QMI Brief Newsletter

American Chemistry Council Stakeholder Meeting Provides Valuable Input and Discussion on RC14001« and RCMS«

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) hosted its annual Certification Stakeholder meeting on February 8, 2006 in its Arlington Virginia offices. The meeting provided an opportunity for key players to discuss views, issues and opportunities to improve the RC14001 and RCMS certification process. It was attended by ACC’s Technical Oversight Board, registrars, select trainers and consultants, the accreditation body ANAB, and the auditor certification bodies RABQSA and BEAC.

The Certification Stakeholder meeting was first held last year and resulted in significant improvements to the process, including further clarity between RC14001 and RCMS processes, elimination of documents and consolidated training requirements.

This year, the discussion revolved around many topics, and some key areas of interest are mentioned below:

  • Certification for overseas auditors - how to provide it fairly and economically
  • The BEAC exam - feedback from auditors
  • The relationship between OHSA VPP and Responsible Care - how much time credit should be provided for companies participating in OHSA VPP
  • Certificates Vs. Letters of Conformance - different approaches taken by registrars
  • A clarification process - an opportunity to provide common guidance
  • Logistics when multiple registrars audit different sites for a single organization - how to handle the interfaces between sites

Action items have been raised on many of these issues, while in other cases it was agreed that the parties will monitor the situation.

The focus this year for Responsible Care®, in addition to addressing the above concerns, will be on completing the combined headquarter-plant site audits for organizations meeting the ACC definition of small companies, and the beginning of Partner Company audits. In the meantime, audits will continue for member companies seeking to complete the ACC sample for the 2005-2007 cycle.

Finally, one of the most valuable outcomes of the session was the clear indication of the ACC’s commitment to the process and their interest in ensuring that it works effectively and fairly for all parties.

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