A Step Towards 2015 - Update on the ISO 14001 Revisions - May 2013
The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, IEMA, have concluded their initial consultation process for revisions to ISO 14001, resulting in a range of key inputs to the development process. A Committee Draft (CD) now exists which reflects ISO’s new High Level Structure (HLS) for ‘Type A’ management system standards, a structure mandated for use by those developing new or revising existing standards.
A further series of consultation workshops on the CD with IEMA members across the UK will conclude next month, the outcome from which will be collated and fed into the national feedback to BSI. It is still envisaged that the revised version of ISO14001, together with the revised version of ISO14004, will be published in early 2015.
The CD currently consists of the existing environmental management system text, typically more expansive, integrated within the HLS. New text has been drafted for the relevant HLS requirements and the current annex has been almost entirely replaced with interpretative text for the standard’s requirements.
With the caveat that the current CD will almost certainly be subject to further changes in content and interpretative text over and above the mandatory HLS structural text, the following are some of the key issues for current management systems within organisations.
- The HLS structure and its associated text cannot be changed so the contents of the CD standard are now numbered 1 to 10. With the requirements commencing at 4, as previously, systems that are currently documented in line with the existing ISO 14001 clause numbers will have to be re-numbered. The key benefit to multiple standards users is that once reformatting/renumbering has been undertaken then the common system elements will facilitate their integration.
- As indicated in our previous news item (March 2012), the HLS requires an organisation to understand its environmental context, i.e. what effects can the environment in its broadest terms have upon the organisation? It also requires that the needs and expectations of its interested parties are understood.
- The CD requires leadership and commitment by top management, the definition for which has been tightened through a range of requirements, putting top management at the centre of directing the Environmental Management System (EMS).
- The concept of ‘value chain planning’, taking a life cycle perspective, is required within the operational requirements. This has engendered much debate to date as to what it means and the implications of resourcing the identification of aspects and impacts upstream and downstream.
From Excel’s viewpoint most of the changes are only what we would look for in a robust and comprehensive EMS meeting the current standard’s requirements. Excel will provide further updates on the standard as the requirements and interpretations of the new version become clearer.
All Excel’s training courses reflect current Management System Standard’s and are revised accordingly as new revisions are released. We endeavour to facilitate our customer’s transitions to new versions by publishing Comparison Documents. These can be found on our Technical Information page.
Excel updates their course for Medical Laboratories - November 2012
A revised version of ISO 15189 'Medical Laboratories - Particular requirements for quality and competence' was released early in November 2012. Now in its third edition the alignment of the standard with ISO/IEC 17025 has been enhanced. ISO 15189 contains criteria which can be used to develop and assess both technical competence and management systems. ISO 15189:2007 'Medical Laboratories – Particular requirements for quality and competence' specifies quality system requirements applicable to medical laboratories. These requirements cover arrangements for requisition, patient preparation, identification, collection of samples, transportation, storage, processing and examination of clinical samples, together with subsequent validation, interpretation, reporting and advice, in addition to considerations relating to safety and ethics in medical laboratory work.
This short (5 hour) interactive and practical foundation course is designed to provide delegates with an understanding of the requirements of ISO 15189: 2007 with specific emphasis to those specified in the Clinical Laboratory Accreditation document ‘Standards for the Medical Laboratory’ Nov 2010
ISO/IEC 17020:2012 'Conformity Assessment - Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection' (2012 Release)
The 2012 revision of ISO.IEC 17020 was released in March 2012 and has been modified from the 1998 edition quite significantly. Excel Partnership have updated their courses to meet the requirements of the new standard. We have also published a free comparison document which covers the changes for those companies already working to the 1998 version. (To request a copy of the document, click on the link at the top of the following page - ISO 17025 courses )
ISO 14001:2004 – Time for a Revision - March 2012
IEMA, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, convened a series of workshops towards the end of 2011 to seek practitioner’s views as to how ISO 14001 might be revised. This feedback, gained at several UK locations, was consolidated and formed part of the UK input to the revision process. The working group for the revision met in February 2012 for the first time and meets again in June.
Of significant interest to standards users - and there are currently over a quarter of a million users of ISO 14001 in 155 countries worldwide - is the decision to structure the new version around ISO’s new high level structure for management system standards. This structure has been mandated for use by those developing new or revising existing standards.
It is anticipated that the new structure will ensure that environmental management will be elevated to the core of organisations rather than being seen as a bolt-on; a potential requirement is that, in addition to the current identification of environmental risks represented by an organisation, it will be required to identify what risks the environment presents to it.
Excel introduces a new course for medical laboratories - March 2012
Excel Partnership has been delivering laboratory management systems auditor courses (including the IRCA certified Lead Auditor course) for a number of years and is now pleased to include in its portfolio, a foundation course specifically focusing on the standard for medical laboratories, ISO 15189. Prior to this time ISO 15189 was included only as an optional module for presentation in our standard courses.
In its second edition, ISO 15189:2007 'Medical Laboratories - Particular requirements for quality and competence' has its foundations in ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 9001 but is a unique document which recognises the need to address the distinctive structure, operation and needs of medical laboratories.
