Integration Of Management Systems Management Essay

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The purpose of this study was to highlight the similarities of different management system standards and consider the integration of them into a single simpler management system that could be implemented into a small construction company that will be assessed for the purposes of this research.

This section will include a review on the literature related to management systems, the implementation of those management systems such as standardised ISO management systems and the associated benefits of implementation to a company. It will also focus on the similarities and differences, benefits and obstacles of the standards and the best approach to integrate together to devise a single integrated management system for a small construction company to manage their quality, environmental and health and safety requirements.

A practical example of how one procedure can be handled an integrated system is a procedure for welding, where the quality demands for the welding process are described together with the way in which waste produced is handled while also taking into consideration what kind of health and safety rules and equipment the employee has to apply. (Jørgensen et al. 2006)

Quality, environment and health and safety are the content of the three most

often used management systems,(Hines, 2002)

Management Systems

The objective of the implementation of any management system is to improve the performce of the business which is the direct repsonsilbility of the top management. .(Smith 2002)

An integarted amangement system is designed to improve the performance and it must be effective , efficient and should be able to deliver better results to all stakeholders. If it does not do this it has failed its purpose and objective, and is likely to be merely a bureaucratic burdern with fancy badges attached to it. [1] .(Smith 2002)

Every company, whatever size has a management system, however simple, as it is the way in which any business operates in order so that they achieve their objectives. Not all management systems are formalised or even written down. (David Smith, 2001). All companies have aims, objectives and their own means, but until relatively recently many of them were unlikely to have these means formalised into a systematic approach that they could use to control their activities or measure their progress towards achieving their objectives, which is now known as a management system. (Hines, 2002)

Management systems govern many issues that are widely recognised as benefiting from a systematic approach. (Hines, 2002).

As the size of the company increases, the complexity of the management system to achieve their objectives does also. (David Smith, 2001). The system formalises their intentions enabling them to make informed decisions to set out the way in which they can achieve these intentions by documenting the necessary processes and procedures required to be followed. Reviewing of these management systems

Allows the company to assess whether the set procedures being carried out as they should and whether the objectives set are being achieved

(Hines, 2002)

Correctly implemented, a management system will define clear objectives, be able to communicate those objectives to all stakeholders including employees, seek commitment from employees particularity senior management, utilise all employees into the system by incorporating all into maintaining and improving the system, provide training and reviews of progress of the system, and ensure that the system remains responsive to the continuing needs of the company or organisation. (Hines, 2002)

When management systems fail to achieve the objectives it is generally due to common pitfalls of management system implementation. These common failures arise from inadequate resources or a lack of commitment from senior

management, poor training or incorporation of employees and weak communication

channels . (Hines, 2002)

When an organisation fails to fully achieve it's objectives set out in one management system, the systems is not implemented correctly and if a further system is required

it is likely that the other management system will also fail to be correctly developed or implemented. (Hines, 2002)

Management Systems / ISO Background

The International Organization for Standardization, is a voluntary developer of standards that defines specifications that are applicable to all forms of businesses. ISO, derived from the Greek word 'isos', meaning equal was the abbreviation given, so that whatever the country, whatever the language, ISO is always the abbreviation used to globally and therefore is globally recognised, standardised across the world (ISO, 2012)

ISO was founded in 1947 and has since published over 19000 international standards that now cover almost all aspects of technology and business, made up by a network of national standards bodies that represent ISO in each country. The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) is the national standards body for Ireland and publishes Irish Standards. The Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, coordinates the system and the 164 countries and the 3335 technical bodies. ISO exists to design, develop and promote standardisation to facilitate the trade of goods and services throughout the world, and to develop cooperation in science, technology, academic sector and economic activity. [2] (ISO, 2012)

ISO standards

The specifications defined by ISO, that are applicable to all forms of businesses are formalised into a standard, a published document with the technical specification or criteria designed to be used as a guideline or rule in order to increase reliability and effectiveness of any product, service or activity (British Standard Institution, 2010). The development of standards result from either or a combination of market demands, the interests of producers, consumers, governments, and the scientific community, based on expert global opinion, or other stakeholder consensus, then exploring the formulation of the international standards through the technical committees by gathering consensus between the member countries.

ISO standards serve as technical agreements providing framework for compatible technology and are applicable across the globe. ISO has more than 19000 international standards and related documents that are applicable to various business and service sectors including agriculture, construction, engineering, manufacturing and distribution, transportation, medical and health care, and communication and information (ISO, 2010).

