“My organization is certified to ISO 9001. Do I need ISO 14001 as well?”
“I do have ISO 14001 certification. Is there any need of ISO 9001?”
These are the common questions that ISO experts need to confront with on a regular basis. Most of the business owners and top management of the organizations consider the similarities and differences between these two standards blurred. To determine whether you need both standards or any particular one between the two, it is important to have a fundamental understanding of the relationship between the two. A brief comparison may help you get answers to your questions. This blog has attempted at diving into a deeper analysis comparing ISO 9001 requirements with ISO 14001 requirements.
Let’s start with the definitions of the two standards:
What is ISO-9001 Standard?
ISO-9001 is an international standard introduced by the International Organization for Standardization to provide the businesses with a uniformed approach for meeting the customers’ requirements. Quality Assurance Standard requires an efficacious quality management system that can help the organizations provide and maintain the quality of their offerings.
What is ISO-14001 Standard?
ISO-14001 Environmental Management System or EMS enables the organizations to follow and maintain a systematic approach to measure and enhance the environmental impact. As a quality management system is the main requirement of the quality assurance standard, the Environmental Management Systems are the basic requirement of ISO-14001.
Though ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 share more or less same “Plan-Do-Check-Act” structure along with a number of other similarities, all of their clauses are not directly aligned. There are three options available for an organization-
I. Complete EMS Certification- This option is best suitable for those companies that do not want to add QMS to their organizational structure.
II. Tailored EMS certification with an existing QMS- This option is suitable for those companies that need ISO-14001 with certain features of ISO 9001, 13485, AS 9100, etc.
III. Combination of QMS & EMS Certification- This option is meant for those companies that need to implement both of these two standards at the same time.
Now, let’s have a quick look at the common requirements shared by ISO-9001and ISO-14001:
Quality Management and Environmental Management Standards share more than one requirement, and both want to ensure consistency in the performance and stability of the overall quality management system. The common requirements include:
• Documentation of Manual and Procedures
• Control Documents
• Internal Audit
• Corrective or Preventive Action
• Management Review
As it has been stated earlier, these two standards differ in some of their approaches and degree of prescription. The differences include:
• Structure of several clauses is different
• EMS planning is entailed in comparison to QMS planning
• Objectives and targets are more specific in the case of EMS than QMS
• Approach to emergency preparedness and response is not the same
• In ISO-14001 guidelines, the management responsibilities assume greater importance than the QMS
• ISO 9001 requirements do not include environmental policy and aspect
• QMS Standard is more prescriptive than the EMS
• Unlike ISO-9001, ISO 14001 Standard does not need an organization to meet a specific level since every business impacts the environment in different ways.
Other issues in which the EMS Standard differs from the QMS Standard include hazard identification, risk assessment, legal compliances, communication requirements, participation and consultation, operational control, management system, and compliance assessment, and incident investigation.
ISO-14001 EMS Standard concentrates only on the environmental impact of an organization while ISO 9001 covers everything related to quality management. The environment is only an integral part of the quality system; quality management system is not all about the environment. Therefore, having commonalities and difference between the two standards is obvious. Now, as you know different dynamics of the relationship between QMS and EMS certification, you can easily determine which one your business requires.