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Annex SL: Overview of the High Level Structure

Annex SL is an overhaul that has been brought into Management System standards. Annex SL is what we consider a High Level structure.  The High Level structure consists of all the 10 standards from the ISO standards. This enables consistency as well as clear directives for common terms and generic structure to each standard.  Previously what we saw was some slight differences between ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001 and AS 4801:2001 before ISO 45001 was released.

The Key breakdowns and headings of the new Annex SL consists of the following:


2.Normative References

3.Terms and Definitions

4.Context of the Organisation





9.Performance Evaluation



Clause 3- Terms and Definitions

The purpose of this section is to provide definitions for a number of key terms including (Organisation, Interested Party, Top Management, Management System, Policy, Objective, Risk, Process, Competence, Documented Information, Performance, Continual Improvement, Effectiveness, Requirement, Conformity, Nonconformity, Corrective Action, Audit, Measurement, Monitoring).


Clause 4-Context of the Organisation

This clause is predominantly focused on the key issues (internal and external), interested parties as well as the scope of the system.


Clause 5 -Leadership

This clause is designed to highlight the importance of Management Commitment in taking actions to ensure that the system is followed by all parts of the business.  This can include creating and endorsing the Quality/OHS/Environmental policy statement as well as communicating key responsibilities and expectations.


Clause 6- Planning

This clause is set up to help set up the Organisational Objectives as well as plan to manage and mitigate the key risks of the business.


Clause 7- Supporting

This Clause accounts for the key resources, Training needs, and Induction as well as importance of effective communication processes.


Clause 8- Operations

This section is focused on all the key operational controls that are integral in ensuring the business can implement and deploy the planning in section 6.


Clause 9- Performance Evaluation

This section is established to cover all of the methods used to monitor and evaluate the performance of the system and some of the key processes and KPIs.


Clause 10- Improvement

This is aimed at understanding how businesses are aiming at continual improvement.


To find out more about Annex SL or any other matter, please get in touch with Sustainable Certification at ( or