Development of ISO

Over recent years, as world has developed, further standards were therefore required to be developed, whilst also, the older versions of standards required new revisions to be made. The development and advancing of standards in ISO have now created a path towards the compatibility between management standards with the ability to cross-reference and integrate many aspects within different management system with common properties. Jørgensen et al, 2006)

It is

apparent that these systems having been developed more recently are less

prescriptive and formalised, and include flexibility for interpretation to occur.

Management systems should, after all, be moulded to fit a company, not vice

versa.(Hines, 2002)

All three systems have the basic structure of aims, objective and procedures, of

training, monitoring and reviewing the progress the system is making, using

essentially- the plan, do, check, act approach.(Hines, 2002)

now include a similar commitment to training and competence

and to the importance of communications. Given the similarities between these

systems, and the recent revisions of EMAS, ISO14001, ISO 9000 and the

development of BS 8800 and ISO (OHSAS 18000), it is clear that the integrated

approach would seem to offer those businesses wishing to tackle all these issues

(and others) a chance to reduce the burden of proliferation and allow them to

concentrate on the benefits that integration might offer. .(Hines, 2002)

An example of this is the development of the 1994 versions of the 9000 quality management system series, the revisions meant that the paper work is significantly decreased, which was considered one of the most difficult components of the system. (Zeng et al, 2010) The quality mamangment series was updated in 2000 to ISO9000:2000, this was in response to years of criticism by businesses that the original standard was over complicated and inflexible. The update reduced the "paper chase" of documentation burden and procedural overload.(Hines, 2002).The revisions also meant that the standards structure now followed that of other newer standards, such as 14000 and 18000, introducing the concept of system integration. (Zeng et al, 2010)

Today, there is a move towards companies actively implementing standardised management systems "The implementation and certification of quality (ISO 9001), environmental (14001) and occupational health and safety (OHSAS 18001) systems have been an important activity for many organizations and become a widespread practice around the world (Asif et al., 2009; Nakashima et al., 2006; Rocha et al., 2007)."(Zeng et al, 2010

Environmental management systems were developed during the early 1990's following rasied environemtantl issues such as the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 anda lso due to the business demands to introdeuce a sytemcatic approach to manageing their environmental aspects. (Hines, 2002)

ISO 9001


The first formailised quality management system standard was developed in the UK by the British Standards Institute, standard BS5750.

This system was the first complete systematic approach to the management of

quality in the industrial process, and was quickly followed by an international

standard based on the BS5750 platform, but developed by the International

Standards Organisation (ISO), this was coded as ISO9000. ISO9000 provided

companies with a complete structure of guided pointers and areas of concern

that could be addressed by the development of procedures within the company.

There were criticisms of ISO9000 especially where the system began to take

over the organisation, rather than the organisation using the system to achieve

its quality objectives (Sheldon and Yoxon, 1999:5).

The first widely introduced management systems were those that were developed to manage quality issues in businesses in order to meeting specified requirements set by the customer. The first formalised quality management system standard was developed in the UK by the British Standards Institute, standard BS5750. This system was the first complete systematic approach to the management of quality in the industrial process, and was quickly followed by an international standard based on this BS5750 standard, but developed by the International

Standards Organisation (ISO), and is known as the ISO 9000 series.

ISO 9001:2000 is based on the following eight quality management principles: (1) customer-focused organizations; (2) leadership; (3) involvement of people; (4) process

approach; (5) system approach to management; (6) continual improvement; (7) factual approach to decision making; and (8) mutually beneficial supplier relationships (Casadesus and Karapetrovic, 2005). Based on these eight guiding principles, ISO 9001:2000 defines five main management requirements: (1) quality management systems, (2) management responsibilities, (3) resources management, (4) product realization, and (5) measurement, analysis, and improvement (Padma et al., 2008). ISO 14000 is a series of standards and guidelines (Zeng et al, 2010)

The first two editions of the ISO 9000 series published in 1987 and revised in 1994 had a system that focused on enabling the enterprises to produce the same quality of products every time by specifying the policy, procedures and instructions in a quality handbook. With the revision in 2000 of ISO 9001, the focus on customers and continuous improvements became stronger. The circles and arrows in ISO 9001:2000 symbolise a dynamic and continuous process (see Fig. 1).

