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Management System Rating - for Communication and setting Objectives

Putting a number value on your management system could be important for communication purposes. People may not have much knowledge of the management system as such but everyone will understand that getting a "5 out of 10" score will not be so good, at least it leaves sufficient room for improvement.

Like wise they will assume that 8 out of 10 will be pretty good; but that also depends on how the "rating system" is set up and the philosophy behind it.  

ISRS Scoring - rating a safety management system

Management system rating producing numerical values or other indicators which are based on measurement of management system activity is ideal for objective setting.

The picture below shows an example of the scoring method used by the ISRS (International safety Rating System) as it used to be a number of years ago.

The picture shows the scoring per element of a (safety) management system. The ISRS has an overall award system based on the element scoring. This includes 1 to 10 levels. Those familiar with the ISRS may recall that "in the old days" those levels were represented by 1 to 5 green stars and 1 to 5 gold stars and I still remember putting stars on award certificates. To obtain information about the present ISRS scoring method you need to contact ISRS owner Det Norske Veritas (DNV).

Lord Kelvin

Anything that exists, exists in a certain quantity and can be measured

To allow validation of your management system, you need to transform your audit system into a "rating tool". You do this by putting value factors on the elements and the specific activities in the elements. You can do this alone or in a group. If you do it on your own it will be considered subjective. If the exercise is done in a group, it will be more accepted and if the group consist of people who know the subject well, it adds to the professional value of the measuring tool and will be considered less subjective.

Lord Kelvin

When you can measure what you are speaking about and express it in numbers, you know something about it. But when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of an unsatisfactory kind: It may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of Science

In principal anything can be measured: management systems, inspections reports, accident reports and quality of investigation, etc. Using a management system as the example, all you have to do is:

  • put a value on the total system - it does not matter how large - any figure will do. If you want to calculate percentages later on, that can be done automatically if you use a spreadsheet or other suitable software program.
  • break the total down in parts - the activity areas or "elements" that make up the management system
  • divide the total value over the parts, depending on the relative importance of the parts
  • break the elements down into further parts - the specific element activities embedded in the generic element structure (if you are making use of a generic element structure)   
  • divide the total element value over the element activities and structure elements

Once you have done this, the backbone of your rating system is ready. You may then want to make some guidelines as how to use the rating system. This is very similar tot the process we went through when we discussed "rating the 17-step process".

What Gets Measured Gets Done

BUT .....

Are you measuring what really matters?


Management system rating - some examples:

Both examples below are of safety management audit systems including the elements:

  • Planned Inspections
  • Task Analysis
  • Accident Investigation

Example 1, showing some elements of a system allowing scoring of elements.

Example 2 - showing some elements of a predecessor the International Safety Rating System (ISRS); the complete version included 23 elements.


Management system rating - graphical results of two commercially available audit systems


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