What Is Annex SL?
Annex SL is the standard that defines the new high level structure that is required for all ISO management system standards. It replaces the ISO Guide 83 and expands on the structure that was already established.
ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) is the independent, non-governmental organisation that represents the National Standard Institutes of over 150 countries. They develop and publish international standards in response to the needs of the international market and global expert opinions. Click here to learn more about ISO and the standards available for compliance and certification.
The Annex SL structure was created to introduce identical core text and common terms and conditions across all ISO management standards, assisting with:
- Streamlining management standards;
- Encouraging standardisation; and,
- Easing the integration of management systems.
The Annex SL Management System Template
The Annex SL standard outlines a template for which all ISO management systems are to be built on in the future. This template consists of 10 sections to categorise all of the content within a management system standard.
- Scope: This section is where you cover the objectives and intended outcomes of the management system.
- Normative References: Here you make reference to any relevant standards and publications.
- Terms and Definitions: Define and describe the common terms and definitions that are used throughout the standard in this section.
- Context of the Organisation: This section defines the areas of the organisation that the management system covers.
- Leadership: In this section you should highlight the importance of leader involvement in the management system.
- Planning: Here is where you outline how the management system will achieve its objectives and how the business will manage potential risks.
- Support: This section is where you discuss the required support for your management system to operate effectively.
- Operation: Details of the day to day processes and operation of the business should be outlined here, including how performance will be monitored.
- Performance Evaluation: Here you outline how you will monitor and analyse the performance of the business against the requirements of the management system.
- Improvements: Discuss how you will use the results from your performance evaluation to identify and implement improvements.
Which ISO Standards Use Annex SL?
Most ISO standards that have been released or updated since 2011 use Annex SL as the foundation for their structure; this includes:
- ISO 9001: Quality Management Systems;
- ISO 14001: Environmental Management Systems;
- ISO 27001: Information Security; and,
- ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management.
2021: Change Is Coming
Annex SL has been in use since 2012. In 2018, the ISO surveyed management system standard users to get their views on how Annex SL could be improved. There are plans for changes to be implemented to specific subparts of Annex SL to better maintain its overall familiarity to current users. According to the ISO the agreed plan is to create a new version of Annex SL in 2020 which will come into effect in 2021.
Integrating Your Management Systems
The Annex SL framework makes it much easier to combine your management standards and processes into one unified integrated management system.
An integrated management system (IMS) is a system that integrates all of a business’ policies, processes and procedures into one unified management framework.
A good IMS will help enable a business to:
- Optimise management processes and operations
- Optimise use of its resources and reduce costs;
- Streamline its processes and procedures;
- Increase efficiency and avoid duplication;
- Minimise the disruption caused by external audits; and,
- Focus on providing good business outcomes.
A lot of organisations don’t have an IMS, they operate with separate teams using different systems to manage their respective areas. This structure is usually fragmented and detached, leading to issues in communication, a lack of common purpose to achieve a shared goal and duplication of effort.
On the other hand, a business with teams sharing one integrated management system, using the same documents and following unified processes is better positioned to optimise their operations and make the most effective use of their time and resources.
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