What is Annex SL in ISO 9001-2015?
Annex SL is a platform upon which all the ISO management system standards rest. Yea, many more are there yet to reach the platform. Some already took their places, including ISO 9001. With the September 2015 release, ISO 9001 also became a member in this Annex family.
Through this post I’m trying to analyze the change in perspectives/added advantages introduced in the ISO family with the introduction of Annex SL.
Annex SL- An Integrated Management System Approach
It was pretty difficult to manage the parallel show inside an organization with multiple management system standards. And difficult for the auditors too. Even though the standards like ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001 have many common elements, there were described and organized differently. Thus it was a cumbersome task for organizations to implement them together. Now the similarities across the standards are framed under a common umbrella and removed the conflicts across the standards. Thus Annex- SL makes the creation of an integrated management system much easier.
Annex SL – A new template for ISO management system standards
It is said that every ISO standards should adhere to the clause structure defined in Annex SL. Hence in fact, with this framework ISO itself got a template to build new standards. To address industry specific needs, additional requirements for discipline specific sectors will be added to this generic framework.
Annex SL – Easier for Users
Annex SL provides an identical structure, terms and common concepts for all ISO management system standards. This will ensure consistency among revised and future management system standards. Hence users will find it easier to read and understand the standards.
Annex SL- Easier for Auditors
Auditors will have a generic set of requirements as a guideline to follow irrespective of the discipline. This will make their job much easier.
Annex SL – Is it not a cost saver..?
Definitely Yes, It saves pretty much time as well as cost. It helps to have an integrated management system eliminating the duplication efforts and conflicts within the multiple standards. Conflicts always call for additional resources. If the conflicts are reduced, rework and in turn resources are reduced. Also it is pretty much clear that the maintenance of an integrated management system is always economical compared to the maintenance of multiple separate management systems.
Annex SL – The business focus
When different management streams are integrated, it becomes easier for the senior management to set their vision mission, goals etc. Also the integration helps the management to streamline the entire business operation.
In short, Annex SL is a lot more than just a common framework for Management System Standards. It streamlines the creation of new ISO standard as well as provides an option for integrating multiple management system requirements.