ISO 20121 - Lead Implementer


This intensive course enables participants to understand and develop the necessary expertise to support an organization in implementing and managing an Event Sustainability Management System (ESMS) based on ISO 20121. Participants will gain a thorough understanding of the best practices used to implement the qualitative processes relevant to event sustainability and event management. ISO 20121 also includes practical guidance on communications, operational planning and control, stakeholder identification and engagement, supply chain management and procurement, and issue evaluation. This standard is suitable for all sizes and types of events and can be applied to all occasions, from a local craft show to a major event and is applicable to event owners, organizers and suppliers. Organizations can demonstrate voluntary conformity with ISO 20121 by either self-declaration or as a confirmation by different parties having an interest in the organization.


Who should attend?

  • Members of the event industry supply chain including organizers, event managers, stand builders, caterers and logistics suppliers
  • Persons involved in logistics in an organization
  • Event, PR or communications managers who want to implement the ISO 20121 or who work with organizations that implement this standard.
  • Managers working in the organization of the events or who implement the sustainable events or policies for companies


 Learning objectives

  • To understand the components and the operation of an Event Sustainability Management System based on ISO 20121 and its principal processes
  • To gain a comprehensive understanding of the concepts, approaches, methods, techniques and processes allowing an effective event management according to ISO 20121
  • To understand the relationship between ISO 20121 and the compliance with the requirements of different stakeholders of an organization
  • To acquire the necessary expertise to support an organization in implementing, managing and maintaining a ESMS as specified in ISO 20121
  • To acquire necessary expertise to manage a team implementing ISO 20121
  • To acquire the competence to effectively advise organizations on the best practices in event management


Course Agenda

Day 1: Introduction to ISO 20121 and initiation of an ESMS

  • Introduction to management systems and the process approach
  • Fundamental principles of Event Sustainability Management
  • Event Sustainability Management System (ESMS)
  • Initiating the ESMS implementation
  • Understanding the requirements of ISO 20121 clause-by-clause

Day 2: Plan the implementation of the ESMS

  • Leadership and approval of the ESMS project
  • Defining the scope of an ESMS
  • Development of an ESMS and event sustainability policies
  • Selection of the approach and methodology for risk assessment
  • Drafting the Statement of Applicability

Day 3: Deploying the ESMS

  • Implementation of the document management framework
  • Development of a training and awareness program
  • Development of a communication plan
  • Resource management processes
  • Operations Management of an ESMS

Day 4: ESMS measurement, continuous improvement and preparation for certification audit

  • Controlling and monitoring the ESMS
  • ISO 20121 internal audit
  • Management review on the ESMS
  • Treatment of problems and non-conformities
  • Continual improvement of an ESMS
  • Preparing for an ISO 20121 certification audit
  • Competence and evaluation of implementers

Day 5: Certification Exam




ISO 20121 Foundation Certification or a basic knowledge of ISO 20121 is recommended

Educational approach

  • This training is based on both theory and practice:
    • Sessions of lectures illustrated with examples based on real cases
    • Practical exercises based on a full case study including  role playing and oral presentations
    • Review exercises to assist the exam preparation
    • Practice test similar to the certification exam
  • Benefit from the practical exercises, the number of training participants is limited

Examination and Certification

• The “Certified ISO 20121 Lead Implementer” exam fully meets the requirements of the PECB Examination and Certification Program (ECP). The exam covers the following competence domains:
o  Domain 1: Fundamental principles and concepts of Event sustainability management
o  Domain 2: Planning an ESMS based on ISO 20121
o  Domain 3: Implementing an ESMS based on ISO 20121
o  Domain 4: Event sustainability management best practices based on ISO 20121
o  Domain 5: Performance evaluation, monitoring and measurement of an ESMS based on ISO 20121
o  Domain 6: Continual improvement of an ESMS based on ISO 20121
o  Domain 7: Preparing for an ESMS certification audit

• The “Certified ISO 20121 Lead Implementer” exam is available in different languages (the complete list of languages can be found in the examination application form)
• Duration: 3 hours
• For more information about exam, refer to PECB section on ISO 20121 Lead Implementer Exam


  • After successfully completing the exam, participants can apply for the credentials of Certified ISO 20121 Provisional Implementer, Certified ISO 20121 Implementer or Certified ISO 20121 Lead Implementer, depending on their level of experience
  • A certificate will be issued to participants who successfully passed the exam and comply with all the other requirements related to the selected credential
  • For more information about ISO 20121 certifications and PECB certification process, refer to PECB section on ISO 20121 Lead Implementer Certification

General Information

  • Exam and certification fees are included in the training price
  • A student manual containing over 450 pages of information and practical examples will be distributed to participants
  • A participation certificate of 31 CPD (Continuing Professional Development) credits will be issued to participants
  • In case of failure of the exam, participants are allowed to retake the exam for free under certain conditions