With focus on the customers, their demands and the satisfaction of those demands, the organisation has to be more oriented towards the product chain in which it operates. ISO 9001:2000 has also been aligned with ISO 14001:1996 ''in order to enhance the compatibility of the two standards for the benefit of the user community'' [3]. By the end of 2003, more than half a million ISO

9001 certificates had been issued in 149 countries [4]. (Jørgensen et al.2006)

basic condition for an integrated management

system is a shared understanding of organisations and

how they operate. In textbooks on quality management,

the old versions of ISO 9000 have always been

illustrated as a pyramid e symbolising a stable organisation

with clear policy, procedures and instructions on

the strategic, tactic and operational levels. The bureaucratic

organisation is concerned with producing the

same quality of products every time. Therefore, ISO

9000 was often criticised for being static, resulting in too

much paperwork and having too much focus on the

system. (Jørgensen et al.2006)

however, was demand more from companies in their

commitment to actual quality management, whilst lessening the burden of

documentation and procedural overload. The other major change in the standard

was its inclusion of the term 'continual' as applied to improvement, rather than

'continuous' that appeared in the original standard. The requirements of the

continuous improvement principle was traditionally interpreted as the evaluation

of the opportunity for improvement, where "auditors typically only required an

evaluation of the indicators available, such as corrective and preventive action,

and were looking for areas of improvement" (Beynon, 2002). The new approach

of continual improvement should be expected to demonstrate positive movement

across the entire system, even if it is incremental (ibid.) The new standard has

much greater emphasis on the necessity to measure the effectiveness and

competency of resources, and the need to follow - up actions to ensure progress

is made. (Zeng et al, 2010)

ISO 14001

) "Development of movements on quality and environment in the 90's caused appearance of the management quality system (QMS - ISO 9000:2000), environmental management system (ISO 14000), risk management system (ISO 17000) and other being under preparation". [3] (Rajković et al, 2008)

The first environemtal management systens was developed in the UK as BS7750 in 1994, which was then developed further by ISO to be replaced as ISO 14001 in 1997 (Hines,, 2002)

The ISO 14000 series comprise five aspects: (1) environmental management systems, (2) environmental auditing, (3) environmental labelling, (4) environmental performance evaluation, and (5) life cycle assessment (Zeng et al., 2005).

The standards are classified into two main types: guidance notes and specifications. All standards except ISO 14001 belong to the former. They are descriptive documents and not prescriptive requirements. Its adoption is voluntary. As a subset of ISO 14000, the environmental management systems take a systematic approach and provide a tool to enable organizations for controlling impacts of their activities, products, or services on the environment (Low and Tan, 2005). (Zeng et al, 2010)

The ISO 14001 was first published in 1996, and a revised version was published in November 2004. The transition period for adoption of the new version is until

May 2006. An environmental management system is: ''part of an organization's management system used to develop and implement its environmental policy and to manage its environmental aspects'' [5]. ISO 14001 is not necessarily established independently of existing management systems, and in some cases it is possible to comply with ISO 14001 by adapting existing management system elements [6]. By the end of 2003, more than 66,000 ISO 14001 certificates had been issued in 113 countries [4]. ]. (Jørgensen et al.2006)

The changes in ISO 14001:2004 are relatively minor [7]:

_ Improved coherence with ISO 9001:2000;

_ More focus on complying with regulations and other

environmental provisions;

_ Objectives and targets must be measurable (not

qualitative as today);

_ Registrations are moved to a joint paragraph;

_ The management review is described, point-bypoint. ]. (Jørgensen et al.2006)

the ISO 14001 standard, which is

always illustrated as a spiral with a focus on the iterative

process of activities such as policy, planning, implementation,

etc. in order to create continuous improvements. ].( Jørgensen et al.2006)

ISO 18001

Systems to manage health and safety are not uncommon in businesses but it wasn't until 2002 that ISO developed OHSAS 18000, the eternally certifiable management sytem standard. OHSAS 18000 was developed based on the previous British Standard, BS8800. (Hines 2002).

The standard on Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001:1999 aims to create and to maintain a safe working environment, while protecting and maintaining safety and health of workers (Low and Chin, 2003). It is important that organizations should: (1) establish occupational health and safety management systems for minimizing risks to its employees and other affected parties; (2) implement, maintain, and continuously improve occupational health and safety management systems; (3) assure itself of its conformance with its stated occupational health and safety policy; (4) demonstrate these conformances; (5) seek certifications/registrations of its occupational health and safety management systems by an external organization; and (6) make self-determination and declaration of conformance within specifications (Zeng et al., 2008a). (Zeng et al, 2010)

OHSAS 18001 was formulated by international certifying bodies with the basis in BS 8800 and was first published in 1999. OHSAS 18001 can be described as a de facto standard and is used as the basis for certification of occupational health and safety management systems. ISO has voted twice about whether to develop an ISO standard in this field and both times, the proposals have been turned down, and therefore, ISO currently, has no plans to develop such a standard. OHSAS 18001 was developed to be compatible with ISO 9001:1994 and ISO 14001:1996 in order to facilitate the integration of quality, environment as well as occupational health and safety management systems, if organisations wish to do so [8]. With the new quality and environmental management standards, OHSAS 18001 should be revised, in order to remain compatible [9]. ].( Jørgensen et al.2006)

