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Short Course
Environmental Management Systems
This five day short course has been reviewed and revised to conform to the third or 2015 revision of the flagship ISO 14001 standard for environmental management systems. The 2015 version of the ISO 14001 standard is aligned with Annex SL of the High Level Structure for management system standards and the Future Challenges document for environmental management system standards. This short course focuses on the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 to develop, document, implement, maintain and improve environmental management systems in conformity with the international standard. Some of the key characteristics of this short course include: • The down-to-earth and practical training techniques used to explain the requirements of the standard and the links between the elements of management systems; • Practical advice supported by value-adding resource kits that explain best practice techniques to develop, document and implement an environmental management system into any organisation; and • A practical programme to exercise and test the concepts learned. The short course is based on the ISO 14001:2015 standard for environmental management systems.

Purpose of the course:

The purpose of this short course is to enhance participant’s skills to develop, document and implement an environmental management system.

Admission requirements:

Admission requirements: 
A Grade 12 certificate as a minimum
Learning assumed to be in place: 
Grade 12 or NQF level 4 competencies

Course outcomes and assessment criteria :

Course outcomes and the associated assessment criteria: 

Study Unit


Assessment Criteria

  After completion of this course, participants will: Participant will be assessed on the following criteria:
1. Scope of knowledge and knowledge literacy

A detailed knowledge and understanding of –

  • key terminologies, concepts, principles, requirements and models related to Management System standards (High-level Structures, HLS) in general and Environmental Management Systems (EMS), specifically; and
  • how knowledge of Environmental Management Systems  (EMS) relate to applicable knowledge within the fields of Environmental Management and Management Systems;

Demonstrated ability to:

  • Use and explain key terminologies, concepts, principles, requirements and models correctly; and
  • Indicate how an EMS relates to Environmental Management in general and other Environmental Management instruments in particular throughout the project life cycle.
2. Method and procedure

The ability to correctly select, evaluate and effectively implement and apply the standard management system requirements, with recommended methodologies and approaches;

Demonstrated ability to actively design, develop and/or use instruments, registers, templates, methods, techniques or approaches to practically give effect to all of the requirements of ISO 14001.

3. Problem-solving

The ability to determine the scope and general characteristics of an EMS and to identify environmental aspects and impacts in unfamiliar contexts to apply the solutions to support the development of an EMS

Demonstrated ability to, within an unfamiliar context:

  • Solve the problem of designing the scope and the general characteristics of an EMS; and
  • Identify the significant environmental aspects that are associated with the products, activities and services.
4. Ethics and professional practice An understanding of the ethical implications of decisions, actions and practices specifically relevant to Environmental Management, in accordance with the principles of sustainable development; Demonstrated ability to formulate their own ethical perspectives on selected environmental scenarios.
5. Accessing, processing and managing information

The basic research skills, such as gathering and verifying information from various sources provided, analysing and summarising key aspects and using the information to implement recommended methodologies and approaches;

Demonstrated ability to utilise the resources provided to extract, analyse, summarise and/or apply the relevant information to solve the problems posed in the practical exercises.

6. Producing and communicating information The ability to develop and present accurate and coherent written and verbal information as a portfolio of evidence; Demonstrated ability to effectively record and present diverse information generated as part of practical exercises in a written and verbal format.
7. Context and systems/ processes The ability to demonstrate how the learning material offered in this course relate to contexts, other systems and/or processes and the interactions between these, to make decisions and act appropriately in familiar and new contexts;
  • Demonstrated ability to indicate how an EMS relates to the HLS and Future Challenges (FC) that are applicable to all ISO-based management systems; and
  • Demonstrated understanding of how EMS clauses and the EMS itself fit into organisational processes, structures and systems.
8. Management of learning The ability to act as group member and/or a group leader to successfully complete the practical exercises and taking co-responsibility for learning progress and outcome realisation of the group; and Demonstrated ability to actively participate in-group work and contribute to successfully completing practical exercises.
9. Accountability The ability to monitor own learning progress, and apply relevant learning strategies and resources to successfully realise all outcomes of this course. Demonstrated ability to achieve the learning objectives in an effective and expeditious manner.


To be awarded a certificate of successful completion, participants require: • a final participant assessment score of at least 60%; and • an examination score of at least 50%; and • course attendance of at least 80%; and • to have made payment in full. Participants who do not qualify for a certificate of successful completion may be awarded a letter of attendance should all requirements be met. To be awarded a letter of attendance participants require: • a final participant assessment score of at least 50%; and • a sub-minimum Examination Score of at least 40%; and • course attendance of at least 80%, and • to have made payment in full.
Method of assessment: 
Continuous Assessment; Structured Practical Work; Examination

Additional information

Mode of delivery: 
Target group: 
Environmental practitioners
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