Why integrating your ISO standards works.

Organisations that choose to implement ISO standards do so for a number of reasons. One of the most common drivers to implement a management system is to either improve efficiency or reduce overheads and manage risk around key assets of a business. Organisations now look to implement similar systems to address multiple areas of the business and in turn improve the overall efficiency and productivity of the organisation.

Depending on the structure of the organisation some would run multiple management systems independently. For example, it is common to see a Quality Management System (QMS) and a Health and Safety management system both in place but implemented separately. However, to maximise the potential of these management systems it is advised and now becoming more common to integrate the management systems as a single system.

An Integrated Management System (IMS) allows your implementation team to create one system that helps to effectively and efficiently deliver your organisation’s objectives. An IMS of two or more management systems can:

  • Reduce costs
  • Minimise downtime of key systems
  • Reduce external audits
  • Reduce conflict
  • Increased performance
  • Employee and customer satisfaction
  • Continuous improvement


An integrated system provides a clear, uniform image of your entire organisation, how they impact each other, and the associated risks and it becomes easier to adopt new systems in future.

Why is integration possible?

An Integrated Management System is relevant to any organisation, regardless of their industry. If you have a coordinated effort which is greater than the sum of its parts and is not only more efficient but more effective. By implementing an IMS, the entire workforce is brought together to achieve a single goal that can impact multiple areas of your organisation.

Annex SL structure

In recent years ISO standards, have been updated with the aim of becoming more compatible with other ISO management systems.

Annex SL which was previously known as ISO Guide 83 is the latest structure created to address the growing frustration of organisations at the extra time and resources that it took to implement and certify their various management systems with differing structures, definitions, and requirements.

The Annex SL structure has been designed to share the same features across multiple standards. These include;

  • Documentation
  • Policies
  • Procedures
  • Processes

An integrated management system is an effective tool used to simplify work, avoid conflicts and to reduce duplication of tasks. Integrating management systems can lead to significant cost savings and efficient utilisation of resources within an organisation.

ISO standards that are currently implementing the Annex SL structure.

All new ISO management system standards will use Annex SL as the template for their structures. As ISO management system standards come up for revision, they will all be brought in line with Annex SL as well. Existing and upcoming standards based on the Annex SL structure include:

  • ISO 9001:2015, Quality management systems
  • ISO 14001: 2015, Environmental management systems
  • ISO/IEC 27001, Information technology: Security techniques, Information security management systems
  • ISO 22301:2012, Societal security: Business continuity management systems
  • ISO 20121:2012, Event sustainability management systems
  • ISO 55001, Asset management


If your organisation is implementing at least two of these ISO standards contact our advisory team to learn how you can integrate them and become certified in 2017.

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