ANNEX SL: Management System Format

If your current management system is broken or out-of-date, your processes become a mess. Managing tasks and coordinating compliance is a difficult task in any business. So if you want to make your business more efficient and reduce unnecessary costs, you need a standard high-level structured management system.

What is Annex SL and why is it so important?

Annex SL is the format which defines the universal high-level structure, identical core texts and common definition for all ISO management systems standards. This way, all ISO standards will be based on a single template. Why were these changes introduced? It enables the streamlined creation of new standards and makes learning and implementing multiple standards within one organisation easier because they all have the same structure.

Over the years, ISO has published many management system standards. Although sharing common elements, these standards all have unique structures. Owing to their different structures, people often face some confusion and difficulties at the implementation stage. That is why it was necessary for all management system standards to have the same high-level structure, identical core text, as well as common terms and definitions.

Annex SL has been created to introduce a similar template so that integration of management systems becomes a whole lot easier. Annex SL is a product of the Joint Technical Coordination Group (JTCG) which was set up by the ISO Technical Management Board (TMB). The Technical Management Board is responsible for managing the technical processes associated with implementing new technical standards.

All ISO management system standards are already using Annex SL as the template for their structures and will continue to do so. As the ISO management system standards come up for revision, they will all be brought in line with Annex SL as well. In simple terms, Annex SL is a template that will be followed by all the future development of ISO standards. It applies to every ISO standard, meaning that they will all have the same structure.

High-level structures require the following ten clauses:

  1. Scope
  2. Normative references
  3. Terms and definitions
  4. The context of the organisation
  5. Leadership
  6. Planning
  7. Support
  8. Operation
  9. Performance evaluation
  10. Improvement

Annex SL will make things much easier for organisations to implement ISO standards by using the same template. Annex SL also reduces the level of bureaucracy and quantity of resources required if it is used effectively. It will provide a standardised and consistent approach to implementation, ongoing maintenance, and continual improvement of a management system. This template enables and facilitates organisations to effectively integrate their separate management systems by using a standard framework.

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