ISO 27001

Understanding ISO 27001 Mandatory Documents

December 27, 2023

Understanding ISO 27001 Mandatory Documents


ISO 27001, internationally recognised as the benchmark for information security management systems (ISMS), plays a critical role in protecting sensitive data in organisations. 

Central to achieving ISO 27001 compliance and certification are the mandatory documents.  This article explores these documents, updated for the 2022 revision, highlighting their significance within the ISO 27001 framework.

The Core of ISO 27001

Understanding the mandatory documents requires a grasp of what ISO 27001 entails. It sets the criteria for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an ISMS. 

Its goal is to aid organisations in securely managing and protecting their information assets.

Mandatory Documents of ISO 27001:2022

For compliance, ISO 27001:2022 mandates certain documents, forming the foundation of an effective ISMS and ensuring secure and consistent information management practices.

Scope of the ISMS (Clause 4.3)

Defines the ISMS boundaries and applicability, identifying the information assets and locations where the ISMS applies. Essential for both internal management and external auditors.

Information Security Policy (Clause 5.2)

A key document outlining the organisation's information security approach. It should reflect the organisation’s objectives and demonstrate a commitment to security at the highest level.

Risk Assessment and Risk Treatment Methodology (Clause 6.1.2)

Documented processes for assessing information security risks and determining treatment options. This includes identifying, analysing, evaluating risks, and choosing appropriate risk treatment measures.

Statement of Applicability (Clause 6.1.3 d)

Lists all the ISO 27001 controls, stating whether each is applicable and why. It justifies the inclusion or exclusion of controls and is essential for auditors.

Risk Treatment Plan (Clause 6.1.3 e)

Outlines how to manage identified risks, detailing chosen controls, reasons for their selection, and implementation methods. This document ensures a strategic approach to risk management.

Objectives for Information Security (Clause 6.2)

Setting and documenting measurable information security objectives, consistent with the security policy, and regularly reviewed for effectiveness.

Evidence of Competence (Clause 7.2)

Proves staff members have the necessary education, training, and experience for their information security roles, demonstrating effective ISMS management.

Other Operational Planning and Control Documents (Clause 8.1)

Related to the operation of the ISMS, these include procedures for managing ISMS changes, documenting specific security measures, and handling operational issues.

Results of Risk Assessments and Risk Treatment (Clause 8.2)

Records of the risk assessment process and outcomes, including identified risks, their analysis, evaluation, and control effectiveness.

Monitoring and Measurement Results (Clause 9.1)

Evidence of the ISMS's performance, showing whether it meets objectives and where improvements are needed.

Internal Audit Programme and Results (Clause 9.2)

Necessary to evaluate the ISMS's effectiveness and compliance. Records of audit programmes and findings are crucial for demonstrating continuous improvement.

Evidence of Information Security Performance (Clause 9.1)

Required documentation on the performance of various information security controls and processes, assessing the ISMS's effectiveness and efficiency.

Results of Management Reviews (Clause 9.3)

Critical for assessing the ISMS's overall performance. Records include decisions and actions related to continual improvement.

Evidence of the Nature of Nonconformities and Actions Taken (Clause 10.1)

When nonconformities occur, records of their nature, corrective actions, and outcomes are required, demonstrating a commitment to resolving issues and preventing recurrence.

Evidence of Results of Corrective Actions (Clause 10.1)

Documents the outcomes of corrective actions, showing a commitment to continual improvement and learning from mistakes.

The Importance of These Documents

These documents are fundamental to effective information security management, ensuring:

  • Clear scope and objectives of the ISMS, aligned with business goals.
  • Systematic identification, assessment, and management of risks.
  • Established and communicated commitment to information security.
  • Embedded continuous improvement and adaptability in the ISMS.


Comprehending and implementing the mandatory documents of ISO 27001:2022 is crucial for robust information security management. 

These documents aid in compliance and foster a culture of security awareness and continuous improvement, enhancing the organisation's information security posture in today's data-centric environment.

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