clarified. Audit questions are directly related to the different requirements of ISO 14001, and check if they have been indeed carried out.

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Contact: Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org