Management System Standards -
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The majority of ISO management system standards are now based upon a common structure.
This was previously known as the High Level Structure (HLS). It was revised in April
2021 and renamed as the Harmonised Structure (HS). This common structure enables
organisations to more easily implement a management system that conforms to two or
more management system standards, often referred to as an Integrated Management System
(IMS). The HLS/HS consists of a core text, a set of section headings and body text,
which provides a foundation for management system standards. The core text is mandatory
and is present in all new management system standards and most recent revisions of
older management system standards. (One exception is ISO 13485:2016 Medical devices
The following document provides a background and overview of the common structure of ISO management system standards.
Each ISO management system standard consists of this core text, plus additional text, which is specific to the aspect of operations that the management system standard governs. The amount, and nature of, the additional text, differs considerably amongst these standards.
For example, ISO 55001:2014 -
By contrast, ISO 44001:2017 -
Encapsulation of Good Management
The core text that provides the foundation of (most) ISO management system standards encapsulates attributes and practices of good management of all aspects of operations.
The additional text that is added to the core text, to create a management system standard, encapsulates attributes and practices of good management, which are specific to the aspect of operations that the standard governs.