An Integrated Management System (IMS)

    "One company, one system" is the slogan for the development of an integrated management standard.

    An Integrated Management System (IMS) integrates all of an organization’s systems and processes in to one complete framework, enabling an organization to work as a single unit with unified objectives.

    Organizations often focus on management systems individually, often in silos and sometimes even in conflict. A quality team is concerned with the QMS, often an EHS manager handles both Environmental and Health and Safety issues, etc.

    ·         A quality management system (ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems) is a set of policies, processes and procedures required for planning and execution (production/development/service) in the core business area of an organization.

    ·         An Environmental Management System (ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems-EMS) ) determines and continuously improves an organizations’ environmental position and performance.

    ·         An OHSMS (OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems) determines and continually improves an organizations Health and Safety position and performance. It follows an outline and is managed like any other facet of a business, such as with marketing or engineering functions.

    At the system level the common basic system includes policy, targets, procedures and instructions. The system is based on the ISO 9001  standard the methodology known as “Plan-Do-Check-Act”. The focus of the new guideline is on the system, not on the four issues in specific of quality, environment, occupational health and safety, and social accountability .

    There are a number of differences between three management systems(QMS, EMS and OHSAS ), as well as several similarities, where it is sufficient to handle the different areas in the same way. About 80% of the work is common to all three disciplines: quality, environment and occupational health and safety. The similarities between these management systems refer to:

    ·         Top management commitment.

    ·         Documentation and records control.

    ·         Definition of a policy.

    ·         Planning of objectives and targets.

    ·         Procedures for training of employees.

    ·         Communication procedures.

    ·         Audits.

    ·         Control of non-compliance.

    ·         Corrective and preventive actions.

    ·         Management review.

    Having different standards to comply with is likely to result in extensive paperwork and confusion between demands of the individual standards. From a management system point of view, it would be appropriate to merge the all three types of management systems into one system, because it reduces duplicate work and bureaucracy. The general advantages of integration of the management systems are:

    ·         Minimisation of documentation and records (paper-work).

    ·         Less bureaucracy and less confusion between standards.

    ·         Cost savings by optimisation of time and resources assigned to the systems.

    ·         Simplification of internal and external audits.

    ·         More focus on interrelations – synergies as well as trade-offs – between quality, environment, occupational health & safety, and social accountability.