So you have decided to stop managing various management systems for your organization into one.  No more will you have to worry about hosting separate management review meetings or establishing separate objectives; one for quality, one for safety and another for environmental.  No more separate focus. One centralized them, one management system, one Now you just need to incorporate the various elements of those separate systems into one.  This article will focus on what major elements to have for an effective and efficient integrated management system (IMS).

Integrated Management system

Your IMS should capture the requirements of your specific industry best practice based on the two major ISO standard; ISO 9001 for quality and ISO 14001 for environmental.   As of now, there is no ISO standard for safety, but there is one in the works called ISO 45001. For now, we will mention OHSAS 18001.  Of these three major standards; two ISO and one not, the IMS must organize into 12 elements:

Let’s now take a look at each major element separately.


The organization must prepare an effective policy that provides a clear direction for the organization; a commitment to continuous improvement along with compliance to regulatory agencies and customers’s requirements.


An effective management structure and defined activities should be put in place to provide deliverable of their company policy. This is accomplished through objectives and targets that are developed for all managers and employees.


For effective implementation, the organization should provide the mechanisms necessary to achieve its policy, objectives and targets. All members of the workforce should be encouraged, empowered and engaged in the management system and all facets of the organizations process and production stages.


Wherever possible, risks to the business and the organization should be identified and eliminated through the selection and design of equipment, processes and facilities.


Employees need to know about the risks and threats to their industry and organization and how to control their exposure. The best way for them to gain this knowledge is through education and training.


A successful IMS is one that is able to effectively measure, monitor and evaluate its performance. Performance can be measured against standards to reveal when and where improvement is needed. Active self-monitoring through periodic assessments, inspections and observations reveals how effectively the IMS management system is or is not functioning.

In conclusion, all IMS’s are based on the same fundamental concepts :

  • Process management and control : ensure that processes deliver the intended results and that applicable requirements are complied with.
  • Plan-Do-Check-Act approach to management and process control : establish objectives, define the processes needed, monitor progress and compliance, take action where necessary, and consider improvement opportunities.  An integrated  management system enables an organization to carefully examine what they do, define and implement improvements and continuously review and manage systems and processes.

Integrated Management system

PLAN Plan the safety management system.

DO – Implement the safety management system.

CHECK – Evaluate the safety management system.

ACT – Improve the safety management system.

  • Risk management : identify the risks that provide threats and opportunities, and implement controls to minimize negative effects on performance and maximize potential benefits.