The new trend of ISO standard
In order to ensure consistency among future and revised management system standards, ISO, in the Annex SL of its ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1: Consolidated ISO Supplement — Procedures specific to ISO proposes that all future management system standards (MSS) will use the same high-level structure, identical core texts, and common terms and core definitions. The SL in “Annex SL” is not an acronym; it is just a serial number for one of the many annexes in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. Annex SL requires that all technical committees (e.g. TC 176 for ISO 9001, TC 207 for ISO 14001) developing MSS have to follow Annex SL, meaning all MSS will be using the same format or framework, called the high-level structure, contain some common texts called the identical core texts and will have the same definitions for some common terminologies called the common terms and core definitions.
High level structure - There are 10 clauses in the high level structure:
Clause 1 - Scope
Clause 2 - Normative references
Clause 3 - Terms and definitions
Clause 4 - Context of the organization
Clause 5 - Leadership
Clause 6 - Planning
Clause 7 - Support
Clause 8 - Operation
Clause 9 - Performance evaluation
Clause 10 – Improvement
All MSSs will have these 10 clauses as their top level main clauses. Discipline-specific requirements (e.g. environmental aspects identification in ISO 14001) can only be added into this structure as sub-clauses.
Identical core texts
As the name implies, identical core texts are “common denominator” of all MSS texts. Additional requirements and discipline-specific requirements will be added on top of these texts. There are 45 “shall” statements (generating 84 requirements) in identical core texts, therefore there must be at least 45 “shall” statements with 84 requirements in all future MSS. Obviously each discipline will have their own requirements, so the total for any new standard will have more. Below is the titles of the identical core texts.
4. Context of the organization
4.1 Understanding the organization and its context
4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties
4.3 Determining the scope of the XXX management system
4.4 XXX management system
5.1 Leadership and commitment
5.3 Organization roles, responsibilities and authorities
6.1 Actions to address risks and opportunities
6.2 XXX objectives and planning to achieve them
7.5 Documented information
7.5.2 Creating and updating
7.5.3 Control of documented information
8.1 Operational planning and control
9. Performance evaluation
9.1 Monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation
9.2 Internal audit
9.3 Management review
10.1 Nonconformity and corrective action
10.2 Continual improvement
Common terms and core definitions
Annex SL proposes 22 common terms:
Organization, Interested party, Requirement, Management system, Top management, Effectiveness, Policy, Objective, Risk, Competence, Documented information, Process, Performance, Outsource, Monitoring, Measurement, Audit, Conformity, Nonconformity, Correction, Corrective action and Continual improvement
These terms and definitions cannot be deleted or changed but can be added to as required by each standard / discipline.
So what’s all these tell me?
It is obvious to tell the immediate benefit for having the high level structure, identical core texts and the common terms and definitions are the ease of integrating MSS. Now that all MSS have the same skeleton and texts, integrating them would become a lot easier and sensible. In addition to the ISO 9001+ISO 14001+OHSAS 18001 integration in the past, I expect to see other combinations of MSS integration in the near future now that the format of the standards are the same.
ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 are not the first MSS that would follow Annex SL. ISO 22301:2012, ISO/IEC 27001:2013, ISO 55001:2014 are some of the standards that have been published and follow the structure and texts proposed in Annex SL. ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, both of which are due to release in 2015, will follow Annex SL as well.
If you are interested in reading the full text of the Annex SL, you may download the ISO/IEC Directives Part 1 at this URL: http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards_development/resources-for-technical-work/iso_iec_directives_and_iso_supplement.htm
ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1: Consolidated ISO Supplement — Procedures specific to ISO
IRCA Briefing note: Annex SL (previously ISO Guide 83)