ISO Management System Standards


ISO Management System Standards


ISO 9001:2015 - Quality management systems – Requirements is a recognized international standard that establishes the guidelines for a sound quality management system in any organization. On a wider scale, it is also responsible for creating the general system among standards that addresses the continual improvement of a specific concept within an organization. For ISO 9001, that concept is quality, but other ISO management system standards use the same methodology to meet other needs.

One of the better known ISO management system standards other than ISO 9001 was the first one to borrow ideas from the original quality management system: ISO 14001. ISO 14001:2015 - Environmental management systems - Requirements with guidance for use specifies the requirements for an environmental management system. This allows any organization to assure its own environmental sustainability.

However, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 are not the only two ISO management standards that are applicable to almost any organization. ISO 55001:2014 - Asset management - Management systems – Requirements gives the specifications for an asset management system, in which an organization can control their assets in a manner beneficial to them. Also serving a more general purpose for an immense variety of organizations is ISO 30301:2011 - Information and documentation - Management systems for records – Requirements.

While still being written to be nonprescriptive, some of these ISO management standards specify a system that not cannot apply to any organization, instead being used for a specific industry or purpose. For example, ISO 21101:2014 - Adventure tourism - Safety management systems – Requirements establishes the specifications for a safety management system for use only in the adventure tourism industry.


ISO 21101:2014


The guidelines in ISO 21101:2014 are unique to the adventure tourism industry because it is based off the idea of people taking risks to achieve rewards. However, because these risks can also bring dangers to the consumer, the standard calls for adventure tourism providers to plan, communicate about, and deliver adventure tourism activities as safely as practicable.

Because of the variety of ISO management system standards and the similarities between their guidelines and recommended execution, in the 2010s ISO created a standardized way of drafting new ISO management standards called the High Level Structure (HLS).

The HLS is defined in the Annex SL, which we have discussed in past posts. This allows for a general structure that is universal among the different management system standards, with common terms and definitions. This shared structure so allows for interoperability with different standards published years apart and simplifies the process for compliant organizations. Annex SL assures quality within ISO standards.

In addition to the aforementioned standards, some other ISO management system standards that make use of the HLS include:








Other ISO management system standards are available on the ANSI Webstore.
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