Responsible Care® 14001 (RC14001®) and Responsible Care Management System® (RCMS®)

  • Overview
  • Benefits of Certification
  • Why Work With NSF?
  • Certification Process
  • RC14001®:2015 Revision

Responsible Care® 14001 (RC14001®) and Responsible Care Management System® (RCMS®) are performance improvement initiatives launched by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) to ensure that the chemical industry makes health, safety, security and the environment top priorities. NSF-ISR is an accredited auditor for these initiatives.

RCMS certification verifies that a company has implemented the Responsible Care Management System. RC14001 incorporates RCMS and all the requirements of ISO 14001 environmental certification into a single, more cost-effective process.

Companies implementing RC14001 and/or RCMS demonstrate commitment to employee health and safety, communities and the environment. For ACC members, RCMS certification is mandatory.

Benefits of Certification

Certifying to Responsible Care 14001 (RC14001®) or Responsible Care Management System® (RCMS®) allows you to:

  • Gain credit for existing Responsible Care activities that go beyond the scope of an environmental management system such as occupational health and safety, product stewardship, security, community outreach and transportation safety activities
  • Manage chemicals responsibly
  • Increase access to new customers and business partners
  • Meet American Chemistry Council (ACC) requirements for member companies
  • Attain efficiencies and cost savings from an integrated management system

Why Work With NSF?

NSF-ISR is experienced in certifying chemical companies to Responsible Care® 14001 (RC14001®) and Responsible Care Management System® (RCMS®) and was one of the first registrars to be accredited by the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB). In addition, we offer:

  • Unparalleled technical expertise in safety, quality and environmental standards
  • A full range of solutions including baseline audits, document conformance review and integrated audits
  • Customized programs designed to meet your needs – from single sites to multi-site and multi-standard organizations

NSF-ISR's parent company NSF International has been committed to public health, safety and protection of the environment for nearly 70 years. We build on this heritage in NSF-ISR by providing systems management certifications to fit all your industry needs.

Certification Process

The Responsible Care® 14001 (RC14001®) and Responsible Care Management System® (RCMS®) certification process involves these steps:

  1. Application and Contract
    Your company submits an application and signs a contract (master agreement).
  2. Audit Team Assignment
    NSF-ISR assigns an auditor team.
  3. Document Review
    We perform a document review (when required) for the management system (MS) and issue a report of conformance or nonconformance.
  4. On-Site Readiness Review (ORR-Stage 1 Audit)
    As the first stage in the certification process, NSF-ISR verifies readiness of the MS to continue with the certification process.
  5. Certification Audit (Stage 2)
    Our audit team conducts an on-site audit to verify conformity to the specified standard.
  6. Independent Review
    A certification board reviewer recommends the final certification/recertification decision.
  7. Notification of Certification
    NSF-ISR notifies your organization in writing, issues the certificate and publishes the certification in our online listings.
  8. Surveillance Audits
    NSF-ISR performs semiannual or annual audits to verify the MS is being maintained (optional for RCMS).
  9. Reassessment
    NSF-ISR performs reassessment audits in accordance with requirements. Responsible care certification must be renewed every three years.

RC14001®:2015 Revision

The RC14001®:2015 revision was released in late 2015 and combines elements of the American Chemistry Council's (ACC) Responsible Care® standard with those of ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems. Certification enables an organization to demonstrate that its management system conforms to the requirements of both ISO 14001 and RC14001®.

NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR) received official accreditation from ANAB (ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board) to the RC14001®:2015 Technical Specification on April 4, 2016. Companies can now begin certifying to the new standard through NSF-ISR.

Some key changes to the standard include:

  • Four requirements from RC14001®:2013 have been eliminated, as the new ISO 14001:2015 text addresses them
  • An increased alignment with strategic direction
  • Greater protection for the environment, with a focus on proactive initiatives
  • More effective internal and external communication, driven through a communications strategy
  • A greater commitment from leadership
  • Life-cycle thinking, considering each stage of a product or service, from development to end of life
  • Emphasis on environmental performance and measurement

We work with clients to ensure they fully understand the requirements and timing of the standard changes. We have a number of resources available to make the transition easier:

Transition Guide

NSF-ISR has developed a helpful guide to the new standard. This comprehensive document contains everything you need to know about RC14001®:2015. DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE

RC14001:2015 Upgrade Planner and Delta Checklist

NSF-ISR has developed an exclusive document that captures areas of new requirements, changes and updates from the previous version of the standard. Once completed, you can send it to our expert lead auditor who will do a half-day minimum desk audit. DOWNLOAD THE PLANNER AND CHECKLIST

Top Management Letter

The new standard requires your organization's top management involvement to further enhance your organizations policies, as well as to provide a framework and guidance to personnel assigned to manage the quality management system. We have developed a letter that can be used to help explain these new requirements to your top management team. DOWNLOAD THE LETTER

For information about other transitioning management systems standards, visit our ISO standards updates webpage.

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