INETGRADTED Management Systems

The concept

The UK Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) define Integrated

Management Systems as

"the integration of matters such as organisational structures, strategic decision

making, resource allocation and the processes of auditing and reviewing

performance" (, accessed 2002)


should place training and other activities designed to reinforce inclusivity as a

high priority, and should ensure a regular training and team based approach to

the solution of problems.(Hines, 2002)

There remains a perception amongst business people (see

below), that integration means little more than a together of putting procedures

(in one manual rather than three). Instead, the fundamental differences between

alignment and integration are what will determine to a large extent the nature of

the system that is developed, the degree to which it can be truly inclusive and the

potential danger than exists for the spreading of problems and duplication of

problems across a multitude of badly stuck together systems, rather than one

fully integrated one.

The differences between alignment and integration are summarised in Figure 3.(Hines,2002)



Full Integration

Single Message

No Confusion

Inclusion of all

employees in all


Individual Approach

Same Language

Same Structure

Focus on Separate Issues

an effective integrated system will be more efficient than nonintegrated

systems in that it is designed to be proactive

provide a more

effective means of identifying problems before they really occur and identifying

correct solutions more easily

employees to

become more confident in their ability

decisions based on their own judgement and understanding of the business,(Hines, 2002)


But although there is increasing interest in implementing an integration of management systems, small and medium sized enterprises are considerably less interested than larger organisations, according to Hines . "In a research project conducted in South Wales in the UK including 12 small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and seven large enterprises, it was found that the SMEs were less interested in IMS than the large organisations.( [4] Hines,2002 )

Other issues than size such as such organisation structure market competition and regulatory demands have a decisive influence whether an organisation decides whether to integrate or not, as well as the level of actual integration.( Jørgensen et al. 2006)


Although all management systems are designed to address a different set

of issues and concerns with a particular company, the history of the development and the functions they are designed to fulfil mean that, in general, there are many close similarities between many systems.(Hines, 2002)

Interest developed to further integrate manangement systems by the possibility of combining the most commonly used management systems, implemented along side each other in companies, into one integrated system, thus enabling

a company to have a more coherent view of the way in which they carry out the entire business process. .(Hines, 2002)

Most companies certified to a formal standard will have introducted the a qulaity standrd, with the implementation of the systems of the 9000 series to intrdoce qulaity sytandrds. .(Smith 2002) "Many companies have quality management systems certified to international standards" (Hines, 2002). And now, with the growth of environmental system implementation "The past decade has seen the development of Environmental Management /Systems, and there has been a relatively rapid increase in certification to international standards, such as the ISO 14001".(Hines, 2002)' There begins to be an overlap from the implemtation of two management systems alongside each other.(Smith 2002)

As standards developed and simiarities were observed within the standards itself, it was observed that integration could reduce duplication of the similarities, caused by multiple assessments and surveillances which would be avoided. .(Smith 2002) Separately, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 require all working procedures to be traceable and auditable. This means to be able to meet the ISO satisfactory requirements, each management system creates vast documentation, procedures and control checking. This proves to be a great challenge when multiple standards are in implementation, to meet the requirements of the three separate management systems to ensure compliance. The development of Integrated Management System was to try and amalgamate separate systems into one functioning system. (Zeng et al, 2010)


Companies that perceive the

IMS in terms of alignment rather than integration will fail to understand that the

barriers that they may have encountered in implementing previous management

systems, or any programmes or initiatives for that matter, will occur again and

again unless they tackle the company's management culture and communication

weaknesses.(Hines, 2002)

One of the risks from integration of multiple systems is the possible creation of different levels of priority, more attention could be paid to one of the systems integrated together, attention foccing on quality more than to the environmental or safety issues.

If an company's culture does not embrace the change and understand the bigger picture of what intregration means and requires can cause a barrier. Managers or employees of separate departmemts may be uncivinced of benefits of initegratrion with fear of job loss and extra work to implement. Failures occu when the basic concepts and pronciples are ignored or misunderstood. (Hines, 2002)

Human factors can create huge barriers for integration and are also very difficult to manage. Training and empowerment of staff is required to incorporate everyone in the development of the integrated mamangement system even before implementation can begin. Team work is a huge factor that can contribute to the success of integration, allowing communication across the whole company and addressing issues quickly as they arise in order to allow all aspects to be mamgedin an inclusive way.Otherwise the implantation will be likely to fail as it is not enough to merely align the sytems as the objectives can not be met without understanding the underlaying princples and what the sytems needs to work(Hines, 2002)


