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Plan-Do-Check Act Model for EMS

Plan-Do-Check Act Model for EMS ISO 14001:2015

The approach which determines an EMS is founded on the concept of Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA). This model provides a constant process that allows organizations to achieve ongoing improvement. PDCAs are not only applied to the EMS overall, but to each of its individual elements.

Plan-Do-Check Act is short for:

Plan: establishing environmental goals and processes that are necessary to achieve results in conformity with the organization’s environmental policy.

Before implementing ISO 14001:2015, we recommend conducting a gap analysis. A gap analysis will allow you to understand what processes and products are in place and to assist in identifying all elements of the current operation and possible future operations that will interact with the environment; this is known as environmental aspects. This review assists the organization in establishing its environmental objectives, goals, and targets. These should all be measurable. Furthermore, it assesses any relevant legal requirements.

Do: Take action on the planned process. During the “do” stage, organizations identify the resources required and the personnel of the organization responsible for the EMS implementation and management.  During this step, you must establish procedures and processes (one documented procedure is specified for operational control). Other procedures are required to improve management control over documentation control, emergency preparedness and response and employee education regarding the EMS. Communication and participation are key for the success of the EMS and is especially important in top level management.

Check: Monitoring and measuring the process established against the environmental policy. During the check stage, you must monitor performance periodically to ensure that the organization’s environmental targets and objects are met. Another key element of the check step is internal audits. Internal audits need to be conducted at planned intervals to ascertain whether the EMS meets the user’s expectations and whether the processes and procedures are being adequately maintained and monitored.

Act: Taking actions in order to continually improve the EMS. After you complete the check stage, the organization must conduct a management review to ensure that the objectives of the EMS are being met, to what extent objectives are being met, that communications are being managed and to evaluate changing circumstances, in order to make continual improvements to the EMS.


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