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ISO Management System Standards

What is an ISO management system standard?

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) develops and publishes international standards – documents created by committees of experts that set out best practice for a wide range of different disciplines.

Of these, management system standards provide best-practice guidelines for designing, implementing and maintaining management systems to help organisations consistently meet their objectives in specific areas.

Some notable ISO management system standards

There are more than 100 ISO management system standards, covering disciplines such as:

  • Quality management (ISO 9001)
  • Environmental management (ISO 14001)
  • IT service management (ISO 20000)
  • Business continuity management (ISO 22301)
  • Information security management (ISO 27001)
  • Anti-bribery management (ISO 37001)
  • Health and safety (ISO 45001)
  • Energy management (ISO 50001)

You can find the full list of management system standards on the ISO website.

Annex SL and management system integration

ISO standards share the same high-level structure, so if you want to meet the requirements of more than one management system standard, you can implement them in parallel.

Annex SL sets out ten section headings, core text for sub-clauses and requirement text, and common terms and definitions. This gives ISO management system standards greater consistency and compatibility, and makes it more straightforward and cost-effective to implement an integrated management system that meets the requirements of several standards.

This, in turn, makes audit and certification easier.

Management system certification

By complying with international standards’ guidance, your organisation will benefit from best practice established by experts.

The best way of demonstrating this is by achieving independently audited certification, carried out by an accredited certification body. This proves that you follow processes and procedures that meet set criteria, giving you a competitive as well as an operational advantage.

Certification lasts for three years, with annual surveillance audits to ensure the management system is managed and maintained properly.

How IT Governance Publishing can help you implement and maintain your management system

ITGP commissions and publishes a wide range of books and toolkits designed to help organisations implement, audit and maintain management systems.

Books and audiobooks

ITGP is the world’s leading publisher of IT governance, risk management and compliance books. Created by practitioners with real-world expertise, our books help organisations and individuals achieve their objectives.

  View our range of management systems books


Used by more than 9,000 organisations worldwide, our toolkits are designed by expert implementers with years of experience leading and managing management system implementation projects. The toolkits contain:

  • Customisable documentation templates, designed to ensure your compliance with whichever standard you are implementing;
  • Gap analysis tools to help you understand where you meet a standard’s requirements and where you need to focus your efforts to ensure complete compliance; and
  • Guidance from our experts to help ensure your management system meets its objectives.

The toolkits are hosted on our Cloud-based DocumentKits platform, meaning you can access your templates anywhere, at any time.

  View our range of management systems toolkits