Management systems



Management Systems

A Management System or Integrated Management System (IMS) is essentially an overview or summary of how a business or organisation operates. The purpose of the IMS is to formally document and provide an overview of the key areas and processes within the business, to ensure these areas are being managed effectively and to improve business performance while also ensuring and demonstrating compliance with relevant ISO and other standards,  industry schemes, legislative, regulatory and other requirements.

Setting up an IMS will include preparing a management systems manual or overview document (such as the alphaZ IMS1 document) which will provide an overview of all the processes and systems, documents, activities and other relevant areas within your organisation and may also include various procedures that should be followed.

This document will also cover all the relevant ISO and other requirements and will assist with the achievement of ISO certification where required.

management systems

The management system can also incorporate all the associated folders containing the relevant policies, forms, registers etc... with IMS1 summarising which policies, forms and registers make up the management system and where they are filed.

When setting up an IMS it is important that consideration is given to all existing good practice and processes, procedures, policies and other relevant documentation or systems so that these can be incorporated into the IMS or referenced.

Setting up management systems can be daunting but using the alphaZ documents package can greatly assist with the process and also ensure systems developed are useful and easy to understand.

ISO Compliance without ISO clauses and jargon - Implementing the alphaZ IMS1 package will ensure ISO compliance without having to spend any time reading, interpreting or including any clauses from the ISO standards. This web site includes a selection of different documents that have been organised by type with various documents provided to assist with ISO compliance.

Setting up management systems

Setting up management systems can be daunting but using the alphaZ documents package can greatly assist with the process and also ensure systems developed are useful and easy to understand.

The az-documents.co.uk web site includes a selection of different documents that have been organised by type and although all documents can be used many of them may not be relevant or necessary and some review and analysis of current systems should be completed to determine what needs to be updated, what can be improved and what is currently missing.

The best approach for setting up management systems will depend on your organisation and what is already in place but the following guidance along with the other information available in the az-documents.co.uk/Help section is provided to assist with determining the best approach.

Stage 1 - Review Current Systems

When setting up management systems it is important that consideration is given to all existing good practice, processes, procedures, policies and other relevant documentation or systems so that these can be incorporated or referenced.

Some form of gap analysis / review of existing systems should be completed to establish what systems relevant to the management system are already in place and whether currently compliant with applicable standards.

Ask yourself; What currently works well and is useful?

Then complete a review of everything;

  • Existing form templates, documented procedures and policy documents;
  • Any existing management system documentation;
  • Details of any additional standards, industry guidelines or applicable legislation;
  • Any existing guidance or procedures such as work instructions, method statements, operational procedures or policy procedures;
  • Any other documents that may include relevant guidance or procedures such as employee contracts, staff handbooks or other documents;
  • Overview of products / services / operations / activities i.e. details from web site / other marketing literature;
  • Details of management structure and responsibilities i.e. organisational chart or responsibilities matrix and any job descriptions;
  • Overview of Software and other operational systems used.

This review can be completed using one of the various gap analysis or implementation checklists available in IMS Implementation

management systems

Most organisations will find that the systems that they have in place to effectively run and manage their operations are consistent with ISO standard requirements and it should just be a case of taking credit for these existing systems to demonstrate ISO compliance.

Stage 2 - Review alphaZ Documents

There are A LOT of documents available on the az-documents.co.uk web site but only some of these documents will be relevant or useful to your organisation and it is recommended that a general review of the documents available is completed before setting anything up to better understand what is available, what might be useful and how everything is organised.

Ask yourself; What is better than what we are currently using and what would be useful and improve how things are managed?


management systems

All the documents available on this web site have a description and some may have comments with additional information about what they are useful for or advice regarding their use and implementation.

Also review all the relevant Help pages.

Stage 3 - Initial Setup of Management Systems

In most cases the initial setup of a new or updated management system will follow these simple steps :

  1. Download IMS1 manual, the management system filing structure and IMS1 Manual Guidance
  2. Download all the key IMS related files and other files required;
    • IMS Registers, IMS Implementation Checklists
    • Other relevant Registers
    • Form Templates
    • Policies and Procedures
    • Any other checklists or other files
  3. Update and format the files
  4. Update and Implement the management systems (Ref. Stage 4 - Update and Implement Management Systems)

IMS Filing / Folder Setup - It is important that files used are organised and that everyone understands where everything is filed and has full appreciation of the documents being used.

