- Baseline Assessments
- Management Systems
- Management Standards
- Acorn Scheme / BS 8555:2003
- AS 9100/AS 9120
- BRC Gap Analysis
- ISO 22301
- BS OHSAS 18001:2007
- FSSC 22000:2010
- ISO 9001:2008
- ISO 13485:2003
- ISO 14001:2004
- ISO 22000:2005
- ISO 50001:2011
- ISO/IEC 27001:2005
- ISO/TS 16949:2009
- National Highway Sector Schemes
- PAS 43:2012
- PAS 2030:2012
- Security Codes of Practice
- Sustainability Assessed Scheme
- The TickIT Guide
- Product Certification
- MCS Product Certification
- Bespoke Solutions
- EcoCampus Scheme
The IEMA Acorn Scheme is a UKAS accredited scheme allowing for the certification of organisations implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS) in the phases set out by BS 8555:2003.
BS 8555 is a British Standard which provides guidance on the phased implementation of an EMS, including the management of environmental performance evaluation, within a framework of six easily manageable phases. These phases can be tackled incrementally at a pace that suits your organisation and implementation of all phases can lead to having an EMS in place that is ready for assessment against the requirements of ISO 14001 and / or EMAS.
The Acorn Scheme is administered by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and enables the inspection and certification of an EMS that meets the requirements of one or more phases of BS 8555. The aim of the Acorn Scheme is to be accessible to all organisations regardless of size. Organisations that have successfully undergone inspection and certification by an Acorn Inspection Body, such as NQA, are registered on the IEMA Acorn Register.
The six phases of BS 8555:
- Commitment and establishing the baseline
- Identifying and ensuring compliance with legal and other requirements
- Developing objectives, targets and programmes
- Implementation and operation of the EMS
- Checking, audit and review
- EMS acknowledgement (getting ISO 14001 and/or EMAS)
Each of the six phases of BS 8555 comprise a number of stages which are defined in a ‘stage profile’. These stage profiles explain why and how to implement each stage, who should be involved, the outputs of implementation and achievement criteria.
Who is the IEMA Acorn Scheme applicable to?
The Acorn Scheme is open to all organisations that can demonstrate the evaluation and improvement of their environmental performance in accordance with BS 8555. It is particularly useful for SMEs, as the phased approach can assist with resource and capacity management.
What are the immediate benefits of registration under the Acorn Scheme?
- Flexibility of implementation – phased implementation and registration can proceed at a rate that takes into account the many other pressures and demands that will be facing your organisation.
- Scalability – it is ideal for small to medium sized organisations with a low to moderate risk to the environment.
- Improved environmental performance – this route to environmental management also gives early indications of its effectiveness as it measures environmental performance from day 1. By charting progress, is it easier to plan resources and costs and enables greater employee involvement. BS 8555 also requires you to commit to realistic timescales for your environmental improvements.
- Legal compliance – in a world of ever increasing environmental law, you need to be able to identify those applicable legal requirements and any future law that may be relevant so you can avoid regulatory action. Phase 2 of BS 8555 focuses on the identification of applicable legal requirements.
- Incremental recognition – you may require control of your environmental impacts and risks rather than a full EMS based on ISO 14001; registration to the Acorn Scheme at Phase 3 of BS 8555 will give your stakeholders confidence that you are focused on controlling your environmental risks.
- Improved stakeholder relationships – many organisations require their suppliers to demonstrate good environmental management and recognition under the Acorn Scheme can be used to demonstrate this. You can also use Acorn Registration to help develop relationships with stakeholders including suppliers, regulators and the general public.
How to gain registration?
To gain registration under the Acorn Scheme you must implement the stage profiles as described in the relevant phases of BS 8555. Then you can undergo an inspection to confirm that all achievement criteria set out in each of the stage profiles of the relevant phases of BS 8555 have been met.
You can be inspected after implementing all of the stage profiles of a given phase before progressing to the next phase or you may implement two or more phases before being inspected. In this case, we will inspect each phase implemented.
When you engage NQA as your Acorn Inspection Body, you will be assigned an experienced assessor, who will contact you to arrange a date for the inspection. Our assessors are experienced EMS auditors, with a wide range of industry sector knowledge and a full understanding of the BS 8555 standard and environmental performance evaluation.
The time allocated for the inspection is based on factors including number of employees, operating sites, complexity of activities, environmental sensitivity of the site, the nature of environmental impacts and the scope and extent of legal requirements.
Following successful inspection confirming compliance with the standard and legal requirements, you will be issued with an IEMA Acorn Certificate and your details forwarded to IEMA for entry onto the IEMA Acorn Register. The Register provides a central database of all organisations participating in the Acorn scheme.
To maintain registration, your organisation would undergo re-inspection at least every 12 months.
Progression to ISO 14001 and EMAS
Progression to ISO 14001 is encouraged as it will further develop your environmental management system and improve environmental performance over the long term.
The time allocated to assessing your EMS to the requirements of ISO 14001 can be reduced to account for the level of implementation recognised by your current accredited Acorn Inspection Certificate.
For more information about this service, contact our friendly team today on 08000 522424. We will be pleased to help you.
For further information please download the information below.
- Acorn Scheme (BS 8555) Factsheet
The Acorn Scheme enables UKAS accredited inspection for all organisations evaluating and improving their environmental performance in accordance with the phases of BS 8555.