Integrated QHSE Management Systems and Standards
Most companies nowadays have some sort of Management System; the most common of which will probably be a Quality Management System to meet the requirements of ISO 9001. You may also have a Health and Safety System to ensure compliance with legislation and OHSAS 18001 in addition to an Environmental System to comply with ISO 14001. There are also many other industry specific standards and regulations that require constant maintenance which results in increased complexity and bogs your personnel down with too many systems, procedures, processes and documents resulting in confusion and spending too much time looking for and reading documents when they should be doing their jobs.
We all know that management systems should help you get more from your organization, however, an Integrated Management System (IMS) allows you to get even more without investing extra time or money and enables your organisation to:
- Reduce duplication and therefore costs.
- Reduce risks and increase profitability.
- Balance conflicting objectives.
- Eliminate conflicting responsibilities and relationships.
- Turn the focus onto business goals.
- Formalise informal systems.
- Harmonise and optimise processes.
- Create consistency across divisions/regions.
- Improve communication.
So we understand what potential benefits we can get from an Integrated Management System (IMS), but what is it? An Integrated Management System (IMS) is simply a management system which integrates all components of an organisation into one coherent management system.
Some years ago ISO recognised the problem and decided it was time to act, so they produced ‘PAS 99 Integrated Management Systems’, but Integrated Management Systems (IMS) still didn’t really catch on. In 2012 ISO decided that maybe the solution wasn’t a single standard; but instead continue with many specific standards but establish a consistent structure, format and wording that all the management standards would follow; so Annex SL was developed from this idea.
Annex SL addresses the requirements for ISO Management System Standards and consists of ten high level clauses, which are as follows:
- Normative References
- Terms and Definitions
- Context of the Organization
- Performance Evaluation
The beauty of this is that all the ISO Management System Standards will be formatted the same and will use common terms, words and core definitions which means integrating your existing management systems into an Integrated Management System (IMS) has never been easier, and with the launch of new versions of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 there has never been a better time to integrate your management systems.
Agility Systems have been helping organisations integrate their management systems for nearly 20 years and are aware of pitfalls and problems and know the best methods to use. Using our powerful and successful Process-based software solution, we are convinced we can assist you.
Alan McInnes, CMIOSH, MIIRSM, ACIQA
Dated: 16th September 2015