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RCMS Certification

Responsible Care Management System

Responsible Care – RCMS Certification

Responsible Care Management System Certification — verifies that a company has implemented the elements of Responsible Care. RCMS is a global standard and initiative for the chemical industry to help improve environmental sustainability.

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RCMS Certification, Standards, Training & Requirements

While this approach is perfectly acceptable in meeting American Chemistry Council (ACC) certification requirements, RCMS certification does not result in the issuance of an ISO 14001 certificate and is only open to ACC Members, Responsible Care Partners and Responsible Care Licensee Companies.

Companies that elect to become certified under RCMS will be audited against the requirements contained in the ACC’s Responsible Care Management System Technical Specification. For more information about Responsible Care® visit the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) or the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

RCMS drives results in seven key areas:

  • Community Awareness and Emergency Response
  • Security
  • Distribution
  • Employee Health and Safety
  • Pollution Prevention
  • Process Safety
  • Product Stewardship




Choosing this option provides you with a “certificate of assessment. This option requires a client to conduct surveillance audits and the certificate maintains effective dates that can span three (3) years from the date of the certification decision.

RCMS certificates issued under Option 1 may cover multiple locations under a single certificate. A multiple location certificate will conform to the requirements found in the International Accreditation Forum’s Mandatory Document 1 (current version) and any other relevant IAF documents. Please note, this is an option, not a requirement, and all sites may maintain their own independent certification.



Choosing this option provides you with a Statement of Conformance. This document will state that as of the date of issue, the organization’s management system was conforming to the requirements found in the RCMS Technical Specification. The effective date will correspond to the date the document is issued. It cannot span a period of time. This type of document is used when a client elects not to conduct surveillance audits.

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Responsible Care Management System Requirements for Certification:

Plan, Do, Check, Act

With a formalized sustainability management system you’ll be in position to turn your sustainability vision into real results. As an RCMS certificate holder you would be expected to:

  • Companies must first PLAN — that is, identify, assess and evaluate potential hazards and risks associated with their products, processes, distribution and other operations. Companies then establish goals and objectives to address any significant hazards and risks, taking into consideration the concerns of their employees, communities, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.
  • Next, companies must DO, or implement what they have planned. They establish, document and communicate responsibilities to meet their stated goals and objectives. This includes creating processes to identify and meet staff training needs on performance-related job requirements. Communicating with employees and other stakeholders is essential.
  • Then companies must CHECK their progress. This stage highlights performance measurement and corrective action. Activities include self-assessments, in which companies regularly measure and evaluate their performance including compliance with regulatory and legislative requirements. They also take corrective and preventive action to make necessary adjustments. In addition, companies establish procedures for the identification and maintenance of Responsible Care records.
  • Finally, companies must ACT. Senior management periodically reviews the continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the management system and makes any necessary changes to enhance performance. The results of this process are shared with stakeholders.

Regardless of whether you opt for RCMS or RC14001 certification, companies taking part in the Responsible Care initiative must undergo headquarters and facility audits to assure that they have a structure and system in place to measure, manage and verify performance.