Integrated Management System (IMS)

Integrated Management System (IMS)


An integrated management system (IMS) incorporates multiple management systems that may be in use in an organization, including a safety management system (SMS).

The ICAO Safety Management Manual (Doc 9859) maintains that safety management should be considered as part of a management system and not in isolation. Therefore, a service provider may implement an IMS that includes as SMS. 

A typical IMS may include, in addition to an SMS, the following:

  • Quality management system (QMS);
  • Security management system;
  • Environmental management system;
  • Fatigue risk management system;
  • Occupational health and safety management system;
  • Documentation management system; and
  • Financial management system.

An IMS, which may be used to capture multiple certificates, authorizations or to cover other business management system, is intended to remove duplication and exploit synergies by managing safety risks across multiple activities. Other possible benefits include"

  • Reducing potentially conflicting responsibilities and relationships;
  • Considering the wider impacts of risks and opportunities across all activities; and,
  • Allowing effective monitoring and management of performance across all activities.

Possible challenges of management system integration include:

  • Existing systems may have different functional managers who resist the integration; this could result in conflict;
  • There may be resistance to change for personnel impacted by the integration as this will require greater cooperation and coordination;
  • Impact on the overall safety culture within the organization as there may be different cultures in respect of each system; this could create conflicts;
  • Regulations may prevent such an integration or the different regulators and standards bodies may have diverging expectations on how their requirements should be met; and
  • Integrating different management systems (such as QMS and SMS) may create additional work to be able to demonstrate that the separate requirements are being met.


  • ICAO Doc 9859, Safety Management Manual, Fourth Edition, 2018

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