ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 Interpretation on Clause 9.4.8.3a) Available


ISO/IEC 17021-1-2015 Interpretation

As reported in an earlier posts (ISO 14001:2015 Interpretations Available & Interpretation Process for ISO 14001:2015), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed a process to clarify the intent of ISO 14001:2015.

This ISO process allows for interpretations to be provided by each National Member Body (NMB), normally, the standards making body in each country, such as BSI in the United Kingdom & ANSI in the United States. A full list of NMBs can be found here.

ISO has a similar interpretation process in-place for ISO 14001:2015. It is important to note that Interpretations do not change the requirements in ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 but are intended to give users a better understanding of ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015.

This process has resulted in an interpretation of Clause 9.4.8.3 a) in relation to the use of the word “summary” audit evidence.

This Clause reads:

“The report shall also contain:

a) a statement on the conformity and the effectiveness of the management system together with a summary of the evidence relating to:

  • the capability of the management system to meet applicable requirements and expected outcomes;
  • the internal audit and management review process;”

The interpretation provides that the word “summary” can be read as either a “detailed list of documents” (containing the audit evidence) or “a brief description of the evidence in those documents”.

 

The reviewed ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 interpretation are available as a PDF for free download here

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Posted in Accreditation, Certification, Environmental Management, ISO 14001, ISO 50001, ISO 9001, ISO/IEC 17021-1, ISO/IEC 27001, Quality Management | Leave a comment

Brexit Briefing: Weekly Media Summary – 20 October 2017


Brexit Briefing - Weekly Summary

Brexit Briefing – Weekly Summary

This Friday’s edition of the Brexit Briefing is part of the series of posts to highlight articles published in the media covering Brexit from an environmental perspective.

The articles are presented in chronological order with the most recent articles first. They are not presented in any specific order of importance & are provided as a selected sample of news articles to promote understanding of the key environmental issues as they develop during the Brexit process.

The selected articles this week are:

Brexit poses real risk to the environment, says Labour MP (PoliticsHome, 19 October 2017)

Theresa May urged to prepare for no-deal Brexit by former Conservative ministers as EU talks stall (Independent, 19 October 2017)

Partnerships, Peers and Perspective (SocEnv, 18 October 2017)

EU Withdrawal Bill ‘won’t be debated this month’ (BBC News, 18 October 2017)

Brexit: NFU releases document outlining new domestic agricultural policy (FarmingUK, 18 October 2017)

UK withdrawal bill ‘rips the heart out of environmental law’, say campaigners (BusinessGreen, 18 October 2017)

Green MEP slams Government after failing to promise to protect EU environmental laws (ResourceEfficientBusiness, 17 October 2017)

Davis and Rudd contradict each other over whether ‘no deal’ Brexit ‘unthinkable’ – Politics live (The Guardian, 17 October 2017)

Boris and chums are looking increasingly isolated as OECD says Brexit will be a disaster (theCanary, 17 October 2017)

Top UK businesses’ Brexit worries ease slightly – Deloitte (Reuters, 16 October 2017)

Ikea boss in UK demands government clarity over Brexit stance (The Guardian, 16 October 2017)

Who bankrolled Brexit? (OpenDemocracyUK, 16 October 2017)

What next? Thoughts on the Green Party Conference (BrightGreen, 16 October 2017)

Stephen Timms: Fair trade is under threat from Brexit – so let’s fight for it (LabourList, 15 October 2017)

Iain Macwhirter: Why Tory Brexit spells Anarchy for the UK (The Hearld, 15 October 2017)

Former U.K. Environment Secretary Owen Paterson Outlines the Environmental Benefits of Brexit (Competitive Enterprise Institute, 14 October 2017)

Philip Hammond says his remarks were a poor choice of words (BBC News, 13 October 2017)

Government promises Defra millions for Brexit preparations (FarmingUK, 13 October 2017)

Government targets zero ‘avoidable’ waste by 2050 (LetsRecycle, 13 October 2017)

US agriculture secretary arrives for Brexit talks (FreshProduceJournal, 13 October 2017)

Posted in Brexit, Environmental, European Union, Government | Leave a comment

New Groundwater Vulnerability Maps to be published for England & Wales


New Groundwater Vulnerability Maps to be published for England & Wales

Currently, the Environment Agency are updating their groundwater vulnerability maps to reflect improvements in data mapping and understanding of the factors affecting vulnerability. Additionally, there will  new groundwater vulnerability maps for Wales, which have been developed using the same method.

