What is an Integrated Management System?

entwined cogs on a black background, above “integrated management system” in large yellow capital letters.

An integrated management system (IMS) is a powerhouse in today’s competitive business environment, where streamlining operations is essential for keeping overhead costs down. Think of it like this… When you integrate your management systems, you reduce duplication and improve efficiency.

For these reasons and more, it makes sense to combine all aspects of your business’s systems, processes and operational controls into one system with unified objectives. Implementing an integrated management system provides the framework for doing just this. 

What’s more, a successful IMS cuts the time and headaches of managing multiple management systems. For example, instead of conducting audits for each standard, you can do it in one audit. Better still that the same applies for management reviews. Just one can be held to review the IMS, instead of holding a series of meetings.

So, that’s the premise. What are the gains?

Benefits of integration

There’s a number of tangible benefits to be had as a result of successfully integrating your management systems, including:

  • Meeting all the standard’s requirements in one set of policies and procedures
  • Avoiding duplication of efforts
  • Reducing in costs associated with audits
  • Consistency
  • Freeing up leadership team’s time for better use elsewhere
  • Leveraging resources to implement and management systems in a more effective manner
  • Minimising audit fatigue
  • Displaying continuous improvements for the organisation as a whole

And it all starts with Annex SL.

an open book on a desk with white graphics of business related symbols springing from the page circling the word benefits

Annex SL

Annex SL is the document that defines the high-level structure for the standards required by all ISO management systems. It’s designed to facilitate the use of an integrated management system, providing the tools you need to streamline and transform any existing management systems into an integrated model. 

Notably, Annex SL standards share a similar structure of 10 clauses, making it much easier to see the similarities and shared processes of each standard.

Here’s how it works…

Integration and Certification

Since the introduction of the Annex SL structure in ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001, the standards are more compatible, enabling game-changing integration of management systems in the three key areas: quality, environmental management and occupational health and safety.

This is because an integrated management system increases efficiencies using simplified processes and documentation, which:

  • Eliminates silos
  • Lowering duplication
  • Boosts performance
  • Reduces costs

Plus, IMS certification means that multiple management system standards are usually evaluated and certified in a single comprehensive audit.  This means less time spent preparing for audits and responding to any findings, which significantly reduces overall investment of time and money.

a cup of black coffee and a clipboard on a desk holding a sheet of paper headed with integrated management system in large capital letters with a graphic of a cog underneath

How Can Brookfields Help?

Now you too can tap into Meggan’s vast experience expertise to help integrate your management systems in your business, ultimately empowering you to operate more efficiently.

Brookfields specialises in ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001 and in building integrated management systems with their clients.

So, whether you’re looking to integrate ISO 9001 with ISO 14001 or ISO 45001, or all three, you’ll benefit from managing your preferred combination in a more straightforward way. As a result, you’ll find yourself with more freedom to focus on driving continual improvement across a range of areas, without wasting precious time and resources.

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