Responsible Care through RC 14001® or RCMS®
American Chemistry Council (ACC) Responsible Care®
Responsible Care® (RC) is a global, chemical industry performance initiative that is implemented in the United States and mandatory for members and partners of the American Chemistry Council (ACC). In the US, according to the ACC, Responsible Care® has resulted in reduced emissions by 75 percent and an employee safety record that is four and a half times better than the average of the US manufacturing sector. RC helps America’s leading chemical companies and their commercial partners go beyond government requirements and openly communicate their results to the public. The RC 14001 management system and Responsible Care Management System® (RCMS) were developed by the ACC to integrate the RC® Guiding Principles, Codes of Management Practice and to transform them into a continual improvement-based Plan-Do-Check-Act management system approach.
Organizations must demonstrate their commitment to gaining structure, improving credibility and involving employees in their Environmental Health, Safety and Security efforts. These activities should help to achieve the goal of improved performance. This is only achieved when organizations focus on continual improvement, demonstrate employee performance and show planned, focused efforts towards achieving the tenet of the RC Guiding Principles. Substantial progress has also been made on the issue of third-party verification of RC, with several associations introducing this element of additional governance and taking steps to harmonize the process with other verification audits.
As an ANAB RC accredited registrar, DQS understands the importance that the RC program plays for ACC, its members, partners and the chemical industry in general, through value-add assessments. Each RC management system implementation is different, depending on the: scope; organizational structure; the HQ; site interfaces; and approaches. This is why DQS is not treating each RC certification effort the same. DQS was the first registrar globally to certify a client outside the US in Asia.
DQS now offers registration to RC14001 and RCMS as part of its outstanding client service package of management system certifications worldwide. Continuing success is only achieved by those who recognize the impact of these necessary performance improvements and changes for their business, and who are capable of managing change.
The success of our clients is based on effective and efficient management systems, characterized by clear policies and objectives, appropriate resources, structured processes, measurable results and continuous improvement. This is where DQS as an independent and competent partner, assists our clients by providing value-added objective assessments of their RC management systems. In this process, improvement potential is revealed. Exploiting this potential increases performance capability and enhances client satisfaction.
Our RC auditors have undergone ACC approved training courses and on-the-job evaluations to ensure RC requirements are: clearly understood; applied in the spirit of ACC and its efforts to promote EHSS performance improvements, and stakeholder dialogue. With auditors and assessors in North America and Asia worldwide, DQS offers their clients a broad spectrum of experience and local support. Furthermore, DQS auditors will provide value-added assessments as all DQS auditors come with a strong industry background, having worked in their particular industry in leading management positions and/or as management system implementers themselves. In addition to business sector know-how and social competence, clients value our auditors’ analytical capabilities and field-proven understanding of processes, standards, and specifications.
Benefits of RC 14001
- Initial Information
- Offer and Contract
- Stage 1 audit
- Stage 2 audit
- System Evaluation
- Surveillance audits
The process starts with the client’s needs and expectations. DQS wants to learn about the client’s organization, its management system, size and types of operation. Together both parties will define objectives for the assessment and/or certification, including applicable standards and specifications.
Offer and Contract
DQS will provide a detailed offer for assessment and certification services, tailored to individual client needs, based on the information provided initially. A written contract will specify all relevant deliverables as well as applicable assessment and certification criteria.
A pre-audit can serve as initial performance or gap analysis, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. For larger assessment and certification projects a project planning meeting provides a valuable opportunity for the client to meet the lead assessor and develop a customized assessment plan for all functions and locations involved. Both services are optional.
Stage 1 audit
The assessment procedure itself begins with review and evaluation of system documentation, goals, results of management review and internal audits. During this process, it will be determined whether the client’s management system is sufficiently developed and ready for certification. The assessor will explain findings and coordinate any required activities to prepare for the on-site system assessment.
Stage 2 audit
The assigned auditor team will audit the client’s management system at the place of production or service delivery. Applying defined management system standards and specifications, the assessment team will evaluate the effectiveness of all functional areas as well as all management system processes, based upon observations, inspections, interviews, review of pertinent records, and other assessment techniques. The audit result, including all findings will be presented to the client during the closing meeting. Required action plans will be agreed upon as necessary.
The independent certification function of DQS will evaluate the audit process and its results, and decide independently about issuance of the certificate. The client receives an audit report, documenting the audit results. When all applicable requirements are fulfilled the client also receives the certificate.
Either semi-annually or at least once per year, there will be an on-site audit of the critical components of the management system. Improvement potential will be identified, with a focus on continual improvement and sustained effectiveness.
A management system certificate is valid for a limited period of time, frequently for a maximum of three years. At the end of this cycle, a re-audit will be carried out to ensure the ongoing fulfillment of all applicable requirements. Subject to this fulfillment, a new certificate will be issued.
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