INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (IMS)
An Integrated Management System (IMS) is a complete system that combines all aspects of an organisation’s processes, work instructions, and any standards that the business follows such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 & ISO 27001. The integrated management system allows a business to meet all of its obligations, addressing all elements of the management system as a whole rather than looking at the individual standards and their requirements separately.
A good IMS will reduce the duplication of effort when running multiple management systems. If a business is running separate ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 systems this could result in the duplication of the processes needed for performing internal audits or recording non-conformities as all three standards require businesses to put measures in place for these actions. An IMS allows these processes to be combined so that they simultaneously cover all standard-specific requirements.
Integration has become easier in the last few years, as the majority of new and revised ISO Standards are moving towards using the Annex SL high-level structure. Annex SL based standards share a similar structure, making it much more straightforward to see where the similarities and shared processes within each standard lie.