The recent update of many ISO management standards has made implementation of more than one standard possible for an organization. Most common of these management systems that have been updated with a similar structure called the Annex XL include the ISO 9001 Quality Management System, ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System, ISO/IEC 22301 Business Continuity Management System, ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management System, ISO/IEC 20000 IT Service Management System among others.
The Annex SL is an ISO document that defines a high level structure [HLS] for the framework of a generic management system meaning that every standard is numbered from clause 1 to 10. As a result of the introduction of Annex SL, all ISO management system standards currently updated and new ones will become more consistent, and therefore more compatible. They will share the same look and feel, since they have been built on a common foundation. The structure of all management systems will now include the following sections:
- Context of the Organisation
- Performance Evaluation
There are common core definitions too; the following words will have the same interpretations across all Annex SL standards: organisation, interested party, stakeholder (admitted term), requirement, management system, top management, effectiveness, policy, objective, risk, competence, documented information among others.
These structural similarities between international standards have led to the evolution of integrated management systems which helps to integrate all components of a business, such as quality, environment, and health and safety, information security, business continuity into one coherent system in order to achieve its intended objectives.
The implementation style of the PDCA CYCLE is ideal for an integrated management system which entails, Planning, Doing, Acting and Checking.
Planning involves identifying the key issues in the context of the organization, assessing the risks & opportunities that may impact on the organisation and carry out the planning required to ensure these risks do not affect the organizations ability to deliver its “desired outputs”. Here you will also put into place the required documentation for each management system.
Doing requires that the process activities must be carried out in such a way to ensure they are aligned with the outputs of the planning processes.
Checking involves review by Top Management and the process of measuring the organizations performance against their set objectives.
Acting requires that top management must also plan & implement any actions that will deliver continual improvement.
When an organisation has decided to integrate their 2 or 3 or more management systems then they will see benefits like;
- It provides an effective organizational approach to simplify the work, and to reduce duplication of documents.
- It leads to cost savings and efficient utilization of resources within an organization.
- It helps harmonize and optimize business practices
- Eliminates conflicting responsibilities and relationships and helps balances conflicting objectives
- An integrated management system helps formalizes informal systems and reduces duplication of efforts, eliminates waste and therefore reduces costs
- Reduces risks and increase profitability and creates consistency
- Turns the focus into overall business goals and Improves internal and external communication
To thrive in the current global competitive markets, organizations and companies need to look at every aspect of their business processes and using an integrated management system approach provides an efficient and cost effective tool to do it.