On the other hand, the potential is that environment or health and safety can climb higher up on the agenda of organisations, both if combined with an ISO 9001 quality system; and also if the organisation handles the responsibilities in a coordinated way. .( Jørgensen et al. 2006)

Typically, the organisation already has a quality management system and then later it integrates environmental procedures etc as stated above, but if the environmental management system is added to the existing quality system by simply trying to ''cut and paste'' the additional areas to the system, it creates a risk of neglecting or underestimating the environmental issues compared to quality system in place .( Jørgensen et al. 2006)


Although the standards have developed to contain similarities between them, in practice, differences in structure amd even terminolgy create problems in standardising one system. Total integration in the form of a single overall standard instead of indivisual ISO standards for qulaity, evboronemtna and health and safety is not always practical and instead, amanagamation of systems standras should work towards allignemnt of standards. Defintions and vocabulary should be consistant and a common structure followed across the standards. The coomon elements can be then mamanged as an enitty eith the specific rtequirements being clear from each discipline.(Smith 2002)

To start by elmalgamating two discplines without refernce to an overall intergrated system is to invite failure. For the implementation to be succesful the head of the organisation must be seen to be heavily involved. (Smith, 2002)

Due to the differences within the standards, the guide, IDO Guide 72 was publised to assist the creation of management systems to ensure compatibiluty with integration.(Smith 2002)

The use of common terms amd definitions and potential for usuing common numbering system for claues within standrdas could leaed to systems being approx 70% standardised and therefore the framework of consolidating multiple standards into one management system can be achieved to meet the company's goals and requirements efficiently and effectively. (Smith 2002)


In an ideal world management systems would be one simple system that could govern every aspects of a company but in practice most companies keep their management systems separate and therefore add to cost and reduce effectiveness due to the perception to the difficulty in the integration. (David Smith, 2001)

There should be advantages in avoiding parallel requirements both internally in terms of control, audit etc and also externally in respect of multiple assessments and surveillances. In practice, David Smith states that there are difficulties giving a visual description of a difficult jigsaw that just could not fit together in places after first seeming simple to fit together. [5] . (David Smith, 2001)

Benefits of management systems

In smaller companies, there can be reluctantly in adopting management systems and formalising procedures and records to their company which are under the impression is operating fine without them. However, once in operation, they gain greater control and can identify weaknesses and where improvements are required to benefit the company by knowing what is going on in the whole company. (David Smith, 2001)

"So far, these management systems have received major attention within organizations to create competitive advantages and contribute to a sustainable development (Esquer Peralta et al., 2008; Gudonavicius et al., 2009; Jørgensen et al., 2006)" (Zeng et al, 2010)

Why integrate?

To standardize operations, for example to assess safety risks and environmental aspects in a similar format and scored in a similar way with priorities that are fixed in a balanced way; .( McCourt, 2009)

Harmonisation of different systems for control of for non-conformities, assessments,

document control, corrective/preventive actions into one. [6] .( McCourt, 2009)

Resource reduction through the simplification for management. The reduction of the number of reviews , number of audits, the number of procedures, the number of tools to be used through the use of one management system used thereby minimising resources. .( McCourt, 2009)

Competitiveness and positive image of organisations improvement in connection with the positive improvements through integration for all quality, environment, occupational health and safety. The association with a maangment system shows responsibility and concern to stakeholders. ( Jørgensen et al., 2006)

Why Integrate?

Low and Tan (2005) argued that the revised ISO 9001: 2000 serves as an opportune platform for enterprises to consider certification to ISO 14000: 1996 and OHSAS 18001: 1999 through an integration exercise.( Zeng et al, 2010)



Zeng et al, 2010 carried out a studyin China, within certified companies to explores the motivations and benefits in implementing IMS for the Chinese enterprises. They observed that the motivation factor to satisfy customers' requirements" was ranked first in the motications to implement. The motivation factor "To respond to governments appeal" was graded second.

There is a difference of motivation between ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 . ISO 9001 is greatly customer-driven while ISO 14001 is more driven by all stakeholders, the community and regulators, while a focus of the standards on customers and continuous improvements does remains strong (Ubius & Alas, 2009; Urbanskiene et al., 2008).( Zeng et al, 2010)


Zeng et al states that the main benefits for implementation were investigated in Salomone's, 2008 paper and highlighted the main benefits as 1) simplify certification process; 2) save human resources; 3) decrease paperwork; 4) decrease management cost; 5) decrease complexity of internal managmeent; 6) increase cultural compatibility; and 7) facilitate continuous improvement. Zeng et al's paper and

The benefit to simplify certification process was ranked first in Zeng et al's research.

