Annex SL Gets 2021 Update

The framework for nearly all management system standards, Annex SL, has been updated with minor changes in requirements which are set to filter through to future standards.

What is Annex SL?

Annex SL was released in 2012 with ISO 22301 being one of the first standards to follow its structure.

The Annex is part of the ISO/IEC Directives which are used when creating or updating new management system standards.

The significance of Annex SL is that it provides a common:

  • Clause Structure,
  • Core Text,
  • Terms and Definitions.

Which harmonised management system standards, making them incredibly easy to integrate and audit together, thus reducing consultancy and audit time.

Before Annex SL, standards had their own structure where clauses did not easily align, even though many requirements were similar.

Read more about Annex SL

What has Changed in Annex SL?

The 2021 changes are only minor, but they should be considered when implementing ISO Management Systems.

The needs of Interested Parties were already considered but now more emphasis on those needs met through the management system are required. The IAF suggests this is ‘consistent with the concept of “compliance obligations” as defined in ISO 37301:2021’

Clause 6.3 Planning for Change, already found in ISO 9001, will appear across the board.

“Outsourcing” is replaced by “externally provided processes, products or services”, again a change already family to those who operate ISO 9001.

Continual Improvement has been made more prominent in clause 10.

However, the IAF suggests most interesting is a new requirement to ‘State the Intended Results’ of the Management System within the scope.

While we believe this is a positive step at Assent, we recognise the potential to confuse the intended outcome of the system with the management system objectives and policy.  Clients will need to distinguish between the two.  

It’s important to remember that objectives must be measurable and achievable and we often look for a mix of shorter and longer term objectives across the management system.

How Does it Affect Your Management System?

Existing management systems and ISO Certifications will not be affected by these changes until the standards themselves are updated. This is different depending on the standard’s cycle. Keep an eye on our ISO Revisions page for updates.

However it would be advisable to talk to your Assent ISO Consultant now to begin preparing and implementing the new requirements to stay ahead.

Contact us today to get started.

Robert Clements
Robert Clements
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