Choosing the right certification body for your ISO 14001 certification

To make sure you get the best out of your ISO 14001 certification, the certification body you choose plays an important role in your certification journey.

With so many certification bodies to choose from, LRQA wanted to help you make the right decision and has collated seven tips for you to consider when choosing a certification body for your ISO 14001 approval.

1. Accreditation

Make sure your ISO 14001 certificate is globally accepted and choose a certification body that is UKAS-accredited to deliver ISO 14001 certification. The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) or another national accreditation body provides you with reassurance that the certification body you choose has been assessed against the internationally recognised standard, ISO 17021.

This demonstrates that the certification body you choose is competent, impartial and has the capability to provide accredited environmental management system certification against the international standard, ISO 14001.

2. Globally recognised

Choosing a certification body that can operate globally can support you and your future business operations. So even if you currently only operate in the UK, choosing a certification body that can support you now and your future aspirations, makes good commercial sense.

Choosing a globally recognised certification body for your ISO 14001 certification can also help you to forge alliances with overseas based trading partners or set up offices in new international markets.

3. Industry experience

To get the most out of your certification body make sure they can demonstrate their industry experience to deliver ISO 14001 services in your market sector. Ask them for information on other clients they certify to ISO 14001 in your industry and whether they can provide a recommendation from one of their clients, especially if you operate in a high-risk sector.

4. Recognition

By choosing a certification body that has a recognised brand to deliver quality services to ISO 14001 in the marketplace, it will help you provide reassurance to your interested parties that you take environmental management seriously and may even help attract new clients to your business.

5. Help and support

Make sure you choose a certification body that can provide help and support on any ISO 14001 technical query you may have. A certification body should provide access to available advisors when you need to check a visit date, change the scope of your approval or look at gaining certification to a new standard? You need to be assured that you can get hold of the right person to answer your queries quickly.

6. The right assessor

To ensure you receive a value-added service during your ISO 14001:2015 assessment visits, make sure you are allocated an assessor or auditor that is experienced in conducting audits against ISO 14001 in your industry sector. This will enable you to fully optimise the service you receive from your assessor as they will be able to make appropriate recommendations to improve your business.

7. Cost

Saving money and reducing costs is often a priority for many organisations and can be a deciding factor when choosing an ISO 14001:2015 certification body. More often than not, the total costs received often contains hidden extras resulting in you paying more for your ISO 14001 certification than you were expecting.

To enable you to determine the true cost of your ISO 14001 certification, LRQA has created a comparison table for you to populate the costs from up to four certification bodies.

Just remember, you are not tied to your certification body, so if they aren’t delivering on any of these seven points, then look at transferring your business.

LRQA can offer you a free, no-obligation review of your needs and should you choose to make the move, we can make it as smooth as possible.