The first key step in developing, documenting and implementing your integrated management system is to develop your integrated management system policy, and I’m going to go through the key 8 steps of how to implement and document your Integrated Management System policy.
1. The IMS policy should be written and approved by top management
The reason for this is that they need to be able to show leadership and commitment towards not only the policy but also to comply to the three standards - quality, safety and environment.
2. The policy must reflect the strategic direction of the business
This is so your IMS can link fully and integrate fully with your business. It’s not like the old days where the quality system, the safety system, the environment system sat in different places and the business another. They’re all combined into one effective system.
3. Provides a framework for setting objectives
You need to align and focus what your business actually does. Previously there could be an objective in several places but now it’s bringing them all together so that it aligns with what the business does.
4. Commitment to fulfill legal requirements including protection of the environment
This is important because it forces companies to understand what their legal requirements are. A lot of organisations don’t know this which can cause them problems with operations.
It also shows focus by leadership and commitment by leadership on what these legal requirements are.
5. A commitment to eliminating hazards, risks and preventing pollution
This will ensure a focus of all employees and will lead to a reduction in accidents and incidents and pollution events as well.
6. Commitment to Continual Improvement
Because if you don’t continually improve your system will stagnate and decay.
7. The policy should be communicated to Interested parties
Interested parties include;
The easiest way to do this is to put it on your website.
It’s great that you’ve got a policy but it has to remain consistent with what your company does, so you need to Review it regularly.
That could be at your monthly management review or you could do it yearly, or 3 yearly, it depends what your system says you’re going to do.
I would recommend that you review your policy at least quarterly to make sure it aligns with what your company does.