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ISO 45001:2018 in Detail:
What is the Annex L Platform?

Annex L (originally called Annex SL, then renamed in 2019 as Annex L) is a management system format that helps streamline creation of new standards, and make implementing multiple standards within one organization easier.

While many standards have common elements, they were described and organized differently, making it difficult for organizations to implement multiple standards.

“Annex L” further addresses these issues by creating a “template” upon which ISO MSS are to be built in the future.

How Will Annex L Help You?

An example of Annex L’s potential may be seen in examples of how documents are more easily managed. For example, our Integrated Standards store specializes in providing the basic documents that those seeking multiple standards certification can tailor to their needs. Here is the previous structure of ISO 14001 and ISO 9001:

Red = Shared Requirement ISO 14001:2004 ISO 9001:2008
General Requirements 4.1 4.1
Policy 4.2 5.3
Environmental Aspects 4.3.1
Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Determining Controls
Legal and other Requirements 4.3.2
Objectives, Targets and Programs 4.3.3 5.4.1, 5.4.2
Resources, Roles, Responsibility, (Accountability) and Authority 4.4.1 5.5.1, 5.5.2, 6.1
Competence, Training and Awareness 4.4.2 6.2.1, 6.2.2
Communication 4.4.3 5.5.3
Participation and consultation
Documentation 4.4.4 4.2.1, 4.2.2
Control of Documents 4.4.5 4.2.3
Operational Control 4.4.6
Emergency Preparedness and Response 4.4.7
Monitoring and Measurement 4.5.1 7.6, 8.2.3, 8.2.4
Evaluation of Compliance 4.5.2
Incident Investigation
Nonconformity, Corrective Action and Preventive Action 4.5.3 8.5.2, 8.5.3
Control of Records 4.5.4 4.2.4
Internal Audit 4.5.5 8.2.2
Management Review 4.6 5.6

ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015 are now both based on the Annex L framework and therefore shares common terms and definitions.

  • 0: Introduction
  • 1: Scope
  • 2: Normative references
  • 3: Terms and definitions
  • 4: Context of the organization
  • 5: Leadership
  • 6: Planning
  • 7: Support
  • 8: Operation
  • 9: Performance evaluation
  • 10: Improvement

On a practical level, Annex L improved and streamlined this combination process.

Building Standards Specificity On Annex L’s Mandated Structure

Annex L solves the problem of potential redundancy in basic structure for companies wishing to deploy multiple standards. It requires that a time/effort-saving common structure be used for recurring quality management standard elements. But it allows more specifics to be added for a given area of expertise, i.e. environmental or health and safety.

What Standards Use Annex L?

ISO 45001 is not be the first ISO management standard to employ Annex L, nor will it be the last. The following is a list of standards that already employ Annex L.

  • ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System
  • ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System
  • ISO/IEC 27001, Information technology: Security techniques, Information security management systems
  • ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health & Safety Management System

And there are some sectors that implemented Annex L including:

  • International Automotive Task Force – IATF 16949
  • International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) – AS9100/10/20



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