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ISO 45001 will focus on fundamental concepts like “risk”, “worker”, and “workplace”.

Engaging the entire workforce is critical to the success of any ISO standard, this is especially true for ISO 45001. In developing an occupational health and safety management system, an organization must consider the needs and expectations of all interested parties. Workers, across all levels of an organization represent interested parties. Interested Parties, who have a real and significant stake the Health and Safety performance of the organization.


In March 2018, The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated 2.78 million people are killed annually because of work related accidents and diseases. There are also an additional 374 non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses annually*


To develop an effective Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) management system, an organization need to involve their workers or employee representatives in the development, planning, implementation, performance evaluation and improvement actions of the management system. Processes should be established, implemented and maintained for consultation and participation of workers at all levels and functions.


To ensure workers participate in the process, organizations must provide the mechanisms, time, training and resources required for their involvement and consultation.  Additionally, it is important organizations find and remove impediments or barriers to the participation of its workers and minimize other barriers which cannot be removed. Examples of barriers can be failure to respond to employees’ inputs or suggestions, reprisals/retaliation or their threat, practices which discourage or penalize participation of employees.  Organization also need to provide timely access to information to all workers about the OH&S management system which is clear, understandable and relevant.


Placing an emphasize the participation of workers to identify hazards, determine the risks and opportunities and create the actions is needed to eliminate and reduce OH&S risks and engage workers in the process. Engaging workers in the development of an OH&S management system has many positive effects such as;


  • Preventing, or reduce undesired effects and ensuring workers are prepare for and can respond to emergency situations.
  • Determining the competence requirements of employees, therefore understanding their training needs
  • Worker perspective in investigating incidents and nonconformities and determining corrective actions to remove their root cause and deal with the consequences.


Find out more about the release of ISO 45001 in this ISO Update article:  What is ISO 45001:2018?


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The new ISO 45001 standard has been published and supersede OHSAS 18001. It is a truly international standard as scores of countries will agree to it. Companies already certified to OHSAS 18001 will get three years’ time to get certified to the new standard.

The new standard applies the ISO High Level Structure and is compatible with ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 thus being able to be easily integrated with these management systems and will give more value to the organizations.

Here is an overview of some of the significant difference between the new ISO/FDIS 45001 and the old OHSAS 18001:

  • Companies will have to define the Context of their Organizations, meaning the External and Internal Issues in the environment in which they operate. The Context will have to be systematically determined and monitored. The organization shall have to look the conditions affecting the operations such as regulations, stakeholders and governance. They have to understand the drivers of their organizational culture.
  • The Needs and Expectations of Workers and other Interested Parties such as Shareholders, Customers and Board Members have to be defined. From this step the requirements and deliverables of the Management System will be further developed.
  • Organizations will be required to determine the Risks and Opportunities that may impact its ability to deliver planned results which shall include enhancement of health and safety of employees during the job. Legal and other requirements have also got to be identified and considered.
  • There is increased emphasis on the Leadership of the company to become engaged in and be responsible for the management system to be more effective.
  • There is an increased focus on the Objectives determined by the organization as improvement drivers and their achievement shall be evaluated during Performance Review. The Objectives should support the Policy and shall be considered within the available resources. The responsibility for achieving Objectives, the time frame and measures to establish progress has to be decided and should evaluate whether Objectives have been achieved. Documented information has to be retained about objectives and plans to achieve them.
  • Communications requirements have been enhanced in terms of defining the objective of communication and if it was effective in addition to Who, What and When it should take place.

  • Preventive Action has been removed from Corrective and Preventive Actions. The Preventive Actions are now undertaken in the Risk Management Processes while determining the risks and opportunities and ways to reduce or eliminate risks and undertake opportunities.
  • It also allows the participation and consultation of workers to a higher degree in the Health and Safety Management System.
  • The new standard has requirements for taking care of and monitoring the health and safety of workers in the Contractor’s organizations and in Outsourced Processes and during Procurement Processes.
  • For the reduction of OH&S risks and eliminating Hazards the new standard specifies hierarchy of controls in an order of preference with reference to risk management. Hazards and risk controls are required to be planned in the operational controls. The standard introduces requirements for management of planned changes in operations such as working conditions, work force, equipment as well as changes in risks and known hazards.