Integration is seen as the possible delivery mechanism for reduced investment in time and effort, optimisation of resources and more effective and strategic

decision making by management to ensure a rapid response to changing

demands on companies.(Hines, 2002)

The reasons for incorporating an integrated management system are to combine the safety, health, environmental performances into one system in order to compy with regulatory requirements and also aid in gaining business and works and from qualification through tendering. The image of the company is enhanced and provides customer trust and satisfaction and over time there will be increased efficiency and therefore increased profits. .( McCourt, 2009)


Zeng et al. (2007) revealed that the major problems for enterprises to operate multiple parallel management systems included: causing complexity of internal management, lowering management efficiency, incurring cultural incompatibility, causing employee hostility, and increasing management costs. (Zeng et al, 2010)


Hines discusses that team-based approaches to the integration of management systems, with problems and solutions being delath with real input of ideas from all employees into the management structure and procedures promotes the functionality of the management system. This suggests that integration is more about the company culture and employees than it is about common system elements and generic processes.( Jørgensen et al.2006)

Integrated management system require continuous change, to build and updating as situations change. A system without the ability to pick up on changes through understanding will not be able to feed back into the system and function as required. A positive system culture will enable these improvements and be able to identify adjustments and change required, however, culture and learning is a blind spot for ISO standards and it dependent on the companies themself to incorporate the system process and responsibilities into the heart of the company's culture. (Jørgensen et al, 2006)

Management commitment, employee motivation and participation, changes in routines and traditions etc. are the challenges in order to have IMS institutionalised throughout the organisation and within its stakeholder relations. ].( Jørgensen et al..2006)

Obstacles of integration


One of the main obstacles towards integration is that currently quality management systems ISO 9001, environmental management systems ISO 14001 and occupational health and safety management systems OHSAS 18001 require to be all certificated separately, causing difficulties to keep separation to meet requirements for certification. ( Zeng et al, 2010)


The way to increase integration will require the need for certification bodies to begin to adopt joint certifications through combined auditing. As the standards of quality, environmental and safety system audits are different, the procedures are similar which cause unnecessary waste of resources managing the systems to accommodate the audits . ( Zeng et al, 2010).

Integrated Management Systems

A prerequisite for integration is an understanding of the generic processes and tasks that occur in each of the management systems. Each system operates around 'the plan, do, check, act' basis and the first step towards intergartation is the potential coordination of these processes.( Jørgensen et al, 2006)


With the revisions and new additions of standards, many of management systems have an increased number of similarities. In 2000, the new edition of ISO 9001 brought about a focus on continuous improvements, a change introduced that is one of the foundations of the environmental as well as the health and safety management systems, while later in 2004, the new edition of ISO 14001 developed further to improve the coherence with ISO 9001. Although an integrated standard is not currently on the agenda for ISO, the revisions have improved the compatibility among the different

Standards. ( Jørgensen, 2006)

Integration of Q,E,H&S


Compatibility, cross-references and internal coordination of the key elements of the management systems are obvious first steps

By study copies of the ISO standards, ISO 9001;2008, ISO 14001;2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007, I was able to cross-references the similarities and formulate a table of compatibilities, illustrated in Fig

With similar management principles, the ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001 provide a complete series of standards for establishing an effective documentation system. Each management system consists of similar elements including: (1) policy, (2) aims and objectives, (3) organization, (4) documentation, (5) plans (programmes), (6) procedures, (7) records, (8) audit, and (9) review.

Documentation is intended for communication, operation, traceability, and evaluation. Although quality, environmental and occupational health and safety management systems are characterized by the same common key elements, they operate independently. Under some circumstances, elements for managing activities and processes that affect quality, environmental and occupational health and safety could be integrated by the implementation of IMS (Zeng et al., 2007). The companies implementing IMS can get rid of being trapped in a controlled bureaucracy with limited effectiveness. (Zeng et al, 2010)

This first step can reduce the resources issue of different parallel management systems in one company as stated having different standards to comply with is likely to result in administrative burdens, and unnecessary duplication of paperwork.(Zeng et al, 2010)

From the cross referencing of the standards of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001, it can been seen that each standard requires companies to formulate specific policies, define roles and responsibilities, and manage the processes. In reality, implementing these standards side by side therefore creates unnecessary duplication and it appears to make clear sense to move towards implementing an integrated management. (Karapetrovic and Casadesus, 2009; Molina-Azorin et al., 2008; Zeng et al., 2007)

The next step is to have aa common understanding of all the processes and the coordination

within a company and all the tasks involved in management. Basing the system on each of the management systems view on: policy,

planning, implementation, corrective action and management

review, otherwise known as the 'plan, do, check act,' systems.( Jørgensen et al.2006)

The basis for the integrated system builds on the generic process elements to incorporate the specific demands required by each of the standards for quality, environment and occupational health and safety..( Jørgensen et al.2006)