Two documents help to underpin the update, namely:

Groundwater Vulnerability Maps – Technical Summary

New groundwater vulnerability mapping methodology in England and Wales

The ‘New groundwater vulnerability mapping methodology’ report provides technical information about how the new maps have been created. The user guide outlines the kinds of activities the new maps can be used for.

These reports have been published in advance of the release of the new maps to give users time to understand the new approach and how this differs from the previous groundwater vulnerability maps.

These maps provide key evidence for the Environment Agency’s assessment of the exposure of groundwater to a pollution hazard from a given activity as part of its permitting activity work. They form part of a suite of tools developed by the Environment Agency for groundwater protection, including source protection zones and position statements. Further information on groundwater protection can be found in the Environment Agency’s Groundwater protection: principles and practice (GP3) guidance.

The new maps for England will be released later in 2017 and will be freely available for non commercial users from the Environment Agency and the MAGIC website. Additionally, the British Geological Survey will provide the data for a fee for commercial users.

Further information on the final publication of the Groundwater Vulnerability Maps with links to these above sites will be provided in a subsequent article on this website.

Posted in Compliance, Environmental, Groundwater, Water Pollution, Water Use | Leave a comment

Has ISO 14001:2015 stalled?


Has ISO 14001:2015 certification stalled?

The demand for ISO 14001:2015 certification may exceed the ability of certification bodies, their auditors and independent environmental consultants to keep up with the demand in the final 11 months until 14 September 2018.

Earlier in September, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published their annual survey of certifications to Management System Standards, such as ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015, which highlighted solid growth of 8% for ISO 14001 certification & 7% for ISO 9001 certification. This growth has been reported widely by ISO in the Survey’s Executive Summary and received limited publicity from the environmental media with only the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) publishing its views in an article “Latest ISO 14001 Data Shows Global Growth” on the ISO survey.

What has been less reported even absent from the traditional environmental media is the low number of organisations, who have made the transition to ISO 14001:2015.

The most recent figures (as at 31 December 2016) show that only 23,167 ISO 14001:2015 certificates have been issued globally against a majority of 323,023 ISO 14001:2004 certificates. This means that only 6.7% of organisations have made the transition based on the number of certificates & with only 19 months to go from the survey date (31 December 2016).

A similar situation exists for ISO 9001:2015 certification, where only 80,596 organisations have made the transition against 1,025,761 organisations, who still retain ISO 9001:2008 certification. As a percentage, only 7.3% of organisations have updated their ISO 9001 certification to the 2015 edition.

Current status of ISO 14001:2015 & ISO 9001:2015 certification (as at 31 December 2016)

Current status of ISO 14001:2015 & ISO 9001:2015 certification (as at 31 December 2016)

This low number of transitioned organisations places undue pressure on certification bodies and their auditors to keep up with the workload. Whilst many organisations are likely to transition at their next audit in 2017 and 2018, there will be a significant number that may not meet the requirements of the International Standards & will require further review of their non-conformities and even additional audits.

These pressures for additional auditing can affect the ability to certification bodies to manage their auditing resources to meet client demand and could lead to an impact on the integrity of the certification and auditing process.

I remain optimistic that a large number of organisations will make their transition successfully but we, all, should share in a concern that the integrity of the certification and auditing process could be affected.

Don’t delay your ISO 14001:2015 transition work with your in-house environmental resources or independent environmental consultant to update your Environmental Management System (EMS) and open up a dialogue with your certification body to fully plan and achieve a successful transition audit.

If you have any comments on the analysis in this article or want to share your experiences of your ISO 14001:2015 transition, please leave a comment.

Posted in Accreditation, Auditing, Certification, ISO 14001, ISO 9001 | Leave a comment

Brexit Briefing: Weekly Media Summary – 13 October 2017


 

Brexit Briefing - Weekly Summary

Brexit Briefing – Weekly Summary

This Friday’s edition of the Brexit Briefing is part of the series of posts to highlight articles published in the media covering Brexit from an environmental perspective.

The articles are presented in chronological order with the most recent articles first. They are not presented in any specific order of importance & are provided as a selected sample of news articles to promote understanding of the key environmental issues as they develop during the Brexit process.

