A management system is a coordinated set of values and processes implemented by an organisation to ensure and demonstrate that it meets the standards demanded by customers or regulations to meet certain expectations and objectives for establishing the organisation.

A management system (MS) integrates the art of managing people and processes; an MS may be; a Quality Management System (ISO 9001, QMS), an Environment Management System (ISO 14001, EMS) or Occupational Health & Safety Management System (OHSAS 18001, OHSMS).

A fully operational management system may be an INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT SYSTEM or a stand-alone for any of the standards mentioned above. However no matter your choice, you will be assured that the MS will help an organisation to demonstrate that it has met certain goals: 

 Consistently meet customer and regulatory requirements.

 Consistently manage internal requirements.

 Consistently manage external requirements, e.g. effective allocation of resources, environmental factors, and relationship management.

 Accountability, growth and planning.

 Meeting the objectives of the establishment.

Corporate Gains of implementing a Management System?  
Effective implementation of a MS will ensure:
1. Achievement of organisational goals.
2. Reduction of costly errors.
3. Improvement in customer satisfaction.
4. Better marketing strategies.
5. Effective management of growth.
6. Data management.
7. Continuous improvement in operations.
8. Market share control.
9. Culture of improvement in operations.
10. Project feasibility.
11. Improved internal communications.
12. Consistent products.
13. Measurement of key performance indicators.
14. Compliance to regulatory requirements.
15. Employee confidence and safety. 

How do a Management System support an organisation to manage cultural issues? 
Implementing a management system can ruffle the feathers of employees. It can take them out of their comfort zone and away from institutionalised processes. This is why support from operational and executive management from the outset is critical to the implementation of a management system.
It is best practice to get management to promote a system. It is advisable for managers to embark on a routine of positive reinforcement during the early stages of the systems life. Not only will this promote system use but it will motivate staff . To be effective, a management system needs to be robust, intuitive and flexible.
Under a MS, processes should be subjected to tighter management. It is wise to expect changes in the way staff interacts and to expect changes in the distribution of responsibility and accountability.  

What Does an MS Require
A management system requires a number of essential elements. Here are few of them:
• Documented policy and objectives statements.
• A system manual including scope, justifications for any exclusion, documented procedures, process interaction descriptions, this will specify how a MS will be observed and emphasise the company’s commitments to both continuous improvement and quality.
• Any document procedures required by the compliance standard.
• Any documents needed to ensure the effective operation, planning and control of company processes.
• Records such as evidence of conformity to requirements and of effective MS operation will be required by the compliance standard.  

Operating in a Controlled Environment
Many organisations deploy a management system to demonstrate compliance to regulatory requirements. A Management System can support an organisation operating in a controlled environment in a number of ways:
• To ensure compliance standards are met, all company documents should conform to the MS processes.
• This will ensure conformity in staff behaviour when performing their duties, a uniform data recording method and consistency in staff training.
• The keeping of records such as audit findings, data monitoring, non- conformance reports and corrective actions etc. can be used as proof of MS use and effectiveness.
• A MS can be used to enforce the required approval and disposition of documents and records.

• It is important that only the most up to date version of documents are available to company users. To be compliant documents should have unique identity and version control when subjected to change.
• The signatures of preparer and approver of the document may be required.
• A summary of document history showing changes and dates of revision may be required.
• To ensure that all records are both traceable and retrievable records must be managed and controlled in a similar manner to documents; it is advisable to assign them unique identifiers, which will be supplied by an electronic MS support tool.

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