It was seen from the cross referencing that the similarities in each management system are:

top management commitment, definition of a policy, planning of objectives and targets, procedures for training of employees, communication procedures, audits, documentation and records control, control of non-compliance, corrective and preventive actions, and management review.( Jørgensen et al.2006)

Obstacles of integration


Although ISO considers there standards as generic as it can be applied to any organisation in any sector, in reality, implementation of the standards, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises faces challenges and smaller companies tend to prefer to introduce simpler management systems and therefore cannot achieve external certification to the ISO standards ( Jørgensen et al..2006)

Benefits of integration

Benefit obtained in implementing an IMS is an important criterion for its sustainable implementation (Holdsworth, 2003). (Zeng et al 2010)

Objectives and targets are established, coordinated

and balanced; Organisation and responsibilities are defined in one

place. (Jørgensen et al. ,2006)



It is revealed that the main motivations for implementing IMS are: to satisfy customers' requirements, to respond to government's appeal and to cope with stress from competitors. The noticeable benefits obtained are: to simplify certification process, decrease management costs and decrease paper work. (Zeng et al, 2010)

The second and third greatest benefit of an integrated management system implementation is the decrease in management costs and the decrease in paper work according to the Zeng et al research.

The benefit in the reduction in human resources. is ranked fourth, That is supported by Salomone (2008). An IMS can reduce human resources needed to manage the three systems (for example, by aggregating management for record keeping, internal audit, board reviews and training). (Zeng et al, 2010)

These management systems can create competitive advantages for firms and contribute to a sustainable development. Implementing these standards in parallel often results in some problems. Hence, IMS are being advocated. It was revealed that the main motivations for implementing IMS were: .To satisfy customers requirements. To respond to government's appeal. and .To cope with stress from competitors.. The significant benefits achieved were: .Simplify certification process., .Decrease management costs. and .Decrease paper work.. (Zeng et al, 2010)



To enable companies, consumers and also ISO itself to establish whether the standard is being implemented adequately, companies undergo conformity assessments which are used to prove that a product, service or system are approved by ISO by meeting specified requirements. ISO itself does not perform the conformity assessments. By showing that a product, service or system does meet the ISO requirements results in the company being accredited to the ISO standard can result in many benefits for the company such as providing clients or consumers with added confidence competency. It gives the company a competitive edge and it also aids regulators ensure that health, safety or environmental conditions are being met. The main forms of conformity assessment are certification, inspection and testing. (ISO, 2012)


Certification according to the three management standards, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 provide the assurance about the ability of a company to satisfy the quality,

environmental or occupational health & safety requirements that need to be followed in order to gain accreditation.( McCourt, 2009)

Reasons to certify?

"With certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), you can bypass many procurement processes, making bidding for contracts quicker, easier and cheaper. Accreditation to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 automatically prove that you meet certain standards in health and safety and environmental and quality management, removing the need to answer lengthy questionnaires about your business processes or compile reams of paperwork."( Jane Dronsfield, 2010.)

"Furthermore, in working to secure ISO certification, your business itself will improve, becoming more efficient, safe, cost-effective and customer-focused. Every aspect of your management processes will be evaluated on an ongoing basis, with problem identification and solving built into your business processes." (Jane Dronsfield, 2010.)

The most logical step towards ISO accreditation is implementing a suitable Integrated Management System (IMS) that formalises all your business processes in health and safety and environmental and quality management and sets you up for continuous improvement. (Jane Dronsfield, 2010.)

Disadvantages to certification?

Implementing standards across a company can be a complex, time-consuming and a very costly undertaking, especially for the majority of Small or Medium sized Enterprise who do not employ internal experts across the three areas of health and safety, environment, and quality.

There is also not a standardised certification to an integrated standard and therefore in order achieve certification in each area, three sets of certification is required. "However, most small companies do not run an IMS because they cannot afford to employ experts in all of the above areas; and, since most business consultants do not offer an IMS either, you would likely need to employ a separate set of consultants to cover each discipline, which would be very expensive. [7] ( Jane Dronsfield, 2010.)

. Apart from focus on overall system improvement, joint audit systems will result in cost savings, better allocation and use of human, material and information resources, as well as a unified problem solving approach that will increase efficiency and effectiveness of other interlinked systems.(Zeng at al, 2010)

IMS Spain


As discuused, over recent years the standards for management systems have become more compatible, and made integartion possible to create IMS standards.

