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Clause 6 Planning

6.1 Actions to address risks and opportunities

Clause Criteria

Clause 6.1.1:
When planning for the management system, the organization shall consider the issues referred to in 4.1 and the requirements referred to in 4.2 and determine the risks and opportunities that need to be addressed to:
give assurance that the management system can achieve its intended result(s);
prevent, or reduce, undesired effects;
achieve continual improvement.
Clause 6.1.2:
The organization shall plan:
a) actions to address these risks and opportunities;
b) how to;
integrate and implement the actions into its management system processes;
evaluate the effectiveness of these actions.


The intent of this clause is to specify the requirements for the planning needed as a prerequisite to establishing the management system.

It specifies what needs to be considered and what needs to be addressed.
The planning is performed at a strategic level, versus the tactical planning done for Operational planning and control (8.1).
At a minimum, planning needs to consider the issues relevant to the organization’s context identified in (4.1) and the organization’s applicable requirements identified in (4.2) in order to address any negative or positive consequence posed in a prioritized fashion.
Prioritization is based on the three bullet items.
Annex SL calls for actions to address risks in 6.1, but does not call for risk management, risk assessment or risk treatment.
The purpose of planning is to anticipate potential scenarios and consequences, and as such is preventive in addressing undesired effects before they occur.
Similarly, it looks for favourable conditions or circumstances that can offer a potential advantage or beneficial outcome benefit and includes planning for those worthy of pursuit.
Planning also includes determining how to incorporate the actions deemed necessary or beneficial into the MS, either through objective setting (6.2), operational control (8.1) or other specific clauses of the MS, e.g. resource provisions (7.1), competence (7.2).
The mechanism for evaluating the effectiveness of the preventive action taken is also planned, and can include monitoring, measurement techniques (9.1), internal audit (9.2) or management review (9.3).

Chief Explainer:

Phil Byrne

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