What Are The Clauses Mentioned Under The New ISO High-Level Structure

A lot of businesses are not aware of the new ISO high-level structure for quality management systems standards. This structure comprises ten clauses that all ISO management system standards have to implement in the future. It will enable greater integration within systems of varying disciplines.

Let’s understand more about the new ISO high-level structure in detail.


This is the first clause of the HLS. It talks about the scope of the ISO standard. It states that organizations have to fulfill regulatory and statutory requirements to make continuous improvements. All requirements are going to be generic. They will be intended for organizations, irrespective of their size, type, product, and service offered.

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Normative references

The purpose of this clause is to ensure that the numbering aligns with other ISO standards. At the moment, there are no normative references planned for the coming revisions of ISO 14001, ISO 45001, and ISO 9001.

Terms And Definitions

In addition to discipline-specific terms, each management system standard has some form of terms and definitions. The current ISO standards such as AS/NZS 4801 and ISO 14001 include terms and definitions in this standard.

Context Of The Organization

This new HLS requires the organization to determine the internal and external issues that impact the organization. External issues comprise things like legal, cultural, and technological. On the other hand, internal issues include things such as values, knowledge, and culture.


The top management needs to showcase leadership. This is done by establishing policies as well as ensuring that authorities and responsibilities are well understood, and communicated. Management needs to promote quality, OHS, and environmental standards across the organization.


Organizations have to form a strategy to address opportunities and threats within the organization. It is done to prevent or minimize unsought effects and attain enhancement. As per the clause, plans and objectives have to be developed to fulfil these objectives and assist organizations in risk management.


This clause states that the organization should provide the necessary resources to assist the management system. This includes competent people, environment, infrastructure equipment, etc. In addition to it, the knowledge essential for the discipline has to be maintained, determined, and made available.

Performance evaluation

This clause requires understanding the effectiveness of the QMS and identifying zones for improvement. The clause ensures that there is a continuous review to ensure the effectiveness and appropriateness of the system.


The clause is related to the continuous enhancement of the QMS and finding areas for improvement. The organization may implement changes to satisfy customer requirements and enhance customer satisfaction.

It comprises making relevant changes for the enhancement of the quality of products and services and performing corrective measures to avoid undesired effects.


The new high-level structure has several new additions to the existing quality management system standard. An organization that is planning to implement the ISO certification should first get a complete knowledge of the new structure. This structure requires that all future management systems standards should follow the same structure to ensure consistency in the operation.

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