Implementation of the new ISO/FDIS 45001 standard will result on overall better Health and Safety of Workers and reduced accidents.

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The standard ISO 45001:2018 Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use was published on Monday March 12th. This standard has been carefully developed for more than 4 years and it has been designed to provide organizations all around the world with a set of processes that will allow them to effectively improve work safety and reduce work related deaths, injuries and illnesses.

The requirements specified in this standard will help organizations develop and provide a safe and healthy workplace for everyone within the organization and across its supply chain. Because the standard has been developed with the participation of many stakeholders in over 70 countries it can be easily applied anywhere in the world and in all types of organizations such as captive and partner factories and production facilities.

ISO 45001 is a simple and clear document that avoids redundancies. Terms and definitions have been revised to make the standard easy to use. It also has brought some significant changes to Occupational health and Safety (OHS) management when compared with its predecessor OHSAS 18001. Some of the most relevant updates are:

  • ISO 45001 has the high level (HL) structure of the new ISO standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, which will facilitate integration with other ISO management systems.
  • The ISO 45001 standard goes beyond work health and safety and it also considers the well-being of workers.
  • Organizational context has great importance when it comes to planning and implementing the OHS management system.
  • There is a greater focus on the needs and expectations of workers and the participation of workers at all levels has an increased importance.
  • The concepts of risks and opportunities have been incorporated. Organizations will have to identify, assess and take action to address any factors that could influence its ability to achieve the proposed goals.
  • The system´s foundation lies on leadership, management commitment and the involvement of all workers.
  • There is a greater emphasis on improvement and on the development of indicators. These should provide evidence of improvement and demonstrate the accomplishment of goals.
  • Operational control goes deeper into the requirements for controls, change management, procurement, outsourced processes, and contractors.

ISO 45001 will replace OHSAS 18001:2007, and even though certification of conformity is not a requirement of the new standard, organizations can now begin the process of implementing an OHS management systems that will assist them in the improvement of their OHS performance.

Those organizations holding an OHSAS 18001 certification will have a 3 year transition period to implement and comply with ISO 45001:2018.


Overall, there are many things organizations will need to consider with the release of this new standard but the most important point to keep in mind is that for ISO 45001, achieving a better, safer and healthier workplace will come with the involvement of everyone within an organization. Thus, any organization wishing to succeed in the implementation of this standard will have to give special attention in leadership and management commitment, and an adequate consultation, communication and participation of all workers on all levels.

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Effective communication within a company allows the Management System to function efficiently, by providing relevant, meaningful information to the people who need it.  The 2015 revision of ISO 9001 makes it is necessary for a company to decipher the internal and external communications pertinent to the management system and put some structure around it.  In doing this it is necessary to know who to communicate with, how communication will occur and who is responsible for doing the communication.

When working with communication within a company there is two main divisions to consider; internal and external. Internal communication is all levels of the organization, this means the staff who deliver and implement information, operational staff and management staff.  Internal communication can be delivered in three main formats; visually, written and face to face. The format of internal communication is determined by any barriers within the company. Barriers within a company could include language barriers, illiteracy, some staff working outside the office, technology within the company, etc.  Internal communication is all about ensuring internal employees have the information they need to be able to effectively execute their job.

The second division of communication within a quality management system is external communication. This method of communication involves anyone pertinent outside the company; included would be other companies in the same field (service providers, maintenance providers), contractors, customers, stakeholders or board members. Devising effective external communication ensures all relevant interested parties are appropriately informed.  (more on relevant interested parties – click here).

The easiest way to formalize organizational communication is to put together a communication matrix.  Odds are pretty good that you are already doing quite a bit of communicating with internal and external stakeholders, the matrix functions as a summary so all communication can be viewed from a macro level to identify gaps and redundancies in communication.  The easiest way to construct this matrix is to create a table in Microsoft Word or Excel with the headings listing in the next section.  Then begin populating it with all of your current communications that are taking place and use this matrix as your starting point.  I have included some definitions as a guide.

