Growing Demand for Integrated Management System Auditing.

Growing Demand for Integrated Management System Auditing..:

In 1987, when ISO 9001 was first published, organizations were lauded for successfully implementing and maintaining a certified quality management system. Since that time, new management system standards have been created not only for diverse business sectors, but also for varying aspects within an organization, such as environmental, health and safety and information security management etc.

The adoption of formal Management Systems has risen dramatically the past few decades, and an increasing number of organizations have implemented multiple management systems. Organizations are increasingly recognizing the advantages and efficiencies that accrue by their integration, whether it is full or partial integration.

Integration was more difficult prior to the harmonization of the ISO Standards. The organisation earlier used to refer PAS 99 for Integration of documents and with the release of new versions of ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 Integration now guided by ISO’s Annex SL – the high-level structure that provides identical structure, text, and common terms and definitions for management system standards of the future. This will ensure consistency among future and revised management system standards and make their integration simpler.

With the addition of each management system, auditing resources necessary to ensure their effectiveness without integration and streamlining efforts, could be roughly double. Those organizations with a QMS, EMS, and OHS could triple the auditing resources – including time utilized over that of a single system  apart from the cost towards each audit effort.

For the commonly used 2-3 auditors per system, 6-9 auditors may be necessary for those with a QMS, EMS, and OHSMS. For those using 3 or more audit team members, imagine the audit army this creates, the time necessary to audit separate systems and the disruption to the organization.

Considering all the financial, customer, supply chain and other audits organizations are subjected, you can understand why many organizations are ‘audit weary’!

Integrated Audits—New Solution:

Professionals who have conducted integrated audits recognize how much more efficient they can be. The process under review, along with all its controls; environmental, health, safety, and quality; has to be evaluated only once.

There is less duplication of effort during the planning, execution, and even follow-up phases of the audit. Other efficiencies, often unforeseen are uncovered or revealed once an organization begins an integrated management system pathway, and is yet another advantage to integrated auditing.

Typically, management systems integration allows the organization to minimize duplication and redundancy of effort, streamline or leverage the use of its limited resources, and reduce or eliminate overlapping responsibilities. This is true benefit of integrated systems in general and is especially true regarding the audit function. Minimizing duplication and redundancy of efforts translates to significant cost savings, productivity increases, risk reductions and enhanced effectiveness and efficiency that the IMS are designed to achieve.

When it comes to IMS registration, registrars should confer savings when auditing and certifying IMS through the same efficiencies and streamlining efforts organizations achieve internally.

The management standards mentioned as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and ISO 27001 are intended to be implemented alone. However, each of these standards involves some topics required by the others such as:

  • Document management
  • Organogram covering Responsibilities and Authorities.
  • Training and awareness
  • Communication
  • Internal audits
  • Management review
  • Action on non-conformities. 

The structural similarities between international standards have led to the evolution of integrated management systems. An integrated management system integrates all components of a business, such as quality, environment, security, health and safety, into one coherent system so as to enable the achievement of its objectives and mission.

Benefits of Integrating Management Systems (IMS)

In addition to quality, environmental and occupational health and safety, an integrated management system of an organisation can include many other different management systems, such as information security management system, business continuity management system, food safety management system or social responsibility management system.

Integrated management system is an effective organisational approach to simplify the work, to avoid conflicts and to reduce duplication of documentation and effort. Integrating management systems may possibly lead to cost savings and efficient utilisation of resources within an organisation.

There are several good reasons why integration of management systems is beneficial for the organisations. Here you can find only ten of them listed:

  • Harmonizes and optimizes practices
  • Eliminates conflicting responsibilities and relationships
  • Balances conflicting objectives
  • Formalizes informal systems
  • Reduces duplication of effort and therefore costs
  • Reduces risks and increase profitability
  • Turns the focus into overall business goals
  • Creates consistency
  • Improves internal and external communication
  • Facilitates training and awareness 

To thrive in a globally competitive environment and to survive in today’s markets, organisations and companies need to look at every aspect of their business processes. While providing a quality product and service, organisations should consider other management areas as well including well being of their employees, their environmental impact, their use of available resources, and so on. Thus, the properly integrated management systems will help organisations remain competitive while coping with many other aspects could be important for the organisational strategy.

When an IMS has been effectively implemented into an organization’s business strategy and direction, it enables top management to ensure effective leadership and commitment while reducing the amount of duplication activities and therefore time spent on reviewing. This allows cost savings through the efficient use of resources at all levels and functions throughout the organization. An IMS further enables organizations to fully understand their business context and stakeholder obligations and requirements within each specific sector, highlighting regular risks and opportunities.

A robust IMS enables the organization to identify potential improvements across all of its parameters by providing a holistic view of the entire business (e.g., quality, environmental, and health and safety) compared to that achieved under individual management systems.

TUV India Pvt Ltd (TUV Nord) has got a good pool of competent IMS Auditors and offer this service across India, also TUV India has developed Integrated Training module and offer these training services pan India and may be availed.


About The Author

Venkatesh PrasadRegional Head - System Certification & Training,Karnataka
TUV India Pvt Ltd