The introduction of integrated management systems (IMS) into the business world was a very smart move indeed! For it not only makes the life of the business owner that much easier, it also ensures that an organisation is meeting all its legal requirements.
As the name would suggest, an IMS integrates the many different systems within an organisation, to form one easy-to-manage system. Given the hurdles businesses have to jump over these days in terms of legal responsibility, competition, staffing and more, the question really is why WOULDN’T you implement an IMS!
Key Standards in Australia
There are quite literally tens of thousands of Standards in use across the globe, governing everything from workplace safety to aviation. In Australia, the most popular Standards cover quality management, environmental management and workplace health and safety.
The quality management standard, ISO 9001, appeared in 1987, while ISO 14001 Environmental Management was formed in 1996. As with all standards, these have been reviewed and updated many times, most recently in 2015. ISO 14001 has become increasingly important, in both legal and moral terms.
So too has workplace safety, especially given the worrying number of serious injuries and deaths over the last couple of years. Workplace safety in Australia is generally covered by either OHSAS 18001 or AS/NZS 4801.
There is certainly some cross over with these Standards, which is why integration works so well, not only creating a more coherent management approach, but also saving money and reducing duplication and documentation.
A starting point for many is Integrated Management System ISO 9001, which takes quality assurance as its basis. Quality management is obviously central to every part of an organisation’s operation, from customer service, employee health and safety, and the products themselves.
The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems standards is designed to help organizations ensure they meet the needs of all stakeholders, while also meeting their statutory and regulatory requirements.
Improve Work Place Safety
ISO 9001 integrates well with ISO 14001 Environmental Management, OHSAS 18001 Safety Management and AS/NZS 4801 Safety Management.
Organisations wishing to achieve this generally begin by talking to specialist consultants, such as SC Training Centre in Brisbane.
The first step is to fully assess the organisation’s current management systems, policies and procedures, and long-term goals. Consultants will keep what is working, and suggest ditching what is not.
The best approach is a tailor-made Integrated Management System ISO 9001, which best reflects what the organisation does, what is wants to achieve, and the mindset of managers and staff. Once implemented, it is a matter of running out training throughout the organisation, going through internal audit, re-assessing based on those results, and then going for certification.
In this scenario, it would be a matter of choosing AS/NZS 4801 or OHSAS 18001 training, to provide the workplace health and safety aspect of the system.
After that, ISO certification is carried out by third party or Lead Auditors.
SC Training Centre in Brisbane also provides IMS Lead Auditor training, a course which runs over five days, and includes a mix of theory and practical training.
Integrated Management Systems will be a key part of discussions at the ASQ International Conference on Quality Standards in Pittsburgh in November.
IMS a Key Topic
The conference theme is ‘Using Management System Standards as Your Centre of Business Excellence,’ and it will focus on integrating multiple management system standards under one business system, competency models and training, risk management, and ISO standard 9001:2015.
So you can see that achieving Integrated Management System ISO 9001 certification is extremely topical this year.
Just recently, apparel manufacturers acknowledged how getting certified to ISO 9001 was improving the industry – and it wasn’t only important for exporters. The need had arisen due to increasingly demanding customers, increased complexity of the supply chains, emergence of new technology, and greater awareness of the need to address sustainability.
All ISO Standards are largely based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act theory – or PDCA. This system is very well used in business, and was made popular by Dr W Edwards Deming, an American engineer, professor, author and management consultant.
PDCA is a great way of explaining, for example, the need for AS/NZS 4801 or OHSAS 18001 training.
Plan: establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with organisation’s work place health and safety policy
Do: implement the processes
Check: monitor and measure processes against work place health and safety policy, objectives, legal and other requirements and report the results, and
Act: take actions to continually improve work place health and safety performance.
By putting PDCA into practice, an organisation can be assured that it is meeting its legal requirements, and keeping all stakeholders safe, as part of its overall integrated management system.