Recycling Industry Operating Standard® (RIOS) Certification

  • Overview
  • Benefits of Certification
  • Why Work With NSF?
  • Certification Process

We can certify your company to the Recycling Industry Operating Standard® (RIOS), which was developed by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) through its RIOS Certified Electronics Recyclers® program.

The RIOS standard was created as an integrated quality, environmental, health and safety (QEH&S) management systems standard for the scrap industry to help scrap recyclers achieve measurable and continual improvement in their QEH&S performance.

RIOS is based primarily on the requirements of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. While RIOS is built around the same "plan-do-check-act" model as these standards, it uses simplified language and terminology to be more easily understood.

RIOS is appropriate for both small and large firms and equally applicable to all types of scrap recycling facilities (metal processors, paper packers, electronics recyclers, etc). You can also become a Certified Electronics Recycler® by certifying to both RIOS and Responsible Recycling (R2) standards at the same time. We can handle all your RIOS or R2 certification needs.

Need more information? Call +1 734.827.5668 or email

Benefits of Certification

Potential benefits of certification to RIOS include:

  • Environmental health and safety compliance assurance
  • Enhanced community relations
  • Increased consumer confidence
  • Workforce benefits such as reduced accident and injury frequency rates as well as reduced short- and long-term liabilities
  • Enhanced insurability potential
  • Enhanced bottom line through lower processing and product costs

We can certify your organization to the RIOS standard and confirm your commitment to operational excellence.

Why Work With NSF?

With the purchase of AQA International in 2011, NSF-ISR added the portfolio of e-waste certifications to the services roster. As one of the first certification bodies accredited to these standards, the experts at NSF-ISR can help your organization maneuver through the certification audit process.

Get the power of certification to help drive operational efficiencies and help your organization position itself as an industry leader with RIOS and/or R2 certification. Reap the benefits of certification with NSF-ISR.

Certification Process

The process of becoming certified to RIOS by NSF-ISR/AQA involves these steps:

  1. Application
    Your company fills out an application and we issue a quotation and terms and conditions.
  2. Scheduling
    We assign an audit team and create a schedule.
  3. Stage 1 Readiness Review
    We review the manual, documentation, objectives and targets to determine conformance with the standard and readiness to move forward with the process audit.
  4. Stage 2 Process Audit
    Once your documentation meets the requirements stated within the standard, we conduct an onsite review verifying your processes match your written system.
  5. Nonconformance Closure (if applicable)
    If you have any nonconformances from the stage 2 audit, you have 90 days to respond and show evidence of correction.
  6. Certification Committee
    After our auditor closes any nonconformances, the certification committee provides a final review of the entire audit package. Once approved, you receive a certificate for a three-year period.
  7. Surveillance Audits
    These audits review a sample of your system (not a full system review) and are required one year from the stage 2 dates and once every year thereafter.
  8. Recertification Audits
    Three months prior to the expiration of your certification, a recertification audit is required to determine continued conformance to the standard. Once completed, the certification decision process starts again.

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