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Is ISO14001 consultant allowed to attend ISO14001 audit?

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
Based on some of the ridiculous "findings" I've recently experienced, the consultant MUST be there to help the client handle them...
Backcharging the Registrar trying to issue the nonconforming “nonconformity statements” as a supervisory fee?

We need to write that into those certification service contracts!


Looking for Reality
Some consultants (and auditors) build dependency while others build self sufficiency.
A very good point, but (IMO) one that should be safeguarded against by the company being audited...not the CB.

From some of the consultants I've seen...and comments of similar ones here on the cove...I can understand the CB wanting to avoid a combative situation. Banning consultants from being present is a bit overkill, though. Perhaps it would be more reasonable to say that the consultant cannot "materially participate" or perhaps even "speak" during the audit. Just thinking out loud.

I would go Randy's route and call them a contractor, if I referred to them at all.

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator

I agree with you. I usually speak on behalf of the client and not the CB.

So this was always our advice to our clients:

If we need to be present during the certification audit then your system is not ready for certification.

As a consequence they took seriously their project to develop their management system and to audit and improve it so they were confident that it works well for them and is worthy of first time certification.

Imagine the client’s reaction if a management system consultant said “don’t worry, I’ll be there”.



Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Some consultants (and auditors) build dependency while others build self sufficiency.
So true, John. But, it seems that many CB's don't see consultants as management system consultants anymore. They see the consultant role to make the certification process faster, easier, cheaper, such they refer to them as certification consultants.

It is (imo) alarming and disheartening that some interested (?) parties promote certification as the goal, when we all know that a certificate will not protect a supplier approved status if they chronically underperform. Management system performance improvement should be the goal; not certification. Ironically, the dumb focus on meaningless certification is one of the primary reasons for the continual decline of certificates for standards such as ISO 9001, around the world.


Starting to get Involved
Dear Nagano,
Well in straight terms, a consultant is now allowed to be present during the audit. however, if the consultant is from an external origin and you dont have any evidence that he is not an employee of a firm, then its now allowed. Only the company employee or MR and the technical guides can be present during the audit.
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