When you are going through your certification cycle, there are 5 steps that you need to be aware of.


Initial Stage 1 Audit (Year 0)

This is an assessment of preparedness.

The Stage 1 Audit objectives are to review your management system documented information, evaluate site-specific conditions, and through discussions with your personnel, determine preparedness for stage 2.

Stage 1 provides a focus for planning stage 2 and that the level of implementation of the management system substantiates progress to Stage 2.


Initial Stage 2 Audit (Year 0)

Evaluation of Conformity and Effectiveness

The Stage 2 Audit objectives are to determine the extent of conformity of your management system with the relevant standards’ requirements, as well as evaluating its effectiveness in meeting its specified objectives and the identification of areas of potential improvement.

A detailed report will present findings for or against recommendation for certification against the applicable standard(s).


Certificate Registration (Year 0)

At Stage 2, if there is a high level of conformity the auditor will likely recommend certification. The auditor does not award the certificate, but instead makes a recommendation, which is verified by a decision maker who reviews that the process has validity with all scope elements and requirements addressed in the audit report. Certificates are authorised for release by the Certification Secretary, and they are issued with registration and expiry dates covering 3 years, with the certificate’s validity subject to having planned and periodic audits to maintain this status. Details of the Certification are registered on both the UKAS Certcheck and the Global IAF CertSearch Databases in order that your individual certification profiles can be validated by businesses and governments domestically and internationally.


Surveillance Audits (Year 1 & 2)

The Surveillance Audit objectives are to determine the conformity of your management system is being maintained. Surveillance Audits differ from Initial and Recertification Audits in that not all requirements or activities need to be included in the audit. The lead auditor can plan the audit cycle to take a deeper dive into some areas of the standard or scope of the organisation in order to add more value in that area, particularly if it’s of higher risk. However, at the next surveillance visit this process or activity may be omitted to provide an opportunity to look at a different aspect of the certification.


Recertification Audits (Year 3)

The Recertification Audit is the start of your next certification cycle, and it will evaluate the continued fulfilment of all requirements of the management system standard, including a review of the effectiveness of the management system in its entirety in the light of internal and external changes and its continued relevance and applicability to the scope of certification. On completion of a successful audit and review, the certificate will be re-issued for a further three years, and the surveillance programme will begin again.

Given the increasing organisational awareness of ESG responsibilities SCS often get enquires and queries from both existing and prospective clients about the implementation and certification of ISO50001.


EN ISO 50001:2018 was prepared by the Technical Committee ISO/TC 301 Energy management and energy savings to enable organisations to establish the systems and processes necessary to continually improve energy performance, including energy efficiency, energy use and energy consumption.


The application of 50001 can be tailored to fit the specific requirements of the organization, including the complexity of its systems, degree of documented information and available resources, so in that regard it is much like any other management system standard.


By setting and achieving energy targets and by improving energy performance and associated energy costs, organizations can be more competitive, as well as meeting overall climate change mitigation goals by reducing their energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.


ISO14001 also requires a focus on preventing pollution associated with energy use and emission, by the identification of significant Environmental Aspects identification and the subsequent Impact mitigation being the primary process for managing and saving energy.


Whilst the standards sometimes use differing language the principles remain consistent, where significant aspects or significant energy uses are identified, baselines (EnBs) established, and improvement plans created with performance indicators (EnPIs) determined in order for the organisation to demonstrate improvement in reducing/saving energy use.


Whilst SCS are not currently accredited to deliver ISO50001 (acknowledged bias) we would advise all organisations to carefully consider the requirements of the standards and recommend taking appropriate action and using all available tools and techniques to save both money and energy emissions. If 50001 is the right fit, organisations can implement for internal benefit reasons, or if certification is required, we would currently refer to one of our accredited colleagues. Learn more about ISO's standard for helping organisations manage their energy performance, in their free brochure here


The ISO50001 certification option may create some difficulty for smaller organisations (perhaps without statutory reporting requirements eg. SECR), as they often have limited access to energy data, possibly as result of shared accommodation or landlord co-operation, or their purpose does not require energy consuming process plant. With no Significant Energy uses and limited access data, certification to ISO50001 whilst not impossible, may be difficult or may not actually deliver results superior to the more general output driven requirements of ISO14001.


For organisations certified to ISO50001, Energy Management Leadership is celebrated globally by the Clean Energy Ministerial, and the 2023 Awards are open for entry (submission deadline 16.03.23) with more information available here


Find out more about how our ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems certification services can help your organisation here