PARTIAL AND FULLY
INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS?
WHAT IS A MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?
To understand an Integrated Management System, we first need to clearly understand what a Management System is. The Universal Management System Standard MSS1000 defines a Management System as:
"A Management System is a set of formally defined intentions, principles, rules and guidance used to systematically manage an organisation’s structures and processes to achieve its objectives."
In practice, a management system typically comprises elements such as statement of policy, descriptions of the management approach and philosophy, management procedures, job descriptions, work instructions, document template(s), forms, schedules, training modules, handbooks, contingency plans, and process definitions. Its design may vary like building architecture but ideally it should be both functional and elegant focused on meeting the needs of the organisation.
A management system is normally formally recorded to facilitate its control and communication. A management system may be recorded and communicated using any suitable communication media or a mixture of them but be able to be controlled.
A management system may operate on part or on all of the organisation’s levels as well as projects and covers:
implementation of management controls,
reactive investigation and planned monitoring, and
review and action to support continual organisational learning and improvement.
A management system is used by an organisation to control and guide its processes to consistently achieve the organisation’s objectives effectively, efficiently and with agility. It is distinct from other non-management systems within the organisation directly involved with delivering its purpose.
In simple terms, a Management System is a set of hard and soft rules used by management to direct and guide the behaviour of the organisation. It may be narrow in scope isolated from others or it may be integrated to various degrees or fully Integrated without boundaries.
See also Management System FAQs
2007 INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS DEFINITION
The Integrated Management Community (IMC) defined integrated management systems in 2007 as:
IMC 2007 Integrated Management System Definition
“An Integrated Management System is a single integrated system used by an organisation to manage the totality of its processes, in order to meet the organisation's objectives and equitably satisfy the stakeholders"
2014 INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS DEFINITION
However, in more recent times integrated management systems have been classified as either fully or partially integrated. MSS 1000:2014 therefore introduced the following definitions:
IMC 2014 Integrated Management System Definition:
“Management system that has a scope that includes two or more aspects of an organisation’s performance that is capable of being managed by separate distinct management systems.”
2014 FULLY INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT SYSTEM DEFINITION
IMC 2014 Fully Integrated Management System Definition:
“Integrated management system that addresses the totality of the organisation’s structures and processes with the exception of arrangements that need to be covert.”
The definitions above are contained and elaborated in the IMC paper: "Integrated Management System Structure and Definition".
For more papers on Integrated Management and Integrated Management Systems refer to the Resources Section of this website.
INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS MISCONCEPTIONS
The most common and fundamental misunderstanding about Integrated Management Systems is attempting to classify them in terms of their external environment requirements (e.g. regulations or standards) rather than the organisation's own management structures and processes that deliver its purpose via its goods and/or services. A management system would be classed as integrated if its arrangements addressed multiple stakeholder impacts in a joined-up way. Whether the integrated management system is compliant with external regulations and/or standards is a separate issue.
It would be incorrect to say a management system is integrated because it is compliant or certified to multiple external regulations and/or standards. It is often overlooked that a standalone health and safety management system is an integrated management system, albeit partial, because it addresses the functions of a separate health management system and separate safety management system which exist in some organisations. The fact that health and safety is often covered in the same regulations and management system standards is irrelevant.
The motivation to integrate management systems naturally emerges from a purpose and business centric management focus i.e. the goal for an organisation and its management to be better, quicker, and cheaper. See Benefits of Integrated Management and Management Systems FAQs.