ISO 14001:2015 Internal Audit checklist

by Pretesh Biswas

ISO 14001:2015 Internal Audit Checklist

The following checklist can be used for both internal audits as well as Gap Analysis tools.

ISO 14001:2015 Checklist
Clause 4: Context of the organization
4.1 Understanding the organization and its context
1Has the organization determined external and internal issues that are relevant to your purpose and that affected its ability to achieve the intended outcomes of your environmental management system? 
2How does the organization monitor and review information about these external and internal issues and do they include environmental conditions being affected by or capable of affecting the organisation? 
4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties
1Has the organization determined the interested parties that are relevant to the Environment Management System? 
2Has the organization determined the requirements of these interested parties relevant to the Environment Management System? 
3Has the organization determined which of these needs and expectations become its compliance obligations? 
4.3 Determining the scope of the Environment management system
1Has the organization established the boundaries and applicability of the environmental management system to establish its scope? 
2When determining the scope of the environmental management system has the organization considered the external and internal issues referred to clause 4.1 and also considered the compliance obligation in clause 4.2? 
3While determining the scope, has the organization determined the organizational units, functions and physical boundaries? 
4While determining the scope, has the organization determined the activities, products and services of the organization? 
5While determining the scope, has the organization considered its authority and ability to exercise control and in? 
6Have all activities, product and services been included in the scope been included in the EMS? 
7Is the organization’s scope made available to Interested Parties and maintained as a Documented Information? 
4.4 Environment management system 
1Have the organization established, implemented and have the system in place to maintain and continually improve it’s an environmental management system, including the processes needed and their interactions, in accordance with the requirements of ISO 14001? 
2Has the organization considered the knowledge gained in 4.1 and 4.2 when establishing and maintaining the environmental management system? 
Clause 5 Leadership
5.1 Leadership and commitment
1Does the top management demonstrate leadership and commitment by taking accountability for the effectiveness of its EMS? 
2Has the top management ensured that the Environment policy and Environment objective are established? 
3Are the Environment policy and Environment objective compatible with the context and strategic direction of the organization? 
4Has the organization integrated the requirements of EMS into the business processes? 
5Is the top management ensuring that the resources needed for the EMS are available? 
6Is the importance of the effectiveness of EMS and conformance of EMS requirements communicated? 
7Does the top management ensure that the EMS is achieving its intended results? 
8Does the Top Management direct and supports the persons to contribute to the effectiveness of the EMS? 
9Is Top Management promoting continual improvements? 
10Is Top Management supporting other relevant management roles to demonstrate their leadership as it applies to their area of responsibilities? 
5.2 Policy
1Has top Management established, implemented and maintained an Environmental Policy that is appropriate to the purpose and context of the organization, including the nature, scale and environmental impacts of its activities, products and services? 
2Does the Environment policy provide the framework for setting environment objective? 
3Does the Environment policy include a commitment to the protection of the environment, including the prevention of pollution and other specific commitment relevant to the context of organizations? 
4Does the Environment policy include a commitment to fulfil its compliance obligation? 
5Does the Environment policy include the commitment to continual improvement of the EMS to enhance environmental performance? 
6Is the environmental policy maintained as documented information, communicated within the organisation and available to interested parties? 
5.3 Organizational roles, responsibilities and authorities
1Has the Top management ensured that the responsibilities and authorities for relevant roles are assigned and communicated within the organization? 
2Has top management assigned the responsibility and authority for ensuring that the environmental management system conforms to the requirements of ISO14001? 
3Has top management assigned the responsibility and authority for reporting on the performance of the environmental management system including environmental performance to top management? 
6 Planning
6.1 Actions to address risks and opportunities
6.1.1 General
1When planning for the environmental management system, have the organization considered the issues referred to in 4.1, the requirements referred to in 4.2, the scope of the environmental management and determined the risks and opportunities related to environmental aspects, compliance obligation that needs to be addressed to give assurance that the environmental management system can achieve its intended outcomes? 
2When planning for the environmental management system, have the organization considered to prevent or reduce undesired effects, including the potential for external environmental conditions to affect the organisation? 