This lead to Dansk Standard and AENOR, the Danish and Spanish organisations for

standardisation, to develop IMS's. .( Jørgensen et al.2006)

In Denmark, more than 50% of the organisations with a certified environmental management system (ISO 14001 or/and EMAS) also have been certified to a quality management system. and most of these organisations have chosen to integrate quality and environment into one system. Out of approximately 165 organisations certified according to OHSAS 18001 and with the possibility of integrating with ISO 9001 and/or ISO 14001, the estimation is that more than 50% of the organisations have integrated at least parts of the systems.( Jørgensen et al.2006)

''One organisation, one system'' is the slogan for the development of an integrated management standard in Denmark.

( Jørgensen et al.2006)


According to a study about the status of integration in Andalucı´a (a region in the south of Spain) approximately 55% of the organisations with certified quality and environmental management systems have developed an integrated system. . Almost 30% of the organisations have implemented an IMS for quality, environmental and occupational health and safety management system ( Jørgensen et al.2006)

AENOR, the Spanish organisation for standardisation, understands integration as the evolution of the different management systems in an organisation. ( Jørgensen et al.2006)

AENOR has given an answer to the market need by launching the ''Integrated Management Systems Certification.'' This certification can be used for organisations with an integrated mamangeemt system for quality and environment. The certification does not however include for occupational health and safety yet. ( Jørgensen et al.2006)

The guide has the following structure: first it recommends an initial check of the organisation regarding the current situation of the management systems and regulatory requirements as well as of needs and expectations of all stakeholders and identification of existing resources.

Afterwards, the organisation has to analyse the advantages and barriers of implementing IMS and, finally, with these data the organisation can choose the most suitable type of integration Quality, environment and health and safety are the content of the three most

often used management systems,according to its structure.

There are two recommended models of integration in the guide:

Model 1: Partial integration. Integration of some common procedures from the three management


Model 2: Total integration. This model goes beyond common procedures and involves an integration

based on a process approach and continuous improvement like in ISO 9001:2000.


Hines carried out a research project to assess the views company managers in South Wales,UK, felt towards the potential for integrated mamangeemtn sytems. His research uncluded a small number of SME's as well as a small number of large companies. His researched states that the SME's felt under pressure to adopt environemtal and health and safety mamagenet systems from their customers. Most held ISO 9000 alreadya d felt the addition of ISO 14001 was "a waste of money" and were rather rensentful of the customer pressure. The SME's were in favour of integration, a system that combined everything.

The importance of compant culture and understanding of system principles didn't not appear to be fully realised by the SME manaegers.

Their reason to want an integrated system was to save money, to save timeand resources and achieve certification easily.

Relunctance to implement for fear of incurring expense and loosing contrcts to lower bids of companies without certification.

This approach is towards allignemnt rather than integreation

Larger companies views were seen to be different in Hines' research. Many of the larger companies had already implemented ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 with a health and safety management system in place yet were not eager to move towards integration.

There was a greater underdtanding of the concept of integration within the larger companies.

Departmental managers were against integegration of departments with fears of department job losses whereas in senior managers, the move towards integration with the reaslision that the strategic could build the company.

Company culture importance was yet again seen to be an important factor, with the larger companies with positive culture being more likely to succeed in system integration.

It was still an issue that there was confusion between system alignment and actual inegartion.


It considers the issue of true integration as opposed to the alignment of systems whereby processes and procedures are brought into line with each other, but are not truly integrated in their application to the business.(Hines, 2002)

Integration is the solution and depending on the understanding and level of ambition behind an integrate management system, it is a solution to many different problems.

Integration as correspondence between different standards with cross-references and perhaps even a common handbook can give several administrative benefits for organisations such as to save time and resources and to secure an alignment between the demands of the different standards. Correspondence is a solution to the problems related to bureaucracy, duplication of work tasks, and confusion between different standards. ( Jørgensen et al..2006)

Integration as coordination which is based on a common understanding of the generic processes of policy, planning, implementation, checking and corrective action, and management review gives potential benefits such as description of responsibilities, examination of synergies and trade-offs, alignment of policy, objectives and targets etc.

Coordination is a solution to problems related to managing tasks and projects across different functional units and departments. A standard for IMS comprising the different areas of responsibility in the organisations and their stakeholder relations might be the next step for ISO to develop. ( Jørgensen et al..2006)

Management commitment, employee motivation and participation, changes in routines and traditions etc. are the challenges in order to have IMS institutionalised throughout the organisation and within its stakeholder relations. ( Jørgensen et al..2006)

In any case, competitive advantages can be achieved, if the organisations combine the new focus on customers in the quality system with a focus on the products in the environmental management system. This can create a synergy between quality and environment (and health and safety and social aspects) as well as more focus on continuous improvements and product innovations e compared to the traditional focus on the production process. ( Jørgensen et al..2006)