Annex SLAnnex SL (previously known as ISO Guide 83) is a publication which forms the basis of a generic management system.

Why the change?

It has been created by ISO in order to provide a universal high level structure, identical core text and common terms & definitions for all management system standards (MSS).

Annex SL will ensure consistency among revised and future management system standards and will make integrating multiple ISO standards much simpler. By making the standards easier to read it is hoped it will end confusion upon implementation and be better understood by users throughout the company and beyond. This will make all future ISO MSS more compatible and consistent, and will have a positively profound effect on writers, management and auditors.

Update – watch our 2 minute video explaining Annex SL

Clause changes

The core text on Annex SL has ten high level clauses, these are:

  • Clause 1 – Scope
  • Clause 2 – Normative references
  • Clause 3 – Terms and definitions (sub divided into three parts); high-level structure, identical core text and common terms and core definitions
  • Clause 4 – Context of the organisation
  • Clause 5 – Leadership
  • Clause 6 – Planning
  • Clause 7 – Support
  • Clause 8 – Operation
  • Clause 9 – Performance evaluation
  • Clause 10 – Improvement

Annex SL has a total of 45 ‘shall’ statements resulting in 84 requirements. Each individual ISO standard will obviously have more requirements, but Annex SL provide the core identical text.

How will it affect users?

It is intended Annex SL will simplify the use of ISO management systems and eliminate the substantial (or subtle) differences previously experienced in the perception and implementation of various MSSs by providing a compatible and consistent system.

Additionally, ISO Annex SL aims to ensure the user can easily implement one or more MSS. ISO state that “An MSS should be easily understood, unambiguous, free from cultural bias, easily translatable, and applicable to businesses in general.”

The framework for Annex SL consists of ten clauses and four appendices and has been built by the ISO Technical Management Board (TMB). However, discipline specific requirements will need to be added to ensure the requirements of standards such as energy management, environmental service management, food safety, information security and business continuity, will be met.

Management system auditors will have the advantage of a basic set of generic requirements as a guideline to follow, whatever the discipline, as standards will be identical.

Which standards are using Annex SL already

Eventually all standards (new or revised) will use this new structure, standards such as ISO 27001:2013, ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, AS9100:2016 are already based on Annex SL.


Read the full article

ISO 9001:2015 - the next revision

With the changes being so wide and varied, in this article we discuss all the potential issues with the revisions
Read the full article