Integration of function-specific management systems in organizations is rapidly becoming a topic of interest for managers and auditors alike. This is mainly due to the proliferation of management system standards that foster compliance with the stated criteria for quality, environmental, occupational health and safety, social responsibility and other function-specific aspects of performance. While most of the available literature on this topic focuses on the integration of standards, there is comparatively little information available on how to actually build an integrated system internally. This paper hypothesizes that, besides using audits for the implementation of the available procedures, audits can provide an excellent basis for these integration efforts. Therefore the prerequisites, strategies and resources necessary for an effective audit in support of integrated management systems are discussed. The paper also describes how audits are used to improve a combined quality and safety management system in a German nuclear facility.

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