Clauses vs. Elements in ISO Standards

Question

What, if any, is the difference between the words “clause” and “element” in ISO standards?
Specifically, “customer shall conduct an internal audit addressing all elements of the management system.”  And, at what level is this in the standard, eg, 4 or 4.1 or 4.2.1

Answer

1) The difference between the words “clause” and “element” in ISO standards? – No difference.

2)”Customer shall conduct an internal audit addressing all elements of the management system”. –  Customers do not perform internal audits on suppliers.  If this person means that  customer requires a full QMS audit, so does the standard.  “All elements” probably means all QMS processes.

3) At what level is this in the standard, eg, 4 or 4.1 or 4.2.1 – 4 is the clause/element; 4.1.& 4.2 are “sub-clauses”

George Hummel
Voting member of the U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 176 – Quality Management and Quality Assurance
Managing Partner
Global Certification-USA
www.globalcert-usa.com/
Dayton, OH

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