HLS becomes HS, what does that mean?

High Level Structure (HLS) is the system that contains all common structures of the ISO standards. HLS ensures that standards connect seamlessly with each other by, among other things, a set of core requirements that are the same for all standards. This is especially useful when several standards are assessed at the same time within a company.

In May 2021, the updated variant of HLS was launched: Harmonized Structure (HS). From now on, the HS will be included in all new and future ISO management systems.

The changes in a nutshell

There are no major changes in terms of content. However, some parts will become more concrete and others will get more space for individual interpretation. All changes in a row:

  • Met het opnemen van termen en definities in de HS wordt er naar verwachting meer transparantie en duidelijkheid gecreëerd.
  • Recording the needs and expectations of stakeholders becomes more important. A company may decide for itself how many and which stakeholders it will record, but it must substantiate its choice.
  • Change management has been made the same for all management systems and standards.
  • It is no longer necessary to document information in a fixed format.
For which standards?

All ISO standards that NCI Certification is allowed to certify fall under the renewed Harmonized Structure. It concerns ISO 9001 (quality management system), ISO 14001 (environmental management system), ISO 27001 (information security) and ISO 45001 (health and safety management system). More information about these standards can be found on our website.