Categories and examples of internal and external communication:

a)   What is communicated:  ​Define and document the topic of communication – what is the information that is going to be delivered?

b) Frequency of communication; Specify how often this communication is going to take place.  This is typically daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly. The frequency of the communication depends solely on the topic of discussion, for example financial communication may be monthly whereas structural or environmental changes could be yearly.

c) Audience; this can be anyone internal or external to the company and be decided based on the topic of the communication, for example financial communication may be with only internal employees that handle cash flow or budget information, structural or environmental may only include any employees that can make physical changes within the company or work in the department being altered or changed.  Quarterly business reviews may be delivered to the Board of Directors.

d) Mode of Delivery; this can be done in many ways including face to face, visually which would include power points, videos, dry erase board or written could be a newsletter, email, manual, etc.

e) Communicator;  this is typically determined by the topic of communication – who is the person (or group) responsible for delivering the communication.

​All in all, communication is a really important aspect of running an effective and efficient business; utilizing a simple structure like a communication matrix can ensure intentional, relevant, and timely delivery of information.

Christopher Spranger is the owner and CEO of Spranger Business Solutions; a management consulting firm that helps people run more efficient businesses across the United States. They have a team of Quality Management experts that assist companies with internal audits and in achieving Quality Management System Certification.

Interested in having Spranger Business Solution do your internal audits click here.

This article was originally posted on Spranger Business Solutions website and is published here with permission.


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Choosing to apply for ISO9001:2015 Certification can be a daunting experience – as the third-party audit date approaches you are wondering why you have applied for it, will it bring a positive change to your company and is it really a necessary step for your business? But ask anyone who has achieved and embraced this certification and it is clear the benefits far outweigh the labour involved in obtaining and maintaining the standard. In fact, like a positive lifestyle change, once in place it feels a natural process in the everyday life of your organization. So, all you need to do is; choose a starting point, set a plan and begin the changes one step at a time.

ISO 9001:2015 is one of the world’s most sought after and recognised standards. Its implementation will instil a culture of quality and a sense of responsibility amongst your staff. It will pin-point focus and direction on the company’s quality goals and objectives. Just as the benefits begin to pile up when you implement a lifestyle change, the benefit of implementing ISO 9001:20015 will be vast.

Your customers benefit by knowing the products they are buying or the services they receive are of the highest standard, they know you have listened to what they want and reacted. Customers don’t necessarily need to know your Quality objectives, your KPI measurements and all the internal workings that bring first class quality but what they do need to get from your company is confidence that their needs are being met and that that you go over and beyond to meet their expectations. This establishes a bond of loyalty to your company based on the trust of a solid performing product or service.

Your company benefits by incorporating quality into everything they do. Employees begin to think about quality, they hold each other accountable and by setting measurable objectives they can work together to produce the best quality possible and track their progress. It becomes a team effort and with top management involved at every level, the whole company is striving to meet the same goals. Your business becomes more profitable with less mistakes/waste and this can be re-invested for future improvements. Orders increase as customers approval of your high-quality products creates repeat business, new orders and fresh markets for your business to move into. Being on the pulse of what is required of your company and being able to produce it efficiently will set you apart from the other companies who chose not to embrace quality.

Globally you become accepted into the ISO9001:2015 approved list of companies, a brand as such, that defines the attention to Quality your company places on its products and services – not only a reflection on what you produce but a statement that you chose to supply your company with first class suppliers too. It places you in a league of companies that care about what their customers want, companies that want to offer the best experiences and overall an acceptance and confidence that you know investing in Quality reaps rewards for you and you customers.

If you are ready to be ISO 9001:2015 certified you can find a Registrar on the Registrar listings page of ISO Update

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Risk-based thinking is one of the major changes introduced in the updated ISO 9001:2015 Standard. While Risk based thinking was addressed in older versions of ISO 9001 implicitly under clause on ‘preventive action’, ISO 9001:2015 increases the focus and explicitly defines the requirement under the clause “Actions to address risk and opportunities”. Therefore, the focus in this new version of the standard is based upon capturing both the risks and opportunities and then, handling them in a structured manner.

