IEMA Lead Environmental Auditor (ISO 14001:2015)

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The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Risks Report 2024 assessed some of the most severe risks that confront us over the next decade, against a backdrop of rapid technological change, economic uncertainty, global warming and incipient and act... Read More

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Risks Report 2024 assessed some of the most severe risks that confront us over the next decade, against a backdrop of rapid technological change, economic uncertainty, global warming and incipient and actual conflict.

The stark conclusion from the report is that the top four most severe risks facing the planet over the next 10 years are all related to the environment – specifically extreme weather events, critical change to Earth systems, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, and natural resource shortages as the top four threats over the next decade.

The report highlights a predominantly negative outlook for the world over the next decade and longer term. It will take a relentless focus to build resilience at organisational, national and international levels in order to navigate this rapidly evolving risk landscape.

Companies can play their part in mitigating these existential threats to our future by, inter alia, implementing environmental management systems (EMS) such as ISO 14001 and/or the associated EU Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Regulation.

Environmental audits, which are an integral part of an EMS, are used to assess the environmental risks and liabilities of a business but also to help management improve business performance. The IEMA-approved Lead Environmental Auditor course provides delegates with the knowledge and skills to audit and assess the effectiveness of any EMS in accordance with the requirements of the international best practice standard for management system auditing, ISO 19011:2018 “Guidelines for auditing management systems”. Delegates can thereby make a considerable contribution to their organisations’ drive for sustainable excellence.

This advanced Environmental Management System (EMS) auditing course will equip learners with:

  • A detailed understanding of how to audit and assess the effectiveness of any EMS.
    A broad understanding of the range and diversity of environmental aspects, issues and environmental legislation and regulations pertinent to companies wishing to gain certification to ISO 14001 and EMAS.
  • A practical understanding of how to implement an EMS and troubleshoot EMS issues.
  • Knowledge of important related environmental tools and standards.

The course should also prepare delegates for the role of environmental auditors/assessors of EMS to standards acceptable to third party certification bodies.

All attendees should have some familiarity with the requirements of ISO 14001/EMAS before attending this course.

The auditing elements of this course are designed to meet the international best practice standard for management system auditing, ISO 19011:2018 “Guidelines for auditing management systems”.

There is a continuous assessment of practical work carried out throughout the course and a written examination at the end.


What's covered?

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Day 1

  • Global sustainability issues
  • Auditing of EMS
  • Recap and update of ISO 14001 and EMAS
  • Evaluating significance of environmental aspects including actual and potential impacts arising from normal and abnormal conditions

Day 2

  • Sources and types of air pollution
  • Environmental risk assessment techniques
  • Environmental legislation (European/Irish)
  • ISO 14031 and environmental performance indicators
  • Developing objectives and targets

Day 3

  • Emergency preparedness and response
  • The EMS auditing process & “best practice” approach to auditing
  • The role of certifiers, auditors and verifiers
  • Internal audit and review
  • Life cycle assessment

Day 4

  • Comprehensive audit case-study and exercises
  • Preparation for audit
  • Audit role-play
  • Review and discussion of audit findings
  • Requirements of certification bodies

Day 5

  • Closing Meetings
  • Integrated management systems
  • Course Review
  • Examination

The course will include:

  • Pre-course reading and quiz
  • Tutor delivery over 4.5 days
  • Guided homework

Who should participate?

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This course is intended for sustainability, environmental and quality professionals who have previously attended an IEMA-approved course or who have a sound understanding of EMS and who wish to improve their environmental auditing skills and refresh their knowledge of sustainability and environmental issues and themes.

What will I learn?

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Participants achieve the following learning outcomes from the programme;

  • Apply the discipline-specific knowledge and skills of environmental auditors as identified in ISO19011:2018.
  • Apply techniques used in the identification of environmental aspects & impacts.
  • Evaluate and explain the significance of environmental aspects and impacts.
  • Analyse and validate environmental objectives, targets, management and monitoring regimes relating to a range of industry types.
  • Describe and identify the relationship and differences between a range of audit types.
  • Evaluate current sustainability and environmental issues, their inter-relationships and how they relate to the auditing process.
  • Identify key pieces of environmental legislation and define their relevance in the context of environmental auditing.
  • Describe and explain the roles and responsibilities of the auditor, the audit team and other relevant bodies.
  • Plan, initiate, implement, manage, monitor and review a broad range of audit programmes.
  • Demonstrate the main competences required for leading an environmental audit and the main competencies required in an audit team.

Who are the tutors?

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What are the entry requirements?

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Delegates must be familiar with ISO 14001 and general environmental management system terminology.

For applicants whose first language is not English, SQT recommends a minimum English language competency of IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent) for successful completion of this programme. It is important to note that learners are not expected to have an IELTS or equivalent examination complete. Potential delegates are expected to self-assess their English language competency against the IELTS Band scores which can be found in this document.

How will I be assessed?

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All delegates who have successfully completed this IEMA approved course will gain credit towards an Environmental Auditor application on IEMA’s Environmental Auditors register.

Those gaining more than 70% have sufficient credit to apply for IEMA Associate Environmental Auditor registration. All delegates are encouraged to continue their development so that they can apply for registration to the higher levels of the IEMA auditor registration scheme.

  • Those specialising in environmental auditing may wish to apply for ‘Environmental Auditor’ and ‘Principal Environmental Auditor’.
  • Those responsible for carrying out internal audits of their company EMS may wish to apply for ‘EMS Auditor’ or ‘Lead EMS Auditor’ levels.

All of these levels require a candidate to demonstrate appropriate auditing experience and further specialist training/education.

A certificate of attendance is issued to all learners who attend the full course. A certificate of competence is awarded to participants who satisfactorily complete the course continuous assessment and examination. This will be issued 8 weeks after course completion.

In addition, IEMA have a Skills Map that incorporates wider aspects of sustainability and governance and forms the basis for their updated membership levels and courses. Please click here to view the new Skills Map.

How do we train and support you?

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In-House Courses
For In-House courses, the tutor will contact you in advance to discuss the course programme in more detail in order to tailor it specifically for your organisation.

Course Manual
Delegates will receive a very comprehensive course manual.

Programme accreditation

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The course meets the training requirements for registration as an Associate Environmental Auditor with IEMA the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.

Share this Programme


Course Code
5 training days
Public Price
Virtual Training: €1095
Blended Training: €1350

+ €30 IEMA Certification Fee
(includes course documentation)

Delivery Mode
This programme is delivered by Classroom, Virtual Training, or In-Company training
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            [0] => environment-energy-management


What Our Learner's SayWhat Our Learner's Say

The tutor was excellent. The course is very well organised and the exercises help a lot to practice the learnings. The access to the information on the moodle software is easy and it's very organised.
Patricia M May 20, 2024
It was a hard course, very detailed
Craig Ó November 2, 2023
Well delivered course by a competent content matter expert. A nice group of people on the course too. Adherence to the schedule was good and a lot of material was covered.
Jason B November 2, 2023

IEMA Lead Environmental Auditor (ISO 14001:2015)

Duration: 5 days **
  • 17-18 & 21-23 Oct 2024
    Location: Virtual Book Date

IEMA Lead Environmental Auditor (ISO 14001:2015)

Duration: 5 days
Virtual Training: €1,095Blended Training: €1,350
+ €30 (certification fees)
  • 17-18 & 21-23 Oct 2024
    Delivery: Virtual Training
    Location: Virtual
    Book Date