Annex SL gets a lot of mention in connection with the in-progress revisions of ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and other ISO standards. But what is Annex SL and why is it so important?
Annex SL: Origins
Annex SL grew out of what was previously known as ISO Guide 83. Most organizations have more than one management system, and many expressed frustration at the extra time and resources that it took to implement and certify their various management systems with differing structures, definitions, and requirements. ISO Guide 83, which was adopted in 2011, was the first formal effort to create consistency in structure and terminology across ISO management systems standards.
Annex SL: A common structure
Annex SL is a high-level structure created by ISO to provide a universal high-level structure, identical core text, and common terms and definitions for all management system standards. It was designed to make it easier for organizations that have to comply with more than one management system standard.
The core text on Annex SL has ten high-level clauses:
- Scope: The scope defines the intended outcomes of the management system. The outcomes are industry-specific and should be aligned with the context of the organization (clause 4).
- Normative references: Provides details of the reference standards or publications relevant to the particular standard. For ISO 9001:2015, the normative reference is ISO 9000:2015. (See related article here.)
- Terms and definitions (subdivided into three parts): high-level structure, identical core text, and common terms and core definitions
- Context of the organization: Clause 4 consists of four subclauses:
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 managements system
4.4 The management system
- Leadership: Clause 5 comprises three subclauses:
5.1 Leadership and commitment
5.3 Organizational roles, responsibilities and authorities
- Planning: Clause 6 includes two subclauses:
6.1 Actions to address risks and opportunities
6.2 Management system objectives and planning to achieve them
- Support: Clause 7 consists of five subclauses:
7.5 Documented information
- Operation: Clause 8 has one subclause:
8.1 Operational planning and control
- Performance evaluation: Clause 9 is formed of three subclauses:
9.1 Monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation
9.2 Internal audit
9.3 Management review
- Improvement: Clause 10 looks at how nonconformities and corrective actions should be managed. It includes two subclauses:
10.1 Nonconformity and corrective action
10.2 Continual improvement
Annex SL has a total of 45 “shall” statements resulting in 84 requirements.
In addition to the overall structural framework, requirements for individual sectors have been added.
Which standard revisions are using Annex SL?
All new ISO management system standards will use Annex SL as the template for their structures. As ISO management system standards come up for revision, they will all be brought in line with Annex SL as well. Existing and upcoming standards based on the Annex SL structure include:
- ISO 9001:2015, Quality management systems
- ISO 14001: 2015, Environmental management systems
- ISO/TS 16959:2016, Automotive quality management systems (will be based on ISO 9001:2015)
- AS9100C:2016, Aerospace quality management systems (will be based on ISO 9001:2015)
- ISO/IEC 27001, Information technology: Security techniques, Information security management systems
- ISO 30301:2011, Information and documentation: Management systems for records
- ISO 22301:2012, Societal security: Business continuity management systems
- ISO 20121:2012, Event sustainability management systems
- ISO 39001, Road-traffic safety (RTS) management systems
- ISO 55001, Asset management
Annex SL: What’s in a name?
A frequent question that pops up asks what the “SL” stands for in Annex SL. But SL is not an acronym–it’s merely a part of ISO’s numbering scheme.
For more information on Annex SL, visit ISO’s website here.