ISO defines a risk as ‘effect of uncertainty on the expected result’. Effective management of risk is talked well in advance to ensure there are less surprises, improved planning, effective decision making and better relationships with stakeholders. Effective management of risk leads to better performance, continual improvement and increases customer satisfaction.  Opportunities are considered the positive side of risk which is why, ISO 9001:2015 focuses on reducing risk and enlarging opportunities.

Determining Risk and Opportunities

Risk and Opportunities need to be determined based on the Context of the Organisation, both internal and external and the requirements of applicable Interested Parties. External Context involves the environment in which the organization operate. These can be driven by legal, financial, regulatory, social and cultural factors. Internal Context, involves organization internal environment and is driven by factors such as hierarchy, resource capabilities, organizational structures. Risk which may arise in either of these contexts need to be determined.  Organization then need to determine risks which may arise due to requirements of Interested Parties. The organization need to understand requirements of all its stakeholders and then determine risks involved in achieving these requirements. Some examples of requirements of interested parties are: the customer requires low or zero-defect delivery, employees need for job satisfaction or work-life balance or financial performance. Each of these may lead to risks or opportunities. These need to be understood by the organization and all risks and opportunities which may arise due to context or requirements of interested parties should be determined.

Conduct Risk Assessment and Address Risk and Opportunities

Once risks are identified, a risk assessment will need to be conducted on the risk identified and appropriate actions identified to address these risks. This should result in actions to enlarge the opportunities and mitigate the risks. An organization may define a risk methodology to handle risks. This can involve determining the risk magnitude based on its probability and impact. Risk tolerance criteria may be defined which gives acceptable limit of risk. You can decide based on tolerance criteria and risk magnitude on the level of intervention required to mitigate the risk. Adequate control measures should be identified to ensure the risk falls below the acceptable limit or tolerance criteria.  Alternatively, techniques like FMEA may be used to address the risks. Adequate actions need to be planned to address or enhance the opportunities also.

Monitor and Review Risks and Opportunities

The risks and opportunities identified need to be monitored and tracked on a regular basis. The intent of this is to ensure that after the control measures are implemented, whether the risk falls under the acceptable levels or not and actions taken against opportunities are on track. This should be done on a fixed frequency or on event like changes in staff, process or equipment.

If your organisation still needs to find a Certification Body for its transition to ISO 9001:2015 have a look at the ISO Update Registrar Directory. Here you will find a comprehensive list of Certification Bodies from all over the world.

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Quality Management is the process of monitoring the different activities and tasks involved in producing and delivering a product and/or service in order to maintain its desired quality. The objective of Quality Management is for an organization to develop a long-lasting relationship between the customer and the product or service it provides, and this can only be achieved when these continuously meet customer’s expectations.

To manage the quality of a product or service, organizations are required to establish a set of procedures to successfully oversee the different processes involved within the organization. These different procedures that are linked with each other and which are meant to conduct an organization towards a specific goal is what makes up the Quality Management System. This Quality Management System follows 7 basic principles, which are:

  1. Customer focus
  2. Leadership
  3. Engagement of people
  4. Process approach
  5. Improvement
  6. Evidence-based decision making
  7. Relationship management

Each of these principles are important for the success of Quality Management within an organization. However, the fifth principle Improvement is particularly one of the most crucial ones for the sustained success of an organization.

Quality cannot be maintained if improvement is not achieved. The business environment is continuously changing, and customers are increasingly demanding better products and services at lower costs. In order to adapt to these constant changes, organizations need to continuously improve, not only their products and services, but their processes. Thus Quality Improvement is a systematic and continuous process aimed at minimizing costs, increasing the quality of product and services, and meeting and exceeding customer satisfaction. While the Quality Management process assist organizations in achieving and maintaining quality, Quality Improvement drives an organization forward by helping it innovate, manage and create opportunities. It could be said that Quality Improvement is the most proactive part of Quality Management.

Some of the key benefits that an organization can achieved through Quality Improvement are:

  • Greater adaptive capacity to meet changing customer’s expectations.
  • Decrease of defects and waste, which increases efficiency and lowers costs.
  • Prevents errors throughout the organization which improves the products and services delivered to customers.