3Has the organisation determined potential emergency situations that have an environmental impact and are they included in the scope of the environmental management system? 
4Has the organisation documented and maintained information regarding its risks and opportunities that need to be addressed and established the processes needed to address them? 
6.1.2 Environmental Aspects
1Has the organisation determined the environmental aspects of its activities, products, and services that it can control and influence and their associated impacts considering the life cycle perspective? 
2While determining the environmental aspects, has the organization taken into accountant change including planned or new developments and new or modified activities, products and services? 
3While determining the environmental aspects, has the organization taken into accountant abnormal conditions and reasonably foreseeable emergency situations? 
4What criteria has the organisation used to determine those aspects that can have a significant environmental impact and how are these communicated at the various levels within the organisation? 
5Are aspects and impacts maintained as documented information, significant aspects including the criteria used to determine its significance? 
6.1.3 Compliance Obligations
1Has the organization determined and have access to the compliance obligations related to its environmental aspects? 
2Determined how these compliance obligations apply to the organization? 
3Has the organization taken into account these compliance obligations when establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving its environmental management system? 
4Are compliance obligations maintained as documented information? 
6.1.4 Planning Action
1Has the organization taken action to address significant environmental aspects and compliance obligations and the risks and opportunities identified in clause 6.1.1? 
2How does the organization integrate and implement the actions into its environmental management system processes or other business processes? 
3How does the organization evaluate the effectiveness of its action? 
4Have technological options, Financial, operational and business requirement been taken into account by the organization? 
6.2 Environment objectives and planning to achieve them
6.2.1 Environmental Objectives
1Has the organization established Environmental objectives at relevant functions, levels and process needed for the EMS taking into account significant aspects, associated compliance obligation and has considered its risk and opportunities? 
2Are the environment objectives consistent with the environmental policy? 
3Are environment objective measurable ( if applicable) and Monitored? 
4Are environment objectives communicated and updated as required? 
5Does the organization maintain documented information on the environment objectives? 
6.2.2 Planning Actions to Achieve Environmental Objectives
1For achieving environmental objectives does the organization determines what will be done, what resources are required, who will be responsible, when will it be completed and how are the result to be evaluated including indicators monitoring progress towards achievement of its measurable environmental objectives? 
2Have the organization considered how actions to achieve your environmental objectives can be integrated into your business processes? 
7 Support
7.1 Resources
1Has the organization determined and provided the resources needed for the establishment, implementing, maintaining and continual improvement of the EMS? 
2Has the organization considered the capabilities and constraints of existing internal resources? 
3Has the organization considered what needs to be obtained from external providers? 
7.2 Competence
1Does the organization determine the necessary competence of persons doing work under its control that affects the performance and effectiveness of the environmental management system and its ability to fulfil its compliance obligations? 
2Does the organization ensure that these persons are competent on basis of appropriate education, training or experience? 
3Has the organization determined the training needs associated with its environmental aspects and its environmental management system? 
4Does the organization take applicable actions to acquire the necessary competence and evaluate the effectiveness of action taken? 
5Does the organization retain the appropriate documented information as evidence of competence? 
7.3 Awareness
1How does the organization ensure that persons doing work under their control are aware of the implications of not conforming to the environmental management system requirements including not fulfilling the organization obligation? 
2How does the organization ensure that persons doing work under their control are aware of the significant environmental aspect and related actual and potential impact associated with their work? 
3How does the organization ensure that persons doing work under their control are aware of their contribution to the effectiveness of the environmental management system, including the benefits of enhanced environmental performance? 
4Does the organization ensure that the persons doing work under the organization’s control are aware of their contribution to the effectiveness of EMS including the benefits of improved performance and the implications of not meeting EMS requirements? 
7.4 Communication
7.4.1 General
1How does the organization determine the internal and external communications relevant to the environmental management system, including on what it will communicate, when to communicate, with whom to communicate and how to communicate? 
2When establishing its communication processes has the organization taken account its compliance obligations? 
3When establishing its communication processes has the organization take account of the information communicated is consistent and reliable? 
4Does the organization retain the appropriate documented information as evidence of communication as appropriate? 
