A comprehensive Integrated Management System (IMS) is a must for every company in today’s world. An integrated management framework is one integrated system that take the requirements of several standards into account, e.g., a combination of ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001 and/or ISO 45001 amongst others. An IMS integrates all facets of an organisation’s structures, procedures, and standards into one intelligent system. This merger makes it possible for an organisation to simplify its leadership, free up resources and efficiently use all managerial framework components across the business. This enables an organisation with unified goals, to function as a collective entity.
An initial amount of time, money and effort is needed to prepare documents and structure the management system and implement the framework. Creating and IMS development checklist prior to starting the project, provides a guideline for how to move ahead and keep you on track during the development.
The IMS development checklist can also assist you in developing and adapting management system requirements in a constructive manner. To achieve an increased productivity, you will focus on ensuring that policies and protocols are followed and communicated within the organisation.
Generally, the idea of establishing the IMS development checklist, is to support the organisation in the incorporation into one framework of management and dealings of the Quality Management Systems (QMS), Environment Management Systems (EMS) and Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS). However, additional standards such as Information Security Management System (ISMS) amongst others can be included.
When creating the IMS development checklist, you need to keep the following points into consideration.
The first part is to raise awareness internally within the organisations. This include information on the different standards and the work that will be carried out to integrate them into a consolidated IMS.
You should conduct individual preparation with Senior management, middle management and junior level management. This will help build an atmosphere that is inspiring and prepare the organisation for starting the project.
Objectives and Policy
To better fulfil the criteria, the company can implement an overarching Quality Policy, Environmental Policy, Health Safety Policy and Information Security Policy, as well as related goals. Your organisation should conduct meetings for all layers of management personnel and outline the coordinated goals together with Senior Management.
The degree of conformity of your organisation with the standards for the IMS should be determined through a gap analysis. The gap analysis audit can be conducted with internal resources or an external consultant company such as EQMS. Some of the advantages from using a IMS Consultant is that they have extensive experience with the standards and how to integrate them.
Development of The Documentation Process
Another element is developing your IMS documentation. This is bespoke to each company; however should include relevant documentation such as a manuals of practical processes, operating procedures, risk assessments, KPI’s, nonconformities registers and/or databases amongst many others.
Integration of Documentation and Processes
Following on from previous section, all the documentation should be implemented throughout the organisation. Having done all the preparation work in the previous stage and involving people in the development of documentation such as policies and procedures, makes it easier to implement them when rolling out the IMS.
There need to be a comprehensive internal audit program as part of the IMS. The internal audit program must take all relevant ISO standards into account as well as internal policies and procedures.
Internal auditors must have the correct training and competence to carry out the audits. Internal resources can be used for the audits; however, it can often be an advantage to outsource that function. When outsourcing your internal audits, you get instant access to highly experienced auditors and ensure your auditors stays impartial.
Measuring and Analysing Performance
When the IMS has been implemented the work does not stop there. That is just the first step and the foundation to continue to build on. Performance should continuously be measured and monitored. Analysis of the data determine how to continuously improve the organisation and where it is most beneficial to use your resources.
If you are looking to get certified to any of the ISO standards or consolidate your management systems in to one integrated one, then contact us for a free consultation on how we can support with your project.