What is the process for ISO 14001 certification ?

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SQA's Certification and Registration Process for ISO 14001

Smithers Quality Assessments assures you of continuity and consistency by maintaining the same lead ISO 14001 auditor throughout the document review and certification assessment phases.

  1. ISO 14001 Document Review

    This is the first step in assessing your quality management system. Your SQA ISO 14000 auditor compares your documented system with the requirements of the ISO 14001 standard. Documentation must be approved before certification can be granted. The document review is normally conducted on-site but may be conducted off-site.

    We have prepared an ISO 14001 audit checklist to facilitate your preparation for the document review. This device is user-friendly and comprehensive, supporting our pledge of No Surprises. No other ISO 14001 Registrar stands behind this promise like SQA.

  2. ISO 14001 Pre-assessment

    You may opt to have your ISO 14000 auditor conduct a “pre-assessment” designed to prepare you for the ISO 14001 certification assessment. During this step areas of concern are identified up front and addressed.

    As your ISO 14001 Registrar SQA offers two types of pre-assessments:

    • Desk audit: This is primarily an over-the-desk audit, with limited access to records. It assures that you understand and correctly apply the ISO 14001 standard. You receive a written report. This option offers balance by being cost effective, yet comprehensive.

    • Dress rehearsal: This is an abbreviated version of the ISO 14001 certification audit. Personnel are interviewed; objective evidence is gathered and evaluated. Your ISO 14000 auditor takes you through the audit process, and provides immediate feedback on your quality system. This alternative is more detailed and lengthy. It reflects what you will encounter during the certification audit.

  3. Preparing for the Actual ISO 14001 Audit

    Prior to conducting an ISO 14001 certification audit, the following should have taken place:

    1. The documented system has been reviewed by your ISO 14000 Registrar.
    2. A complete cycle of internal audits has been performed and the results covered subsequently in a formal management review.
    3. All pre-identified weaknesses in the system have been effectively corrected.
    4. The certification assessment date, audit team makeup, and audit schedule have all been developed and agreed upon.
  4. ISO 14001 Initial Assessment: Stages 1 & 2

    The quality certification assessment has two main goals:

    Stage-1: The first stage involves determining the company’s state of readiness and defining the approach and duration of the second stage. During Stage-1, the lead auditor will finalize the document review, execute a facility inspection (inside the facility, outside, and the entire grounds), review the environmental permits applicable to the organization, and review the organization’s identified environmental aspects and impacts. This stage will involve a limited number of personnel, including the management representative.

    Stage-2: This second stage is used to determine the extent of implementation and effectives of the environmental management system. The ISO 14000 auditor will execute an extensive review of records and interview a significant portion of the employees – at all levels of the organization.


    Both stages involve open communication. We let you know at once what we are seeing, doing, and finding. We invite your feedback and discussion. No one knows your company like you do, so we don't come in with preconceived ideas. We are open-minded and objective.

    The audit process involves interviewing employees at all levels and reviewing records. Our purpose is to document with objective evidence the system's effectiveness. SQA holds daily wrap-up meetings to go over the events of the day and solicit further input if needed.

    At the end of the assessment, SQA conducts a closing meeting where findings and recommendation status are discussed. The entire process is intended to be value-added.

    After ISO 14001 certification is granted, two framed and one unframed certificate (for copying) is provided to each client. Appropriate organizations are notified of your successful certification.

    • Validating system compliance and implementation

    • Determining system effectiveness

Choose SQA for your ISO 14001 Registrar.

The decision to pursue ISO 14001 certification involves a substantial commitment of time and resources. Smithers Quality Assessments recognizes that this is a very personal decision requiring a solution tailored to your needs. To arrange for a SQA representative to review your certification needs, contact us at 330-762-4231 today.