Auditing Environmental and OH&S Management Systems

Auditing Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems will examine auditing processes for ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS). Guidelines of Canadian Standards Association (CSA) report CAN/CSA-Z1000-06-Occupational Health and Safety Management are also incorporated into discussion material. This course is designed to assist any who are preparing to establish and implement audit programs, or who wish to review existing audit programs. Auditing, whether for environmental or occupational health and safety management systems, is a skilled discipline that follows generally accepted auditing principals and practices. Some of particular relevance are described in ISO 19011: Guidelines for Quality and/or Environmental Management Systems Auditing and in the Body of Skills and Knowledge of the Canadian Environmental Certification Approvals Board (CECAB).  

Who should attend

This course is designed for those who either currently have or will have responsibilities for both the environmental and health and safety activities of their organizations. It is also of value to facilities auditors, plant managers, project engineers and operations managers.

Course content

The content and course materials provide a balanced series of presentations and exercises to explain and demonstrate what a management system is, and how to plan for and conduct environmental and occupational health and safety audits. As they are based on national and international standards, the class lessons are as relevant in British Columbia as they are in Newfoundland.

Previous understanding of ISO 14001, 9001 or OHSAS 18001 is desirable, although the class will include an overview of essential characteristics of ISO 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007.


Day 1 - registration/check-in will start at 8:00 a.m. with sessions to begin at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. Days 2-4 will commence at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. There will be a 15 minute mid-morning and afternoon break. A light lunch is included.

Program outline

Day 1

8:00 Registration
8:30 Understanding Elements of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems
What is a management system
How different are Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety management systems
What strategies can be used to audit Environmental, and Occupational Health and Safety programs
4:00 Adjournment

Day 2

8:30 Auditing Principles and Practices
What is auditing? How do you decide what should be audited
How to evaluate auditor competence
What personal attributes, ethics, knowledge and skills should you look for in auditors
1:00 Establishing Audit Programs
The first steps to establish ISO 14001 or OHSAS 18001 audit programs
What should be included in audit procedures
How to define program responsibilities, resources and requirements
How to manage audit records
Who do the reports go to?
Do you have the tools to determine audit effectiveness?
4:00 Adjournment

Day 3

8:30 Getting Down to Business: Getting Ready for an Audit
How to prepare for the on-site audit activities
Who is the audit client?
Environmental or occupational health and safety documents you will need to review
Are your audit protocols ready?
Audit team preparation; What about their travel?
Establishing contact with site management
1:00 Your Team is Now On-site…Now What Do You Do?
When to inspect and when to interview
What represents competent environmental or occupational health and safety records review
How to use your audit protocols
How to manage your working notes
Assessing expectations of site management during the audit
4:00 Adjournment

Day 4

8:30 Making Sense of Audit Evidence
What defines an audit finding
When to use corrective action reports
Assessing severity of environmental or occupational health and safety audit findings
What to include in an exit report
How to conduct an exit meeting
How to prepare a final report
What is an audit action plan and who is responsible
Who is responsible for audit follow-up
When is the audit over
4:00 Final Adjournment


John Underwood, Ph.D., has over 40 years of environmental experience within academia, government and industry. He held national certification for 25 years to lead environmental management system and compliance audits. He developed, and then managed the environmental audit program across Emera for eighteen years. He also provided guidance as the organization developed its ISO 14001 environmental management systems in the mid 1990's. Dr. Underwood has taught many classes on management system development and environmental auditing to environmental officials/specialists from government and the private sector. He also continues to help large organizations with EMS implementation and their compliance audit programs.

Conrad LeLièvre, P.Eng., CRSP, has over 34 years of mechanical engineering experience in manufacturing and consulting. Following a 28 year career in plant and machine quality assurance engineering with Michelin North America (Canada) Inc., he currently is the occupational health and safety coordinator in Halifax for CBCL Limited, He has been actively involved with Nova Scotia Engineers'  Public Safety Committee since its inception in 2000.