ISO 15189 contains criteria which can be used to develop and assess both technical competence and management systems. With the standard aligned with ISO/IEC 17025, an integral aspect of Excel's 'Introduction to ISO 15189' 1-day foundation course is to look at the interrelationship between these standards.
The requirements of ISO 15189:2007 cover arrangements for requisition, patient preparation, identification and collection of patient samples, transportation, storage, processing and examination of clinical samples, together with subsequent validation and interpretation of test results, reporting and advice. In addition, it also includes provisions relating to how testing is to be provided in a medical emergency, considerations relating to safety and ethics in medical laboratory work, and the laboratory's role in the education and training of health care staff.
To further support our laboratory customers, Excel Partnership has developed a comparison document comparing ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 15189 which is available on request.
"We already have a broad compliment of laboratory associated courses to offer our customers and this new foundation course for ISO 15189 strengthens our portfolio of laboratory related products," says Tim Alcock, Excel's Managing Partner and lead tutor who specialises in laboratory accreditation.
Excel's foundation course 'Introduction to ISO 15189 - Medical Laboratories - Particular requirements for quality and competence' is, at present, run on an in-house basis only. Contact us for further information or to request a copy of the comparison document.
Excel revises its auditing courses - 24th October 2011
ISO 19011:2011 - Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems, is expected to be released in October 2011. Excel has been busy revising its auditing courses to reflect the changes in the draft standard in anticipation of its formal release in the autumn.
In its briefing note to IRCA Certified Auditors and IRCA Approved Training Organisations, of which Excel is one, IRCA suggests that given there has been a number of new management system standards published over the last 10 years, there is now "a need to consider a broader scope of management system auditing as well as providing guidance that is more generic."
"We believe the guidance in ISO 19011:2011 captures many of the good practices we already implement as a training provider for management system auditing", states Tim Alcock, Excel Managing Partner and lead tutor for a number of Excel's auditing courses. "Although some organisations may see the changes in the guidance somewhat daunting, the standard can provide an opportunity for organisations to re-assess their own practices and identify opportunities for improvement."
In the business environment today, many organisations incorporate multiple disciplines into their management system, such as quality, environmental, health and safety and information security. The revisions to ISO 19011 have taken this into account, expanding aspects of good practice and introducing new principles of auditing to reflect current thinking and the complexities of auditing multiple disciplines.
IRCA's briefing note for ISO 19011:2011 states that:
"The main body of ISO 19011:2011 sets out good practice for Managing an Audit Programme and Performing an Audit. These sections provide detailed guidance; intended to be used flexibly according to the size, level of maturity of an organization's management system, the nature and complexity of the organization to be audited."
Tim explains that, "Although there have been some significant changes made to the revised standard, the overall approach to managing an audit programme and planning and conducting audits is synonymous with our current approach."
ISO 19011:2011 is also consistent with requirements of the related independent standard, ISO 17021:2011 - Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems.
Excel Partnership launches its exciting new website - 24th October 2011
Excel Partnership is a leading provider of training, consultancy and business improvement, specialising in the requirements of international management standards. Excel brings you integrated and creative management system training solutions with auditor training programmes accredited by IRCA (UK) and IEMA (UK).
With experienced and competent tutors who have worked extensively across a wide range of industry and commerce, our training courses illustrate and reinforce learning through real life examples, challenge static thinking and encourage people to steer businesses forward.
Excel Partnership delivers a world of experience which is unsurpassed, with innovative approaches to deliver our expertise across Europe and in over 50 countries worldwide. Our proven success in the way we meet the needs of our customers’ businesses, whether small, large or multinational companies, is reinforced by the testimonials we receive. Customers often look to Excel Partnership as their training partner of choice because of our long-standing reputation to deliver excellence.
“To live up to the expectations of our existing customers and capture the interest of potential customers, this one-stop-website offers a complete range of information about Excel’s training and consultancy in management systems and business improvement services.”, Geoff Doole, Managing Partner of Excel Partnership, explains. “Though it was easy to navigate, we felt we needed to liven up the look and feel of our website to reflect the way we deliver our training – energetic and fun with a long-lasting impact on our customers.”
The new excel-world.co.uk enables our customers to:
- Find the training that’s right for them at their fingertips – Excel Partnership offers a full range of management system courses including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, ISO/TS 16949, ISO 27001, ISO 17025.
- Navigate through our site using our new colour-coded symbols for easy reference.
- See how our in-house training can benefit them as a cost-effective training solution with the advantage of applying learning to specific company issues.
- Use our new, easy rolling calendar for our public courses and our on-line booking function to plan training in advance.
- View all our courses at a glance and then access more detailed information so they can make the right choices for their learning needs.
“Whether our customers are looking to book onto one of our public training courses or need a more in-depth discussion about their in-house requirements, our new website directs people to where they need to be,” says Samantha Hannay who has managed the development of the new website. “Excel will never underestimate the value of talking to real people and our website includes a number of ways customers can contact us – we’ll always have a member of the Excel team available for our customers to speak to in person.”