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ISO/IEC 20000 – Part 1 Update and Annex SL

ISO/IEC 20000 series revision

All standards are reviewed every 5 years to assess if they remain relevant and need any improvement. After this process, some standards will be retired, some will remain as they are and some will be updated to a new edition.

The review of ISO/IEC 20000-1 has agreed that it remains relevant but needs to be updated. As Part 1 is the primary standard in the ISO20000 series, then all other parts are likely to also require updating to remain aligned with Part 1.

There are some key reasons for the update to Part 1:

  • As services evolve and become embedded within more and more of our daily and business lives, the requirements for service management are evolving. For example, the requirements in the current Part 1 for the supplier contract can be difficult to adhere to with the frequent use of cloud service suppliers who have a standard contract that may not meet the requirements of Part 1.
  • The 2011 edition of Part 1 has now been used for 4 years and areas that are often found difficult to understand have been identified. For example, the design and transition of new or changed services process and its relationship with the change management policy is an area of difficulty for many service providers
  • All management system standards must change to use standard structure and wording. This is known as Annex SL from the annex number in the ISO directives where the instructions are listed.

It is this latter area that is the subject of this blog. I would be very happy to hear from readers of their views on improvements required to part 1.  Further blogs will cover possible improvements to part 1 in the future.

Annex SL

Annex SL prescribes a standard structure and some standard text to be used for all management system standards. This will enable integration of management systems for ease of maintenance and auditing of more than one standard together. Examples of other management system standards which are most typically integrated with ISO/IEC 20000-1 are ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO/IEC 27001 (information security management).


Annex SL largely covers the requirements currently in Part 1 Clause 4 with some additions. It then allows for the addition of topic specific requirements.


The prescribed structure is 10 clauses as shown below:

Annex SL structure



High level mapping of ISO/IEC 20000-1 to Annex SL

The very high level mapping of ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 to Annex SL is shown in the table below at clause level. This mapping may change during the development process of the revised standard.

Clauses 1 and 2 are specific to each standard. Clause 3 contains some standard terms and definitions set out by Annex SL and can be supplemented by topic specific terms and definitions.

In some clauses, the annex SL wording is sufficient without any topic specific additions and the current ISO/IEC 20000-1 text can be deleted e.g. internal audit. In other clauses, current ISO/IEC 20000-1 text has been used to supplement the Annex SL text with service management specific requirements e.g. planning.

Annex SL ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011
4 Context of the service provider 4.5.1 Define scope4.5.3 Implement and operate the SMS (Do)
5 Leadership 4.1.1 Management commitment4.1.2 Service management policy4.1.3 Authority, responsibility and communication4.1.4 Management representative
6 Planning 4.1.1  Management commitment4.1.4  Management representative4.5.4.1 General4.5.2  Plan the SMS
7 Support 4.1.3 Authority, responsibility and communication4.3.1 Establish and maintain documents4.3.2 Control of documents4.3.3 Control of records4.4.1 Provision of resources

4.4.2 Human resources

8 Operation 4.2 Governance of processes operated by other parties4.5.3 Implement and operate the SMS (Do)Also added into clause 8 as new sub-clauses are clauses 5 -9 of ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011, the service management processes
9 Performance evaluation 4.1.1 f) Management commitment4.5.3 f)  Implement and operate the SMS (Do) General4.5.4.2 Internal audit4.5.4.3 Management review
10 Improvement General4.5.4.2 Internal audit4.5.5.1 General4.5.5.2 Management of improvements


The ISO committee are currently working on the revision of ISO/IEC 20000-1 and its move to the Annex SL structure and standard wording. As Part 1 editor, this is a major role for me. The revision will continue with commenting on updates required to Part 1 made by national bodies from each country (BSI in the UK) which are discussed at ISO committee meetings.

If you are already certified or starting to implement ISO/IEC 20000-1, do not worry, the new edition of Part 1 is not due out until at least 2018 and will then probably have 2 years for transition to the new edition.

Lynda Cooper, an independent consultant and trainer, is one of the first people in the world to hold the ITIL Master qualification. Lynda chairs the BSI committee for IT service management (ITSM). Lynda sits on various ISO/IEC committees representing the UK and is the project editor for ISO/IEC 20000-1 and ISO/IEC 90006.


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