To assist with this a filing structure has been written into the IMS1 document and a corresponding folder structure is available which includes a printable 10 section Index sheet for use with a lever arch file if intending to prepare a paper copy.

Filing System / Evidence Folders
A good filing system can be useful for ensuring everyone within the organisation is aware of where key forms, policies and other key documents are located and also demonstrates to an auditor effective document control. A correctly mapped out filing system also helps to prevent any misfiling and potential duplication where copies of the same file are saved in more than 1 location.

The initial setup is largely a downloading, sorting and organising exercise to get the key components of the management system in place. As well as resources from alphaZ documents there will be various other resources that are already in place within your organisation that can be transferred or signposted as key components in the management system.

Update the templates - before reviewing and amending the content of the template forms and policies an initial task may be to update the header on all the files to replace the #az-documents.co.uk# text with your company details.

All the resources provided are simple to use and have instructions included or additional guidance is available in the help page Using the site

Note : When downloading the files it may be sensible to save files that have not been used yet into a 'draft' or 'sample' folder and then transfer into actual filing system when they are put in place for use.

Company Documentation
It is important to demonstrate that your company documents are adequately controlled and managed. To achieve this all the forms supplied as part of the alphaZ package are uniquely numbered, issue controlled and also include an information classification so that confidential, business use or public documents are all clearly marked.

Policies - the ISO standards include very specific requirements regarding policies and what they must cover - the supplied policies will meet the stipulated requirements and if you intend to amend these to better reflect your organisation care needs to not remove any content that is required for ISO compliance.

Stage 4 - Update and Implement Management Systems

The IMS1 Document is the key overview document for the management system and is designed to cover all the key areas that the business manages in a logical way so that the primary function is to be a useful management system overview while also ensuring ISO compliance.

This should be the key document for your organisation by providing an overview of how your organisation is organised, what the key activities are, what other processes need to be managed and who is responsible for these key processes. Someone new to the company, an auditor or any other interested party, should be able to read this document and understand how all the key activities are managed.IMS1 management system manual

Implementation - the IMS1 document in itself can be used for gap analysis and as an implementation checklist; if everything covered in this document is completed and correct it will ensure ISO compliance. Alternatively there are various implementation checklists available to assist with update and implementation of management systems.

If one of the gap analysis or implementation checklists has been completed this should have highlighted any gaps and areas where further development is required and may also detail the main steps to be followed when setting up the management systems.

Linking with existing systems – the IMS1 document is intended to act as a top-level overview of the management systems and the supplied content can be deleted and replaced with references / signposts to other documents / software / systems.

Note : An understanding of the minimum requirements for ISO compliance is required if you wish to omit or alter any sections of the IMS1 document.
Avoid Duplication - if documented procedures have already been prepared it is not necessary to include these in IMS1 and a summary or signpost / Link to the other document may be an easier approach. When doing this it is important that all documents follow the document management procedure in IMS1.

When preparing other documents it is recommended that all links point upwards to the relevant section in the IMS1 document rather than having one document referencing other documents. This will then allow documents to be added / removed / renamed without having to then locate and update multiple other references.

Links - IMS1 includes links to various other files supplied as part of the alpha-z package. If these files are not being used the links should be removed or if referencing other files or documents the links can be added with orange text. Various pages in IMS1 include reference boxes to summarise links to other files.

Stage 5 - Check and Maintain

Once the management systems have been prepared and implemented various checks then need to be completed to ensure that everything is correct and accurately reflects the activities and processes within the organisation.

The main document for review will be the IMS1 manual which will provide an overview of all the other documents including a filing structure and associated files and it is therefore important that this file is properly reviewed and updated and that ownership is taken of this document. Ref. IMS1-Manual-Guidance

As well as IMS1 there may be several other files needing reviewed and updated and to assist with this it may be useful to use one of the provided implementation checklists.

Where the management systems have been prepared for ISO compliance there will be the additional requirement to have completed and documented a programme of internal audits and the internal audits can be combined with this process of reviewing and checking the management systems; completing the internal audits will also confirm that everything is correct and ready for external audit.

To assist with internal audits there are various pre-prepared audit checklists covering the ISO standards, all the sections of IMS1 or even individual processes or activities in Audit Checklists

A further requirement for ISO certification is to have completed and documented a management review and set and documented objectives. Completing a management review using the supplied F-Q3 Management Review Form will ensure all areas for ISO compliance are covered as well as completing a review of the recently implemented or updated management systems.

