National standards bodies work with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to develop management systems standards documents and associated guidance. With the growth in stakeholder requirements now placed on organisations and the associated growth of standards, many organizations now seek to integrate or combine the range of aspects they must address into a single business management system.


ISO standards make a positive contribution to the world we live in by facilitating trade, spreading knowledge, disseminating innovative advances in technology, and sharing good management and conformity assessment practices.

In the United Kingdom, standards made an annual contribution of GBP 2.5 billion to the economy, and 13% of the growth in labour productivity was attributed to standards. Standards were identified as enablers of innovation and facilitators of technological change. The economic return on investment in standards made sound business sense at both macro- and micro-economic levels.

Standards also provide tangible and quantifiable benefits to companies. A series of ground-breaking case studies by ISO and partner organizations based on the experiences of 11 companies operating in a variety of business sectors in 10 countries, shows that implementing standards can provide economic benefits from between 0.5 % and 4 % of their annual sales revenues.

More information can be accessed at:
The benefits of an effective certified management system for Companies can include:
more efficient use of resources
increased competitiveness
increased customer satisfaction as services and products consistently deliver what they promise
Reduced exposure of employees and other parties to occupational health and safety risks , and
Reduced impact on the environment
Some schemes and/or standards do not have accredited certification, however where SCS certify relevant activities, our internal process controls will safeguard impartiality and ensure the same level of service integrity.


Integrated Management Systems

Integrated Management Systems have developed to help organisations achieve benefits from integrating the common requirements of two or more management system standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001.
Benefits of an integrated management system approach can include:
Improved business focus and on cross-departmental collaboration
A more holistic approach to managing business and management system risks
Less conflict between systems
Reduced duplication and bureaucracy
More effective and efficient audits both internally and externally
Reduced internal and external costs
Product or Service innovation and development
The reality is that the various management system standards all have many apparently common requirements, terms and definitions that are subtly or substantially different which has caused confusion and inconsistent understanding and implementation. Annex SL has been produced and incorporated into new versions of recent Standards, such as 9001:2015 & 14001:2015, with the objective of delivering consistent and compatible management system standards. Annex SL describes the framework for a generic management system. However, it requires the addition of discipline-specific requirements to make a fully functional quality, environmental, service management, food safety, business continuity, information security and energy management system standards.

Combined or Integrated Audits

If organisations have more than one management system, audits can be scheduled concurrently to minimize disruption to auditee organisations.

A combined management system varies from an Integrated Management System, which shares single system documentation, management system elements, and responsibilities. A combined system typically exists where separate management systems have been added over time for a set of audit criteria/standard.

As auditors for Certification Bodies can be competent to audit more than one standard and as such, organisations may benefit from reduced audit time and/or a more holistic approach to business management systems auditing.

Supply Chain

Often certification of supply chain members to various standards may be used as criteria for supplier approval, however this can be supplemented by second party audits where specific organisational or process specific requirements are targeted within the supplier and wider supply chain.

Second Party Audits are an effective means of strengthening an organisation’s supply chain by evaluating new or existing suppliers’ capacity and/or capability to meet or exceed customer’s requirements.

SCS can be contracted to manage second party audit programmes as part of a vetting process or as part of the evaluation of any new critical supplier partners or when the performance of an existing supplier falls below the service level agreed. This outsourced function enables organisations to focus on value added activities pertaining to their core processes.
Join Our Newsletter

Want to get more about certification?

How have other organisations navigated the process of systems implementation? What developments are there in the world of certification? What new standards are evolving? How can you get the best outcomes from your certification activities?

Sign up for our regular newsletter direct to your inbox

* Required fields
By signing up you agree with SCS's privacy policy
Contact Us

Get a QUOTE today

Getting a no-obligation proposal for your certification needs is relatively straight forward. Complete the simple online questionnaire and we’ll get back to you directly with a bespoke proposal for your individual needs.
Get a Quote