Once you have decided to implement ISO 14001 Standard with the help of an external consultant, it is the right time of choosing the best and proficient consultant. There are many aspects that you need to review while looking for an ISO consultant. You may need to consider everything from consultancy charges to industry experience.

In this article, we will provide you with key ideas that will help you select the most deserving consultant for implementing an ISO 14001 environmental management standard in your business management system.

Before we dive into the deeper discussion, let’s learn about the importance of ISO 14001 consultants- why hiring a consultant is an important decision for a company?

Why should you hire ISO 14001 consultants?

Whenever you team up with an ISO consulting service or a consultant, you will be able to obtain the knowledge and skills that your organization lacks. No matter what is your purpose, implementing an Environmental Management System or EMS, maintenance of the EMS, or performing internal audit for the EMS, these skills play a significant role. Moreover, these activities are supposed to be performed within a stipulated deadline; hence, productivity is more likely to be considered the major benefit of outsourcing professional consulting services or an independent consultant. Additionally, this ISO consultation will enable your employees to maintain their performance accurately without sparing too much time in learning about ISO 14001 requirements.

Six important aspects you should count on while looking for the right ISO 14001 consultants:

Identifying the right attributes of a consultant is important as it assists your company in implementing the EMS in the proper way. We’ve listed certain salient aspects that you may need to consider:

1. Qualifications

When you are going through the screening process for hiring a consulting firm or consultant, you should never forget to consider the qualification of the team members who are going to manage your EMS. Even when you are hiring ISO 20000 consultants or experts for other ISO standards, you should do the same.

Looking at the qualification is the first thing with which the selection process should be started. You should ensure that the consultants have a formal environmental qualification. It would be better if you find consultants having relevant certifications.

2. Experience

Your consultants must have sound hands-on experience in areas such as implementation and maintenance of the EMS, performing training and internal audits etc. You can ask for references to determine whether the consultants have really conducted the tasks, they are claiming or not.
Here emerges another important issue- industrial experience. You may want to know whether the consultants have earlier worked in your industry or not. For instance, if you own a construction company but your consultants do not have any earlier experience of working with the construction industry, they may not be able to do justice with your ambitious project. Since they are not familiar with processes running within a construction company and the legal obligations related to environmental protection, they may not be the right fit for your organization.

3. Reputation

Consulting firms earn a reputation in their respective industry through years of hands-on experience. You should always collaborate with a reputed consulting firm for implementing the ISO 14001 environmental management system. A reputed consulting firm will walk with you throughout the implementation process. Even if you are looking for ISO 14001 certification, they will prepare your company for the certification audit.

4. Cost-Benefit Balance

Many companies are inclining towards consulting firms having a reasonable solution. This is not the right way. You should remember that cost and benefit are two equally important aspects. Your ISO consultants should be able to provide you with cost-effective solutions, which are beneficial for your EMS as well.

5. Communication

Developing a strong rapport with your team is an essential task of the consultants. They need to collaborate with your employees. Therefore, having a commendable communication skill is an essential criterion for the ISO 14001 consultants.

6. Confidentiality

Whenever a consulting firm takes charge of your EMS, the consultants will come to learn all essential information about your EMS. Before signing a contract with the firm, make sure that they will protect your confidentiality. You may review their previous assignments to determine how trustworthy they are. In fact, you may clearly state about confidentiality in the contract or agreement paper.

A Final Takeaway

If you want to ensure the efficiency of your ISO 14001 consultant, you may consider these aspects during the screening process. You should take enough time to identify the best consulting firm; believe us, it is worthwhile!

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson has been associated with a leading ISO consulting firm for more than a decade. He provides valuable advice on ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard, ISO 9001 Quality Management Standard, ISO 20000 etc. He pens down informative blogs and articles on several ISO standards. One of his remarkable blogs is based on how to choose ISO 20000 consultants.