ISO14001 – FAQs

BY reno ON 18th September 2014.

Q: How certain are you that the final version will be very similar to the DIS?

A: There will be changes between now and the final version of the standard. Having said that, changes arising from the adoption of Annex SL are among the most likely to remain unchanged, as changing Annex SL would impact not just 14001 but all Annex SL-based standards.

Q: What will be the effect of the new version on companies with environmental management systems that are currently implemented and certified to EMS 14001:2004?

A: This will vary from organisation to organisation in terms of how much change will be needed. There will be a transition period for certified organisations which will start when the standard is published. However, the standard writers and certification bodies are already encouraging organisations to make a start. The first step is to gain an understanding of the new and enhanced requirements. Then do a gap analysis. Some will prefer to wait for the FDIS before launching into redeveloping the environmental management system, but we believe there is work that you can usefully get on with now.

Q: What would you advise an organisation to do that is considering ISO 14001 certification at the moment – wait for the new standard to come into effect before applying, or go ahead and then convert to the new standard?

A: The time required to implement 14001 and achieve certification varies according to a range of factors but 6 – 12 months is typical. That would take you pretty much up to the anticipated release date of the new standard. At this stage we suggest you work within the known parameters, the current 2004 requirements.

Q: We already have ISO14001: 2004 certification, what does it mean for my organisation?

A: It is anticipated that organisations will have up to three years from the date of the new standards publication to transition their environmental management system to the new 2015 version.

Q: What are IMSM’s plans for informing and assisting their client’s transition to the new version of the standard?

A: IMSM have begun the process of reviewing the DIS in terms of assessing how the proposed changes will impact on their current and future clients. Once an opinion has been reached and a plan agreed IMSM will contact their current clients with their suggested actions. If any current or prospective client has any questions or concerns at this stage please email: and entitle your email, 2015 EMS Question