 In general, Quality Management focuses on guaranteeing the ability to deliver quality products and services that meet customer’s expectations, and Quality Improvement focuses on increasing an organization’s capacity to meet its customer’s expectations. Thus, these two, Quality Management and Quality Improvement, have to be seen as counterparts, as they are both part of the same story, a story of long term success of organizations.

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The new ISO 31000 Risk Management Standard was released in February. ISO 31000:2018 supersedes ISO 31000:2009. The risks organizations face have changed significantly the last 9 years. Risks such as terrorism and cyber-attacks were not as prevalent a decade ago.  To adapt to these new realities and to facilitate risk management, the standard Risk Management standard ISO 31000 has been revised, and the latest version has just been released.

Simple is the best way to describe the new ISO 31000:2018 standard. It is clear and concise while giving enough detail to be applicable to organization anywhere in the world and applied to different processes from finance to production. It has been presented with a simple language where risk management fundamentals can be understood by everyone. To make the standard accessible and easy to understand, its terminology has been revised and certain terms used in risk management have been moved to ISO Guide 73, Risk Management – Vocabulary.

In addition to the changes aimed at making the standard easier to read and apply, there have also been changes regarding the principles of risk management. In ISO 31000:2018 these principles are designed in order for risk management to provide Value Creation and Protection to every organization. These principles make risk management:

  • Integrated
  • Structured and comprehensive
  • Customized
  • Inclusive
  • Dynamic
  • Based on best available information
  • Aware of human and cultural factors
  • Focused on continual improvement

These principles and the standard’s new definition of risk as the “effect of uncertainty on objectives” will drive organizations to look at the internal and external uncertainties that could jeopardize the accomplishments of their objectives. In this way, risk management is tailored to the needs and objectives of each organization. The integrated and inclusive principles help organizations develop a system which brings risk management to the center of decision making and which supports all activities across the organization.

ISO 31000:2018 recognizes risk as ever changing, therefore the system must be flexible and dynamic to adapt to the changing uncertainties, while always focusing on the continual improvement of processes.

Overall, the new ISO 31000:2018 standard presents guidelines for effective and efficient risk management in a simple manner. These guidelines will help organizations understand and address the different uncertainties which will inevitably appear in their path to achieving their objectives.

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The first topic, which will be provided in multiple installments, is Auditing Multiple and Integrated Management Systems. This first column will cover the background and importance of the topic, the advantages (and the few disadvantages) organizations accrue when integrating and when auditing their systems. And adjusting their auditing programs to fit the new reality of multiple and integrated management systems (intMS) increasingly prevalent today.

The background of this is quite simple and clearly demonstrated. Not only has the adoption of formal Management Systems risen dramatically the past few decades, but an increasing number of organizations have implemented multiple management systems. And more and more organizations recognize the advantages and efficiencies that accrue by their integration, whether it be full, or partial integration. Integration was more difficult prior to the harmonization of the ISO Standards, now guided by ISO’s Annex SL, the high-level structure that provides identical structure, text, and common terms and definitions for management system standards of the future. This will ensure consistency among future and revised management system standards and make their integration, and integrated use simpler. This is highlighted in the recent adoption of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001: 2015, and by the time you read this, ISO 45001, ISO’s Occupational Health and Safety Management System Standard, and ISO’s newest.

With the addition of each management system, auditing resources necessary to ensure their effectiveness could, without integration and streamlining efforts, roughly double. Therefore, those organizations with a QMS, EMS, and HSMS (not uncommon in large organizations) could potentially triple the auditing resources (including time) utilized over that of a single system. For the commonly used two-to-three auditors per system, six-to-nine auditors may, therefore, be necessary for those with a QMS, EMS, and HSMS. For those using three or more audit team members, imagine the audit army this creates, let alone the time necessary to audit separate systems, and the disruption to the organization. Considering all the other financial, customer, supply chain, and other audits organizations are subjected, and you can understand why many organizations are ‘audit weary’!

