Auditing Responsible Care Worldwide Brad Verrico

Verrico Associates Current International Audit Programs. Currently, the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) does not endorse a single method of Responsible Care® implementation. Nor does it require or endorse a single method to audit Responsible Care®.

American Chemistry Council (ACC) sponsored Responsible Care® certification standards, RC14001 and RCMS Certification, are not limited to the United States, or to chemical companies. There is already an example of a non-ACC member receiving RC14001 certification. A number of other countries have expressed interest in RC14001 and RCMS certification. These include India, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, China, Malaysia, and Japan. Many other companies are continuing to express interest. Typically, American-based companies look to include their international facilities in overall Responsible Care® certification programs, although they are not required to by ACC membership obligations.

The Canadian Chemical Producers' Association (CCPA) has the longest-standing Responsible Care® verification program in the world. Its Responsible Care Management System Verification (MSV) preceded the U.S. MSV process, and the current ACC Responsible Care® certification program. The CCPA Responsible Care® verification process has three purposes:

• To help the companies improve;

• To help the industry improve;

• To improve credibility.33

Every three years, CCPA member companies are verified by teams of industry experts, public advocates, and local citizens, who write a consensus report summarizing the verification process and players, opportunities for improvement, findings requiring corrective action, and successful practices.

New companies are verified three years after joining CCPA using a comprehensive Responsible Care-in-Place Verification protocol, with subsequent verifications following a more focused protocol. Verification reports are made available to their local communities and other interested parties by the verified company. The Future of International Responsible Care® Audits. While the CCPA and the ACC are the only current trade-association sponsored Responsible Care® auditing programs, all ICCA-recognized trade associations have requirements for procedures to verify that Responsible Care® is being implemented. Many associations have vigorous self-assessment programs. Some are developing external verification and certification programs.

One notable example is in the United Kingdom. There, the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) has Responsible Care Management System Guidance and a mandatory self-assessment process for its members. On the CIA website, there is a discussion of the current system of self-assessment and the CIA's aims:

Over 80 per cent of member sites now operate health, safety and environmental management systems. Self assessment against the Association's systems is now something all of our members carry out. A small number of sites also have these systems verified by external organisations: our aim is to increase the level of external verification.34

Many U.S.-owned organizations with sites overseas have committed to Responsible Care® certification - RC14001, RCMS, or a combination of these specifications. These companies are typically members of the ACC. These certification commitments should affect facilities in Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. It is projected that this initiative by the United States and other organizations will have an effect on the global Responsible Care® program, eventually making Responsible Care® certification an accepted - even expected - practice worldwide.

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