ISO 19011 Environmental Management Systems Auditing

ISO 19011


ISO 19011

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ISO 19011 Environmental Management Systems Audit



ISO 19011: 2002 (Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing) , was published in October 2002 in response to demand for guidance on combined management system audits. It replaced BS EN ISO 14010:1996, BS EN ISO 14011:1996 and BS EN ISO 14012:1996.


It offers comprehensive guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems audit. The objective is that by using this document, organizations can save effort, time, effort and expenditure by:


Avoiding confusion over the objectives of the environmental or quality audit program.

Ensuring audit reports follow the best format and contain all the relevant information.

Securing agreement of the goals for individual audits within an audit program.

Evaluating the competence of members of an audit team against appropriate criteria.

Reducing duplication of effort when conducting combined environmental/quality audits.



Whatever the reason for the audit (certification, internal review, contract compliance, etc) it is intended that organizations can move efficiently through the process by applying these guidelines.



It is always worth remembering that the final cost of failing an environmental management systems audit can take a number of different forms, amongst them:


organizations  can lose valuable contracts or important third party certifications; 

an expensive range of improvements may be demanded by a client; 

there may be a resultant erosion of efficiency; etc.


Getting a firm grasp of the audit process is therefore an extremely worthwhile exercise.



ISO 19011
Within one single standard there are now four critical decision/support resources for the efficient planning, conduct and evaluation of quality and environmental audits:


A clear explanation of the principles of management systems auditing.

Advice on the competence and evaluation of auditors.

Guidance on the management of audit programs.

Guidance on the conduct of internal or external audits.



At the core of the standard is a set of principles that will help anyone connected with an audit to perform effectively. And because it focuses primarily on the underlying processes of audit management, it can also be adapted for use when auditing any management system.


For more details of what is included, see our ISO 19011 Contents page



The pages on this website contain a range of useful ISO 19011 information. For off-site data, the following may be of use: ISO 19011 Guide

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