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In a move to increase focus on environmental auditing quality and awareness, The Environmental Auditing Roundtable (EAR) and The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) have created the Board of Environmental Auditor Certifications (BEAC), an independent, nonprofit corporation. BEAC will provide certification of environmental auditors based on a combination of ISO 14000 and other key criteria.

The BEAC 14000 PLUSJ certification will be an attestation of an environmental auditor's education, environmental auditing experience, auditor training, personal and professional skills and attributes, and adherence to the BEAC Code of Ethics. Certified environmental auditors will also have demonstrated knowledge of assessing compliance with environmental laws and regulations, identifying environmental aspects and impacts of audited operations, and applying professional auditing practices.

Published in October 1996, ISO (International Standards Organization) 14000 guidelines are worldwide standards that establish accepted credentials necessary for an environmental auditing professional to effectively perform environmental management systems audits.

The BEAC 14000 PLUSJ certified auditor will understand the process by which environmental laws and regulations are developed, implemented, enforced, and the systems for managing substantial compliance. The BEAC 14000 PLUSJ certified auditor will have general knowledge of environmental compliance requirements to the extent that the auditor can assess a client's system for achieving substantial compliance. "Plus" also recognizes the need for certified auditors to have sufficient education, training, and experience to assess systems for identifying environmental aspects associated with an audited process or service and to evaluate systems for determining significant environmental impacts of the operation. Finally, BEAC 14000 PLUSJ certified auditors will demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of professional internal/environmental auditing practices such as prescribed by EAR's Auditing Standards or the IIA's Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.

In addition to administering the BEAC 14000 PLUSJ certification, BEAC's future plans include providing other types of environmental auditing certifications for such groups as environmental compliance auditors and environmental site assessors and developing a worldwide membership base for those who
meet the requirements of professional designations.

Located in Altamonte Springs, Florida, BEAC will be governed by a board of directors comprising five auditing professionals from the EAR and five from The IIA. BEAC will be responsible for reviewing, approving, and administering the BEAC 14000 PLUSJ certified auditor examination and granting certification to qualified candidates who meet all criteria, including education, experience, and successful completion of required formal training that meets the BEAC 14000 PLUSJ qualification criteria. The organization will begin accepting applications for membership in July.

The IIA will offer a comprehensive, five-day training course designed to fully address all aspects of BEAC 14000 PlusJ. BEAC will periodically arrange to provide the examination regionally for those who have satisfied the established qualifications criteria.

The CPA Journal is broadly recognized as an outstanding, technical-refereed publication aimed at public practitioners, management, educators, and other accounting professionals. It is edited by CPAs for CPAs. Our goal is to provide CPAs and other accounting professionals with the information and news to enable them to be successful accountants, managers, and executives in today's practice environments.

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