Putting OIMS into practice

To ensure every aspect of our safety, security, health and environmental framework — Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS) — is executed, all areas of our business are required to establish rigorously documented processes.

Each operating unit must have in place properly designed and documented management systems that address all the Expectations set out in the OIMS framework. Management systems put in place to meet OIMS Expectations must incorporate the following five characteristics to be effective. It is important for all five characteristics to be documented.

Scope and objectives

Scope defines the System’s boundaries and identifies interfaces with other systems, organizations and facilities. Objectives clearly define the System’s purpose and expected results.

Processes and procedures

Processes address the steps that describe what the System does and how it functions. Procedures address the key tasks required by a process.

Responsible and accountable resources

Approval authorities, experience and training requirements that qualify people to carry out their roles and responsibilities are specified for both implementation and execution of the System.

Verification and measurement

A System must be checked to see whether it is functioning as designed and is achieving its stated purpose. There are two components. Verification determines that processes and procedures are functioning and being effectively executed.

Measurement confirms the quality of System processes and determines that System objectives and results are being achieved.

Feedback and improvement mechanisms

These mechanisms help ensure that actions are taken to continuously improve the System. They use findings from assessments, and from verification and measurement activities, to enhance System suitability, capability and effectiveness.


Ongoing evaluation is essential to make sure that the Expectations in the Framework are being met.

OIMS employs internal and external assessment processes to gauge the degree to which the Expectations are being satisfied. Such evaluations provide the information needed to further improve both performance and supportive management systems. The assessment process focuses on evaluation of management systems.

Two system dimensions are included in the evaluation:

1. System status

  • Extent to which the five characteristics of an Operations Integrity Management System are built into the System design and properly documented.
  • Extent of deployment, including communication, training and establishment of measurement, verification and feedback processes.

2. System effectiveness

  • Extent of conformance to System requirements and documentation.
  • Quality of System execution.
  • How well the System is working and whether the stated objectives are being achieved.

OIMS ratings

System Status and Effectiveness are both appraised during assessments. System Status receives a qualitative evaluation of either ‘Meets Criteria’ or ‘Needs Improvement.’ System Effectiveness receives a quantitative rating on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being the highest level.

The overall assessable unit Effectiveness rating is based on the average of the individual System Effectiveness ratings.

Assessment frequency

External assessments are conducted every three to five years, with the frequency within that range determined by the Operations Integrity performance of the assessable unit and the level of risk in the unit’s operation. An internal assessment is conducted at approximately the midpoint of the interval between External OI Assessments.

Responsibilities for management above the assessable unit 

The Elements and Expectations of the OIMS Framework are intended to provide guidance for Operations Integrity management systems on an assessable unit (AU) basis. However, some aspects of OI management require oversight and support above the level of the AU. OIMS responsibilities for Above the AU system(s) and procedures should be in place to address these areas where applicable.

The following guidelines address the processes that provide oversight and support to the AU systems and procedures.

Management leadership, commitment and accountability

  • Demonstrate commitment to and active engagement in OI activities across relevant areas of responsibility, including participation in OIMS Assessments and provision of sufficient resources to meet OI requirements.
  • Ensure functional Management Systems address OIMS Expectations and functional guidelines.
  • Establish, communicate and steward assessable unit SSH&E performance and improvement goals across the business; recognize outstanding results/accomplishments.
  • Establish and maintain processes to collect and report accurate and timely SSH&E data.
  • Communicate expectations for and monitor progress with respect to the implementation of OIMS for operations new to ExxonMobil.
  • Managers responsible for businesses operated by others (OBOs), that are not included in an Assessable Unit, communicate OIMS principles to the Operator and encourage the adoption of OIMS or similar systems and monitor implementation.

Risk assessment and management

Monitor the status of the risk profile for the function and associated mitigation activities.

Facilities design and construction

Ensure there are responsible minimum standards for facility design and construction, including where regulatory requirements are not adequately protective.

Personnel and training

Ensure processes are in place to maintain competencies important for Operations Integrity.

Operations and maintenance

  • Monitor the execution of mechanical integrity assurance programs.
  • Ensure processes are in place for appropriate regulatory analysis, interpretation and translation.
  • Ensure the adequacy of regulatory compliance assurance processes.
  • Monitor the status of compliance with regulations and responsible standards.
  • Direct environmental business planning and oversee implementation and stewardship.

Management of change

Ensure Operations Integrity implications of organizational changes are evaluated and addressed.

Incident investigation and analysis 

Ensure processes are in place for addressing and sharing learnings from company and industry incidents.

Community awareness and emergency preparedness

Ensure processes are in place to sustain emergency preparedness, response, and business continuity for events requiring resources above the assessable unit.

Operations Integrity assessment and improvement

  • Ensure processes are in place to analyze individual and collective assessment results.
  • Monitor the status of assessment follow-up and closure.
  • Ensure processes are in place to sustain the effectiveness of assessments, including a review of assessable unit size and approaches (e.g., focus areas, duration, coverage, frequency).
  • Periodically evaluate conformance with OIMS responsibilities for above the assessable unit guidelines to ensure intended results are achieved. 

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