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Benefits High Level Structure

There is often talk about HLS (High Level Structure) in ISO standards. But what does this mean? What are the conditions that you must meet as a company and what are the advantages for the ISO standards?


The new ISO standards that we know today are based on the structure of the HLS (High Level Structure). HLS can be described as a universal standard for management system standards that enable integrated business operations. Information security is important for every company. The ISO 27001 standard is an international standards framework for information security. ISO 27001 can be used to set up information security. The latest ISO 27001 standard was published in 2017. This standard is based on the HLS structure. HLS stands for High Level Structure and refers to the initiative to develop an 'outline structure' for the management system standards. The HLS structure is based on the plug-in model. This plug-in model is ISO's response to market demands to ensure management system standards are consistent and logically related.


The new ISO standards are much easier to integrate thanks to the High Level Structure. What makes HLS ideal is that a one-off basic system must be created and various standards can be “plugged in” from here. There are various requirements that an organization must meet for the implementation of HLS.

     - Risk management

     - Leadership

     - Compliance management (which is also necessary for an ISO standard)

     - Demonstrability

     - Improvement management


Benefits HLS in the organization

As described, the HLS system makes it increasingly easier to implement different ISO standards within the organization. This ensures that the standards for management systems are consistent and logically related. From here, the needs of the stakeholders are therefore central. HLS ensures that the management of the organization is given a more direct role and that management is more involved in the implementation of the management system.