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Management System Certification

Dan Roczniak
Tara Henriksen, PhD, PMP

A management system is a set of policies and procedures that express commitments around a set of core values and objectives. Companies practicing Responsible Care® certify their management system is aligned with Responsible Care core values and objectives by demonstrating compliance with a Responsible Care Management System® (RCMS) Technical Specification and three codes of practice (Product Safety Code, Process Safety Code, and Security Code).

Technical Specifications

The Responsible Care Management System Technical Specification identifies a set of required elements for management systems, designed to help companies assess impacts, set performance goals, develop internal processes to drive performance and share progress with the public. ACC members and Responsible Care Partners must demonstrate conformance to either this technical specification or to the RC14001® technical specification, as part of their overall Responsible Care obligations.

Responsible Care: Policy-Plan-Do-Check-Act Chart

The Responsible Care Management System’s framework is simple, building on a “Policy-Plan-Do-Check-Act” philosophy that raises the bar for industry-wide performance in key areas: community awareness and emergency response; security; distribution; employee health and safety; pollution prevention; and process and product safety. The framework also allows flexibility for individual companies and facilities to meet their specific needs, while uniting under a common set of core values and objectives.


A key part of the Responsible Care Management System process is mandatory certification by an independent, accredited auditor. All of the more than 250 companies practicing Responsible Care in the United States undergo headquarters and facility-level audits to ensure they have management system to drive continual performance improvement.

Responsible Care companies must renew their certification every three years, and companies can choose to certify to one of two management system technical specifications, as well as implement all three Codes of Practice. Learn more about the technical specifications and three Codes below:

  • RCMS certification, which verifies that a company has implemented the Responsible Care Management System; or
  • RC14001, which combines Responsible Care and ISO 14001 certification into a single, cost-effective process.
  • Product Safety Code, Process Safety Code, and Security Code

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