Additional Help

If you require assistance with setting up the IMS1 document or developing management systems in general please contact us for details of approved consultants in your area or remote assistance packages that can be provided to assist you.

 

Download this page

Click on the file link below for a Downloadable pdf version of this page

Free File Download Action
Management Systems Setup pdf Download

Remote Consultancy

Remote management system consultancyRemote support is available to assist you with the setup and update of management systems for your organisation.

With a remote consultancy package we will prepare and package all the files necessary for your organisation including updating the all the documents to include your company name / logo and will supply everything organised with the management system folder filing structure which will be shared with you using Dropbox allowing you to simply copy / paste the documents to your own filing system.

With our remote consultancy package a specific remote consultant will be assigned to you and will be available to answer questions, provide advice and assist you with the entire management system development process including the development and update of the IMS1 integrated management system manual.

Remote consultancy can facilitate getting draft management systems prepared quickly and efficiently and this approach can replace the requirement for any onsite consultancy or can be used to short-cut the initial setup and development followed by onsite support and training.

Our remote consultancy team are all experienced ISO consultants and auditors and we make full use of information and communication technology to communicate and share files to ensure we fully understand your requirements.

The remote consultancy approach makes full use of the alphaZ documents package so you also have full access to the comprehensive documentation available online to support and assist with the management system development and implementation process.

Stage 1 - Gather Information

For Remote Consultancy to be effective it is important that prior to commencement all necessary and relevant information and documentation is prepared and supplied to your remote consultant so that management systems developed are relevant and reflect the actual processes within your organisation.

A Dropbox folder will be setup and shared with you and all relevant files should be added to the 'Client-Supplied' folder within the shared Dropbox folder.

Note - All files supplied will be held in a secure folder and will be treated confidentially.

Relevant items that should be supplied;

  1. Existing form templates, documented procedures and policy documents.
  2. Any existing management system documentation.
  3. Details of any additional standards, industry guidelines or applicable legislation.
  4. Any existing guidance or procedures such as work instructions, method statements, operational procedures or policy procedures.
  5. Any other documents that may include relevant guidance or procedures such as employee contracts, staff handbooks or other documents.
  6. Overview of products / services / operations / activities i.e. details from web site / other marketing literature.
  7. Details of management structure and responsibilities i.e. organisational chart or responsibilities matrix and any job descriptions.
  8. Overview of Software and other operational systems used.

It may also be necessary to complete a formal gap analysis or formal systems review and any checklists supplied should be completed and also added to the Client-Supplied folder in Dropbox.

Stage 2 - Prepare and Review Draft Documentation

Once all relevant documents have been supplied to us the draft management system documentation will be prepared and the main document for review will be the IMS1 manual which will provide an overview of all the other documents including a filing structure and associated files.

It is important that IMS1 and all the other files supplied within the filing structure are reviewed so that all the various components are located and understood.

Stage 3 - Implementation

Once the management systems have been reviewed and updated to ensure IMS1 is adequately reflecting the processes within the organisation there may be various implementation tasks that need to be completed.

A checklist may be used at this stage to keep a track of what needs done and who is responsible or the tasks may be logged using the issues and actions register.

It is important that all files included within the supplied filing structure are either updated, merged with existing files or removed if not required. To assist with this a filing structure including the location of key files and registers has been written into the IMS1 document and this should be updated to reflect the actual filing structure and key files used.

Stage 4 - Checking, Auditing and Certification

Once the management system documentation has been fully updated and everything has been implemented the final stage is to complete comprehensive checks that everything is completed and this can be done as part of the internal audit process.

Comprehensive internal audit checklists will be provided and these have been prepared to ensure all relevant ISO clauses are covered and these internal audits should be documented with any issues or actions still required also noted and dealt with.

Once everything has been completed and evidence prepared the company is ready for an external ISO certification audit and your remote consultant will be able to advise on the best options for certification and suitable certification providers.

Ongoing Support

Various resources are provided to ensure the alphaZ package includes everything required to plan, implement and maintain management systems and ISO compliance. There are ongoing updates to the package and a subscription can be retained to ensure ongoing access to documents and updates.

Additional support can be arranged for further remote assistance or for onsite consultancy and training.

 

Download this page

Click on the file link below for a Downloadable pdf version of this page

Free File Download Action
Remote Consultancy Guidance pdf Download