For example, an organisation may have been operating a management system to the requirements of ISO 9001 (quality management) or another standard, for years, but may then decide to achieve a new standard, such as ISO 14001 (environmental management) or ISO 27001 (information security).
Some organisations may take a different approach and wish to implement two or more management systems to international standards at the same time.
In either case, it makes sense to simplify matters, wherever possible, and reduce duplication of effort, by combining new management processes with an organisation’s existing procedures or by designing a streamlined set of combined management processes from the outset. This is often referred to as an 'integrated management system' or 'IMS'.
Under an integrated management system, many management processes can be combined within a common framework, enabling them to be carried out in similar ways at the same time. However, certification to the individual standards can still be achieved and maintained.
Annex SL Guide Document From The International Standards Organisation (ISO)
The International Standards Organisation produces standards in line with a guidance document, ensuring consistency of approach, setting out the format to be followed and the way that standards should be written. Under a new guide, known as Annex SL, standards will be produced or revised in future to have more in common with one another, sharing similar frameworks, characteristics and definitions.
This will make it easier for organisations to integrate their management procedures to comply with the requirements of two or more standards under the same management system. The combination of management processes, based on common structures and definitions, will therefore become the norm and, hopefully, make life much simpler for businesses and other organisations.
Which Standards Will Be Affected By ISO’s Annex SL?
The International Standards Organisation reviews and revises all existing standards periodically while also producing new standards. Over time, Annex SL will influence the way that standards are written or revised.
ISO 27001 (information security management) was last revised in 2013, taking account of the guidance under Annex SL. Other well known management standards due for revision under the influence of Annex SL are ISO 9001 (quality management) in 2015; ISO 14001 (environmental management); and BS OHSAS 18001 (occupational health & safety management) which is due to be re-launched as ISO 45001.
It has been possible to combine or integrate management processes for many years to the requirements of a range of management standards. However, Annex SL will ensure that standards will be written and revised in future in such a way that the routine integration of procedures will become more straight forward and more easily achievable.
The Benefits Of Combining Management Processes
The integration of management procedures to the requirements of two or more standards can help organisations in a range of ways by:
- Reducing duplication and saving time.
- Optimising resources and improving efficiency and performance.
- Reducing confusion, contradictions and conflict.
- Reducing the cost of implementing and maintaining management procedures.
- Providing a comprehensive view of management aims and objectives.
- Creating consistent practices that make sense to everyone.
- Enabling people to cooperate and communicate more effectively.
Although some of the most popular standards have not yet been formally or fully revised to take account of Annex SL, it is not necessary to wait. Organisations with a management system already in place to the requirements of a recognised management standard, such as ISO 9001 (quality management), can already integrate processes as far as possible while still achieving certification to the relevant individual standards.
The type of shared or combined processes that can be introduced include:
- Carrying out internal auditing.
- Document control.
- Delivering training and development.
- Carrying out management reviews.
- Taking corrective action.
Certain routine management activities can also be extended to cover the requirements of more than one standard. For example, a risk assessment can be designed to accommodate and include the identification of potential risks on a wider range of topics, enabling it to include the relevant issues under all the standards that govern an organisation’s integrated management system.
How Touchstone Renard Can Help With Management Standards
Touchstone Renard has successfully supported many organisations with the design and implementation of management procedures, including the task of streamlining and integrating management processes to comply with the requirements of two or more standards, while achieving separate certification to each standard.
Our friendly and experienced team can help any organisation to implement and maintain integrated management procedures to comply with the requirements of two or more recognised standards, such as ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management) and / or BS OHSAS 18001 (occupational health & safety management) and / or ISO 27001 (information security management).
We are able to provide the support needed while enabling our clients to continue with the smooth operation of their organisations, without distraction.
Our services include any or all of the steps needed to help an organisation design, document, install and monitor the policies and procedures that it will need to achieve and maintain a management system that complies with the requirements of two or more standards. We will design the relevant processes to realise as many benefits as possible for the organisation while also meeting its needs and matching the way it operates.
We can also offer awareness training and 'dry run' assessments, prior to formal assessment by an independent certification body.
Under our flexible service, if an organisation already has a management system in place or wishes to do part of the work itself to achieve certification to another standard, we can adapt the level of support required. An increased level of help can be offered to clients who would welcome more assistance.
Once certification to two or more standards has been achieved, we can offer future support in maintaining the integrated management procedures to meet the requirements of the relevant standards, ensuring that re-certification continues to be obtained for each standard.
No assignment is too small or large for us and every client organisation that engages our services receives a free copy of the standard.
Please Contact Us
If you would welcome a discussion about how your organisation can integrate existing or new management procedures and achieve certification to two or more standards, please contact Phil Austin, Managing Director, without any obligation:
- T: +44 (0)203 954 2576.
- M: +44 (0)7768 366 744.