Is Training for Legal Compliance required in ISO 14001:2015?

Do you struggle to understand whether ISO 14001:2015 requires the determination of training needs and how to deal with training requirement by legal requirements or compliance obligation? This article could help you with your EMS…

An ISO Interpretation could help you understand how competence and training needs for legal requirements in your use of ISO 14001:2015.

This article looks at one of the interpretations given by the ISO Technical Committee, TC 207 Sub-Committee 1, which is the Sub-Committee responsible for ISO 14001:2015 and other associated environmental International Standards.

The interpretation process operates as an escalation of an interpretation enquiry from a National Member Body, such as BSI in the UK and ANSI in the United States, with all interpretation enquiries reviewed on an annual basis and their results published on the Sub-Committee 1 website.

It is important to note that its interpretations do not change the requirements in ISO 14001 but are intended to give users a better understanding on ISO 14001.

The question about the status of ISO 14001:2015 within an Environmental Management System was raised by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and relates to the intent of Clauses 7.2.

The Interpretation Response given stated:

ISO 14001 in Section 7.2 requires the determination of training needs associated with an organization’s environmental aspects and its environmental management system.

If an organization is legally required to provide certain kinds of training, such training should be identified as a “need.”

For example, in the United States, virtually every stormwater permit requires some form of annual stormwater training covering the permit requirements and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).

Another example from the United Kingdom is that environmental permits require technical competence to operate the necessary equipment, comply with the law and government policies & minimise risk and the impact of your activity on people and the environment.

So, to summarise:

The ISO TC 207 Sub-Committee 1 interpretation clarifies a training needs determination is required associated with the organization’s environmental aspects and its environmental management system. If a compliance obligation requires a specific training, then the training should be identified as a “training need”.

You can download a copy of the ISO Interpretation document here, which includes this specific interpretation.

If this article has helped has helped to advance your understanding of ISO 14001:2015 in relation to determining training needs in relation to compliance obligations within your Environmental Management System, please leave a comment in the box below, if this article has help you.

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