ISO 14001:2004

On Site Audits or Desktop Review

The companies are audited in two stages: Stage I, the document review, which focuses on the paper work and documented management system (including procedures) and Stage II, the implementation audit, focusing on the implementation of the system and how environmental aspects are controlled in practice. Both stages are done on-site.


For ISO 14001:2004, a company that wants to qualify applies to an accredited body for a Stage I audit first. This document review is an on-site assessment on compliance with the criteria, though focusing on the paper work and the system and procedures as documented (not on how environmental aspects are controlled in practice). The company then has a certain period of time to implement any required corrective measures, before the Stage II audit is carried out by an official (usually the same) auditor. Finally the certificate is issued to the company.


The timeline to be certified with ISO 14001:2004 depends on the maturity of the organisation, its size and complexity, and other factors.  In general, a minimum timeframe would be one year. 

Audit Team

Any accredited certification body can carry out the certification assessment (stage I and stage II audit) The internal audit is the responsibility of the company and is normally carried out by members of the organisation’s own personnel. 


Every 12 months a follow-up audit of the management system takes place to check the continuing conformity with requirements. The certificate will be valid for three years if the results of Stage 2 audit are satisfactory. After three years a recertification has to take place.

Certification and License Fee

There are many variables, such as an organisation's type and size, the complexity of its activities and the potential impacts it has on the environment.

Certificate Sample

Each accredited body will have its own template; nevertheless, the certification must contain the data that is specified in the ISO 14001:2004 requirements, such as name of the accredited body, company name that is receiving the certification, date, scope of the certification, certification number, valid time, manager/president signature of the accredited, and any other
relevant details.

Criteria ISO 14001:2004
Market AcceptanceHigh
Energy x
Air Emissions x
Occupational Health and Safety x
Management System ✓✓
Environmental Policy ✓✓
Social Responsibility x
Audits and Validation ✓✓
Implementation Tools x
Labeling ✓✓


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