7.4.2 Internal communication
1What information relevant to EMS including any changes is communicated internally and what levels in the organization is it communicated to? 
2How does the organization ensures its communication processes enable persons doing work under its control to contribute to continual improvement? 
7.4.3 External Communication
1How does the organization ensure that its external information is communicated as established by its communication process and also as required by the organization’s compliance obligations? 
7.5 Documented Information
7.5.1 General
1Does the organization’s EMS include documents required by ISO 14001:2015 and documents determined by the organization necessary for the effectiveness of the EMS? 
7.5.2 Creating and updating
1While creating and updating documented information, does the organization ensure it is appropriate in terms of identification descriptions? 
2While creating and updating documented information does the organization ensure that it is in proper format and in the correct media? 
3While creating and updating documented information, does the organization ensure that there is appropriate review and approval for suitability and adequacy? 
7.5.3 Control of documented information
1How does the organization control its documented information to ensure that it is available and suitable for use, whenever it is needed? 
2How is the documented information adequately protected? 
3How is the distribution, access, retrieval and use of documented information adequately controlled? 
4How is the documented properly stored and adequately preserved and it is legible? 
5How is there control of changes (e.g. version control)? 
6Are adequate control in place for retention and disposition? 
7How are external origin documented information necessary for planning and operation of EMS appropriately identified and controlled? 
8How are records protected for unintended alterations? 
8 Operations
8.1 Operation planning and control
1Does the organization establish, implement, control and maintain the processes needed to meet the requirements of the environmental management system and to implement the actions determined in Clause 6.1 and 6.2, by establishing operating criteria for the processes? 
2Has the organization implemented control of the processes in accordance with the operating criteria? 
3How does the organization control planned changes and review the consequences of unintended changes, including taking action to mitigate any adverse effects, as necessary? 
4How does your organization ensure that outsourced processes are controlled and are type and extend of control or influence to be applied to the outsourced processes defined in the EMS? 
5How does the organisation address the, from a life cycle perspective, appropriate controls regarding environmental requirements within its design and development process  for product or service by considering each stage of its life cycle? 
6How does the  organization address the environmental requirements for the procurement of products and services? 
7Has the organization communicates its relevant environmental requirements to external providers, including contractors? 
8How does the organization addressed provision of information regarding potential significant environmental impacts associated with transport, delivery use, and end of life treatment and  final disposal of its product or services 
9How does the organization maintain  documented information to the extent necessary to have the confidence  that processes have been carried out as planned? 
8.2 Emergency Preparedness and Response
1Has the organization  established, implemented and maintained processes needed to prepare for and respond to potential emergency situations identified in clause 6.1.1? 
2How does the organization plan action to response to prevent or mitigate adverse environmental impacts from emergency situations? 
3How does the organization responds to actual emergency situations and to take action to prevent or mitigate the consequences of emergency situations appropriate to the magnitude of the emergency and the potential environmental impact? 
4How does the organization periodically test the planned response where practicable?
5Periodically in particular after occurrence of emergency situation or test, how does the organization  periodically reviews and revises the processes and planned response actions. 
6How does the organization provides relevant information and training related to emergency preparedness and response to relevant interested parties and persons working under its control? 
7what documented information is maintained to the extend necessary as evidence to have confidence that the processes have been carried out as planned? 
9. Performance evaluation
9.1 Monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation
9.1.1 General
1How does the organization monitor, measure, analyze, and evaluate its  Environmental performance? 
2How does the organization determine what needs to be monitored and measured? 
3How does the organization determine the methods for monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation  as needed to ensure valid results? 
4How does organization determine the criteria against which it will evaluate its environmental performance and appropriate indicators? 
5How does your organization determine when the monitoring and measurement shall be performed and its result shall be analyzed and  evaluated? 
6How does the organization ensure that its measuring and monitoring equipment is appropriately calibrated or verified and those equipment are used and maintained as appropriate. 
7How does the organization evaluates the environment performance and the effectiveness of the environmental management system? 
8How is the relevant environment performance information communicated both internally and externally? Is it identified in its communication process and is as required by its compliance obligation? 
9How does the organization retains appropriate documented information as evidence of  monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation results? 
