What is an Integrated Management System (IMS)?
An integrated management system is a management system which integrates all components of a business into one coherent system so as to enable the achievement of its purpose and mission.
What Can Be Integrated?
Many businesses begin with integrating say quality (ISO 9001) and environmental (ISO 14001), then move onto occupational health & safety (18001) etc, but there are no rules and its entirely up to the business which combination of standards and specifications they wish to integrate.
If a business wishes to they can then move onto any activities which has an effect on business results to be part of the management system. Therefore, all currently formalised systems focusing on quality, health and safety, environment, information security, business continuity, personnel, finance, site security etc. can be integrated. All the processes and the documents that describe them should be integrated.
Benefits of Integration
- reduces duplication and therefore costs
- increases profitability
- balances conflicting objectives
- eliminates conflicting responsibilities and relationships
- diffuses the power system
- turns the focus onto business goals
- formalises informal systems
- harmonises and optimise practices
- creates consistency
- improves communication
- facilitates training and development
How Should Systems Be Integrated?
There are several approaches which can be taken, depending on an organisation's current position.
If an organisation has a quality management system, it can build upon that by adding the necessary processes to cater for health, safety, environmental and other requirements of management system standards. All systems should share the following processes:
- document development and control
- internal audit
- management review
- corrective action
- preventive action
Alternatively a specification may be used to provide the framework for integration, such as:
PAS 99 (Publicly Available Specification) is the world's first integrated management system requirements specification based on the six common requirements of ISO guide 72 (a standard for writing management system standards).
This excellent specification may be used to align your processes and procedures into one holistic structure that enables you to run your operations more effectively.
Who is it relevant to?
Integrated management is suitable for any business, regardless of size or sector, looking to integrate two or more of their management systems into one cohesive system with a holistic set of documentation, policies, procedures and processes.
Which standards can be used with PAS 99?
A typical integrated management system might include:
· ISO 9001 Quality
· ISO 14001 Environment
· BS OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety
· ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security
· ISO 22000 Food Safety
· ISO/IEC 20000 IT Service
· BS 25999 Business Continuity Management
This list is not finite and the range of standards incorporated into the integrated management system may vary depending on client requirements.
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