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Business 248 views Nov 01, 2020
How mature is your responsible care system

Responsible Care is an initiative of the American Chemistry Council to enable sustainable production and management ofchemicals. Member companies of ACC have committed to implement a responsible care management system (RCMS) that meets the requirement of the RCMS Technical Specification. In some cases, companies have opted for RC14001 which includes both the requirements of ISO 14001 and RCMS. Both standards are based on the plan-do-check-act cycle. While external assessors assess the effectiveness of the system, organizations should internally assess how mature is their system.

To assess the maturity companies, need to determine which stages of the cycle they are in. Level 1 is for those companies whose leadership has committed to implementation of a rcms. This is a critical step for the success of the system. It signifies to stakeholders both internally and externally that the company will provide the resources and other needed controls to ensure an effective system. Leaders make a commitment to implement RCMS globally across all branches of the company. By implementing the system organizations are also able to meet the UN sustainable development goals.

Companies at maturity level 2, companies have started planning their system as also implementing their system though they have not reached the stage of continual improvement yet. The system is being used on a regular basis, but non-conformities are not being identified timely perhaps. Companies have started to integrate responsible care into their system at this stage and awareness among employees is growing.

At maturity level 3, companies have gone through the full plan-do-check-act cycle and have now started to continually improve. The system however is still reactive. This means that a risk-based approach has not been taken in all aspects of business operations. The companies at level 3 are implementing RCMS because they have to and not because they see the tangible benefits of implementing a management system.

Companies that have reached maturity level 4 are now proactive, employees are aware of the risks and regularly contribute to the improvement of the system as also timely address risks. Companies at this level are able to sustain the improvements made and corrective actions taken are effective. Companies at maturity level 4 also share their best practices with the larger industry so that all may benefit from their experiences.

RCMS has eight guidelines upon which it is based, and the Responsible Care codes support the Technical specification. Organizations seeking conformity to the specification should conduct a self-assessment of their system. Personnel conducting the assessment should complete an RCMS Lead auditor course. QMII offers this course in both a virtual online and onsite format.

Tags: #RCMS