The selected articles this week are:

The Green Party’s Molly Scott Cato: “We have to stop Brexit before Christmas” The Statesman, 12 October 2017)

U.S. and Britain begin dialogue on post-Brexit farm deal (Reuters, 12 October 2017)

Let’s not be losers when it comes to resources (BusinessGreen, 12 October 2017)

Hammond to set out Brexit spending breakdown ahead of budget (The Guardian, 11 October 2017)

Should we expect a “bad-tempered Brexit”? (Channel 4 News, 11 October 2017)

Michael Gove’s failed Brexit coup (itv News, 11 October 2017)

Brexit weekly briefing: neither side knows whose court the ball is in (The Guardian, 10 October 2017)

Theresa May to face full cabinet for first time amid leadership speculation (the Scotsman, 10 October 2017)

Angus MacNeil: The UK has failed Scotland’s fishing industry before. We won’t let it happen again (PoliticsHome, 10 October 2017)

MPs urge David Davis to publish Brexit impact assessments (The Guardian, 10 October 2017)

Boris Johnson ‘caves in’ over Brexit red lines (Sky News, 10 October 2017)

Brexit MPs angry as Theresa May accepts continuing rule of EU court (The Guardian, 9 October 2017)

Brexit can help save the environment, says Shropshire MP Owen Paterson (Shropshire Star, 9 October 2017)

Second Brexit referendum becoming harder to resist, says Nicola Sturgeon (The Times, 9 October 2017)

Audit 2017: How democratic is the Brexit process? (DemocraticAuditUK, 9 October 2017)

Theresa May sets out Brexit options including ‘no deal’ (BBC News, 9 October 2017)

Can Brexit stop foreign pests hurting our environment (Shropshire Star, 9 October 2017)

 

UK’s May Says She Has Cabinet Support Amid Plot to Oust Her (ClickLancashire, 8 October 2017)

How will Brexit affect British wildlife? (The Guardian, 6 October 2017)

Farmers could take a hit if government fails to regulate chemicals post-Brexit (FarmingUK, 6 October 2017) 

EU opportunity for UK maritime post-Brexit (PortStrategy, 6 October 2017)

Brexit represents significant threat to Scotland’s natural environment, Roseanna Cunningham warns (Holyrood, 6 October 2017)

Britain’s wildlife needs urgent new protections ahead of Brexit, say MPs (The Guardian, 6 October 2017)

No, Nick, you need to join the Rebel Alliance to stop Brexit, not the Imperial Stormtroopers (LiberalDemocratVoice, 6 October 2017) 

A calm conference ends with Teflon Theresa (City A.M., 5 October 2017)

Michael Gove accused of breaking Brexit pledges to Scottish farmers (The Guardian, 5 October 2017)

Opinion: The UK has to create the right signals to speed the low-carbon transition (Ethical Corporation, 5 October 2017)

Posted in Brexit, Environmental, European Union, Government | Leave a comment

Use of manufactured topsoil (RPS 190)


Environment Agency's Regulatory Position Statement for the Use of Manufactured TopSoil (RPS 190)

Environment Agency’s Regulatory Position Statement for the Use of Manufactured Topsoil (RPS 190)

The Environment Agency  has published revised guidance on the use of manufactured soil in England, which is an activity that will require an environmental permit if you want to use manufactured topsoil because it is made from waste.

However, if you follow the conditions of the Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) then it will not be necessary to apply for an environmental permit to use up to 1,000 tonnes of manufactured topsoil. If it is not possible to comply with the conditions in the RPS but you want to use manufactured topsoil then it will become a compliance obligation to apply for an Environmental Permit.

The compliance obligations for RPS 190 are the following conditions:

  • you keep a record of the amount of manufactured topsoil you receive
  • you comply with the waste duty of care when storing, transferring and transporting manufactured topsoil
  • the manufactured topsoil is used to establish a vegetative layer
  • the place where the soil is used is not currently (or intended to be) used for agriculture
  • the manufactured topsoil is produced in accordance with BS 3882:2015 at a suitably permitted site under SR2010 No11 or SR2010 No12 permit, or a suitable bespoke permit
  • the manufactured topsoil has been produced from non-wastes (for example PAS 100 quality protocol compliant compost) or the following wastes only:
    • 01 01 02 – chalk only (clean, naturally occurring stone materials)
    • 01 04 08 – waste chalk other than those mentioned in 01 04 07 (clean, naturally occurring stone materials)
    • 01 04 09 – waste sand and clays (clean, naturally occurring soil and mineral materials)
    • 02 01 06 – horse manure only
    • 02 01 99 – spent mushroom compost from the growing of mushrooms only
    • 02 03 99 – soil from cleaning and washing fruit and vegetables only
    • 02 04 01 – soil from cleaning and washing beet
    • 17 05 04 – soil and stones including chalk from greenfield sites (clean, naturally occurring topsoil and subsoil)
    • 20 02 02 – soil and stones (clean, naturally occurring topsoil and subsoil)