Professionals who have conducted integrated audits recognize how much more efficient they can be: The process under review, along with all its controls (environmental, health, safety, and quality) has to be evaluated only once. There is less duplication of effort during the planning, execution, and even follow-up phases of the audit. Other efficiencies, often unforeseen, are uncovered or revealed once an organization begins an integrated management system pathway, and is yet another advantage to integrated auditing.

Typically, management systems integration allows the organization to minimize duplication and redundancy of effort, streamline or leverage its use of its limited resources, and reduce or eliminate overlapping responsibilities. This is true of integrated systems in general and is especially true regarding the audit function. This translates to significant cost savings, productivity increases, risk reductions, and enhanced effectiveness and efficiency the intMS are designed to achieve. And when it comes to intMS registration, Registrars (should) confer savings when auditing and certifying intMS through the same efficiencies and streamlining efforts organizations achieve internally.

While there are many advantages to implementing and auditing intMS, it is important to recognize that there are disadvantages as well. One of the more notable disadvantages is that if an organization is seeking third-party registration to one or more standards, a non-conformance against a requirement of one standard may carry over to another standard. In the worst case scenario, if the non-conformance is major, all registrations could be at risk unless effective corrective action is taken.

Another disadvantage is the learning curve (and attendant training) that will likely be required for the
organization’s staff members, many of whom will not be familiar with the requirements of all the management systems involved in the IntMS. Quality staff, for example, may be intimately familiar with ISO 9001 requirements, while needing extensive (and perhaps costly) training on ISO 14001 and the same will be true of OHSMS staff, and vice-versa for each staff function.

In the next installment of this column, we will dive into the mechanics and logistics of intMS auditing, as well as provide tips and techniques to help improve intMS audit team effectiveness and efficiency.

About John Grosskopf: Since a Dr. Deming led quality and environmental paradigm shift at General Dynamics in the late 80’s, John has been a strong management systems (MS) advocate. He has pioneered advances in auditing, integrating MS, a chief contributor to two national MS Standards, and has led the development, implementation, and improvement of hundreds of MS in the public and private sectors. He is an accredited EMS, HSMS, and QMS auditor (accreditations pending), a published author, instructor/trainer, and has presented widely on MSs. Through his firm, DeepGreen Consulting, he is currently assisting clients to improve their triple bottom line through a combination of MS, best practices, collaboration, and leadership

Reference: Auditing Integrated Management Systems: Considerations and Practice Tips, November 2008, Journal of Environmental Quality Management, John Grosskopf, with co-author Jennifer Kraus.

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ISO 14001 is an international standard. An accredited certification to this standard demonstrates a committed stance on environmental management to stakeholders. Moreover, when an organization has correctly implemented an environmental management system it ensures environmental compliance, improves environmental performance and provides a systematic and strategic approach to environmental issues.

There are many benefits to implementing ISO 14001, here are the top 5.

1. Ensuring Management Commitment

ISO 14001 requires top management to commit and lead the implementation and maintenance of best environmental practices. Engaging the leadership team will increase employee engagement. When everyone in the organization is working towards the same goal, the probabilities of achieving it increase.

2. Strengthen Stakeholder Relationships

An ISO 14001 certification can improve an organization´s reputation and improve stakeholder relationships. If a stakeholder requires ISO 14001 certification, it is obvious the relationship will improve upon certification. However, even if stakeholders do not require ISO 14001 certification, having the certification can increase stakeholder confidence.

3. Improve Business Development

If an organization is seeking for new clients, it is possible that an organization might encounter a client that requires its suppliers to be ISO 14001 certified. Thus, having certification can give organizations a competitive advantage.

4. Identify Risk and Opportunities

Every organization is different, ISO 14001 allows organizations to identify the environmental issues that apply to them. It guides organizations in the management, monitoring and control of these issues and the identification of risks and opportunities that could either enhance or prevent the achievement of their environmental goals.

5. Safeguards Process Improvement

The certification audit process can also be beneficial to an organization. A certification body audit ensures that the management system has been implemented and maintained correctly, and it also identifies opportunities for improvement and potential risks that the organization might have missed.

Organization can implement ISO 14001 without seeking certification, however, in many cases it is the certification that will give confidence to stakeholders. To find an accredited certification body visit the ISO Update Registrar Directory.