9.1.2 Evaluation of Result
1Has the organization established, implemented and maintained the process needed to evaluate fulfilment of its compliance obligation? 
2Have the organization determined the frequency that compliance will be evaluated? 
3Have the organization evaluated compliance and take action if needed? 
4Have the organization maintained knowledge and understanding of its compliance status? 
5Have the organization retain documented information as evidence of the compliance evaluation results? 
9.2 Internal Audit
9.2.1 General
1Does the organization conduct internal audits at planned intervals to provide information  on whether the EMS conforms to its own requirement for EMS, ISO 14001:2015 requirements and EMS is effectively implemented and maintained  ? 
9.2.2 Internal audit program
1Did the organization plan, establish, implement, and maintain an audit program? 
2Did the audit program include the frequency, methods, responsibilities, planning requirements, and reporting of its internal audit? 
3Does the audit program take into consideration the environmental importance of the process concerned, changes affecting the organization, and the results of previous audits? 
4Did the organization define the audit criteria and scope of each audit? 
5Does the organization ensure that the audit is conducted by the auditors to ensure objectivity and impartiality of the audit process? 
6Does the organization ensure that the results of the audits are reported to relevant management? 
7Does the organization take appropriate correction and corrective action without undue delays? 
8Does the retain documented information as evidence of the implementation of the audit program and the audit results ? 
9.3 Management review
1Does the Top Management review the organization QMS at planned intervals  to  ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness? 
2Does the review take into consideration the status of actions from previous management reviews? 
3Are the changes in external and internal issues relevant to EMS considered? 
4Are the changes in the needs and expectations of interested parties including compliance obligation considered? 
5Are the changes in the significant aspects, risk and opportunities considered? 
6Does the review take into consideration information on the performance and effectiveness of the QMS? 
7Does the review take into consideration the extent to which the environmental objectives have been achieved? 
8Does the review take into consideration the environmental performance including the trends in nonconformities and corrective actions, monitoring and measurement results, fulfilment of its compliance obligations and the audit results? 
9Does the review take into consideration the adequacy of resources? 
10Does the  review takes into consideration relevant communications from interested parties including complaints? 
11Does the review take into consideration the opportunities for  continual improvement? 
12Do the outputs of the management review include decisions and actions related to conclusions on continuing suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness of the environmental management system? 
13Does the output take includes decisions related to continual improvement opportunities?? 
14Does the output decisions related to any need for changes to the environmental management system, including resource needs? 
15Does the output includes actions, if needed, when environmental objectives have not been met? 
16Does the output includes opportunities to improve integration of the environmental management system with other business processes, if needed? 
17Do the outputs of the Management review include any implications for the strategic direction of the organization? 
18Does the organization retain documented information as evidence of the result of the management review? 
10 Improvement
10.1 General
1how does the  organization determine the opportunities for improvement as given in clause 9.1,9.2,9.3 and implement any necessary actions to achieve the intended outcomes of its environmental management system? 
10.2 Nonconformity and corrective action
1When any nonconformity occurs, how does the organization reacts to it by taking action to control and correct it and deal with the consequences including mitigating adverse environmental impacts? 
2When any nonconformity occurs, does the organization evaluate the need for action to eliminate the causes of the nonconformity in order that it does not recur or occur elsewhere? 
3How does the organization reviews  the nonconformity? 
4How does the organization determine the causes of the nonconformity? 
5How does the organization determine similar nonconformity exist or could potentially exist? 
6How does the organization implemented any action needed? 
7How does the organization reviewed the effectiveness of the corrective action taken? 
8Has the organization made changes to the EMS if necessary? 
9Are the corrective actions appropriate to the significance of the effects of the nonconformities encountered including  environmental impact? 
10Does the organization retain documented information on the nature of the nonconformities and any subsequent actions taken; and the result of any corrective action? 
10.3 Continual improvement
1Does the organization continually improve the suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness of the EMS to enhance environmental performance? 

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If you need assistance or have any doubt and need to ask any questions contact me at preteshbiswas@gmail.com. You can also contribute to this discussion and I shall be happy to publish them. Your comment and suggestion are also welcome.

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