In addition, the manufactured topsoil must not be:

  • used as a soil substitute for landscaping purposes
  • used to treat agricultural land or land intended for agricultural use
  • supplied for commercial horticultural or home garden use
  • used at depths below 300mm
  • stored or used in quantities over 1,000 tonnes in any 3 year period
  • stored in any one place for more than 12 months before use

Your activity must not:

  • cause a risk to water, air, soil, plants or animals
  • cause a nuisance through noise or odours
  • adversely affect the countryside or places of special interest

If you use more topsoil than is necessary, or the topsoil is not used to establish a vegetative layer, this is classed as waste disposal and this RPS does not apply.

As with all RPS, the Environment Agency will not normally take enforcement action against you provided:

  • your activity meets the description set out in this RPS
  • you comply with the conditions set out in this RPS
  • your activity does not (and is not likely to) cause environmental pollution or harm human health

It should be noted that the former RPS 190 has been withdrawn at the same time as the publication of the revised edition. The previous RPS 190 can be found here.

A copy of the latest edition of RPS 190 can be freely downloaded from here.

Posted in Business Benefits, Compliance, Construction, Environment Agency, Environmental, Land Management | Leave a comment

Private Rented Property “Minimum Standard” Guidance for Landlords


Private Rented Property "Minimum Standard" Guidance for Landlords

This is a follow-up article on my original blog “Proposed Energy Efficiency Standard for UK rented Properties” way back in April 2015, which covered the UK Government’s proposal for draft legislation under the Energy Act 2011, which established a framework that requires the Government to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in the privately rented sector.

As previously reported, the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 were made on 25 March 2015.

The original Regulations were subject to an amendment Regulation (Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2016), which postponed the implementation dates on which the Private Rented Sector Exemptions Register will open to domestic and non-domestic landlords.

it should be recalled that the domestic property regulations will be enforced by Local Authorities. The non-domestic property regulations will be enforced by Local Weights and Measures Authorities.

Two guidance documents have been published by BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) as follows:

The Domestic Private Rented Property Minimum Standard

The Non-Domestic Private Rented Property Minimum Standard

which are aimed at Landlords, Local Authorities, Local Weights and Measures Authorities and others with an interest in the private rental sector, such as letting agents and other property management service providers.

The documents provide guidance and advice on:

  • Scope of the regulations: the steps a landlord should take to determine whether their property is covered by the regulations, and the steps they should take to ensure their property complies with the minimum level of energy efficiency;
  • Relevant improvements: how a landlord can identify appropriate energy efficiency improvements for their property;
  • No-upfront Cost Funding (domestic only): how a landlord can investigate availability of no-cost funding to cover the cost of improving a domestic property;
  • Cost effectiveness (non-domestic only): how a landlord can determine whether particular improvements would be cost-effective to install in a non-domestic property;
  • Exemptions and exclusions: the exemptions framework and the steps a landlord should take to register a valid exemption;
  • Enforcement: the enforcement framework and the options open to enforcement authorities when policing compliance with the minimum standards, including information on fines and other penalty options;
  • The appeals framework: landlord appeals will be heard by the First-tier Tribunal, part of the court system administered by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service; the guidance discusses the steps a landlord will need to take to lodge an appeal, and how that process will be managed.

It should be noted that where a landlord believes that an F or G Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rated property they rent qualifies for an exemption from the minimum energy efficiency standard, an exemption must be registered on the National PRS Exemptions Register. The register service is currently running as a pilot. Landlords who wish to register an exemption for a domestic or non-domestic property as part of this pilot should e-mail the BEIS minimum standards team at PRSregisteraccess@beis.gov.uk

 

Posted in Auditing, Buildings, Compliance, Construction, Energy, Environmental | Leave a comment