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Audits and Auditors

As the Green Tier program requires participants to both develop and audit an Environmental Management System, this information is provided to give participants and auditors a full understanding about the Green Tier audit process.

When do audits occur

Auditor image

Who performs the audit

External Audits

Green Tier law requires that a DNR approved outside environmental auditor must perform all external or outside audits.

Our goal is simple - to ensure that Green Tier auditors are a strong resource for you! We are working hard to keep our approved auditors proactively engaging with the Green Tier program and together we are making program improvements.

Internal Audits

As a Green Tier participant, you can choose your own internal auditor. It should be someone who is competent and knowledgeable of the ISO 14001 standard or Green Tier functionally equivalent EMS requirements as well as having good auditing techniques. That person should be objective, impartial and not directly involved with the unit or area being audited.

As ISO states, an internal auditor "should be independent of the activity being audited, wherever practicable, and should in all cases act in a manner that is free from bias and conflict of interest." This could be an employee that has Environmental Management System (EMS) auditing experience, perhaps from another facility, from corporate, another Green Tier participant or at least from an area of the business other than the unit or area being audited.

How to become a DNR approved outside environmental auditor

Green Tier law notes approved environmental auditors must be either accredited by an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) accreditation body or meet criteria concerning education, training, experience, and performance that the department determines are equivalent to the criteria of the ISO standard.

Guidelines for becoming a DNR-approved outside environmental auditor are available (CO-519).

Requirements to become approved

The department approves individual EMS auditors who have successfully completed a certified environmental auditor course and/or are certified by an ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) or The International Accreditation Service (IAS) accredited registrar and have demonstrated that their experience meets or exceeds the qualification guidelines for management systems described in ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 19011:2018. All applicants are also required to successfully complete the DNR’s Green Tier Auditor E-Learning Training Course before becoming approved.

To become an approved Green Tier Auditor, email to request approval. Applicants will be asked to document their training, experience and skills by submitting:

  • A resume showing work experience as an environmental management system auditor or serving in a technical or managerial role with direct environmental management system responsibilities in the last five years.
  • An audit log showing at least 20 days of environmental management system audit experience, with at least four complete audits as a lead auditor in the last three years.
  • A copy of a certificate of successful completion of a certified ISO 14001 Lead Auditor course, or proof of certification from an accredited registrar.

Green Tier Auditor E-Learning Training

All applicants must successfully complete the Green Tier Auditor E-Learning Training Course before obtaining final approval. The Training Course complements an auditor's skills by enhancing specific knowledge regarding DNR's Green Tier program. Successful completion of the training will ensure knowledge of how to prepare, approach and document an audit of a Green Tier participant. The course consists of 9 modules that will take approximately 90 minutes to complete.

Green Tier reviews applications and sends a secure link to access the E-Learning within 14 days of an application being deemed complete. After training is completed in a timely manner, Green Tier notifies the applicant of their approval status within 30 days of their application submittal.

Approved auditors status and webpage

The DNR will recognize that an auditor has met the requirements of an outside environmental auditor under Green Tier law after an auditor has successfully completed the E-Learning Training course. A short biography and photograph will be listed on our webpage to promote your services to Green Tier participants.

Approved Green Tier Auditor status remains in effect as long as you complete at least one Green Tier audit every three years. If it has been three years since your last Green Tier audit, you must re-submit your audit log for approval. If it has been longer than five years since your last Green Tier audit, then you must apply to retake the Green Tier auditor training.

Request Auditor Training information

Please contact our auditor liaison: Jenni Birkholz, or 608-514-2182.

Auditor Resources

The Word versions of the files will download automatically to your computer.