The Ultimate Guide To ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 Operational Planning and Control

ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 Operational Planning and Control Essential Guide

What is ISO 27001 Clause 8.1?

The ISO 27001 standard requires an organisation to plan, implement and control the processes needed to meet the requirements of Information Security.

So ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 Operational Planning and Control is all about processes. Document ISO 27001 operational processes, implementing ISO 27001 operational processes, running ISO 27001operational processes and being able to evidence that they are affective. ISO 27001 clause 8.1 also includes change management and outsourced process management.

ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 Definition

The ISO 27001 standard defines clause 8.1 as:

The organisation shall plan, implement and control the processes needed to meet information security requirements, and to implement the actions determined in 6.1. The organisation shall also implement plans to achieve information security objectives determined in 6.2.

The organisation shall keep documented information to the extent necessary to have confidence that the processes have been carried out as planned.

The organisation shall control planned changes and review the consequences of unintended changes, taking action to mitigate any adverse effects, as necessary.

The organisation shall ensure that outsourced processes are determined and controlled.

ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 Operational Planning and Control

ISO 27001 Annex A / ISO 27002 2022 Guidance on Operational Planning and Control

There is further guidance provided in the ISO 27001 Annex A Controls that was revised in 2022 with changes to the ISO 27002 standard and specifically calls out required operational processes. We are working to the principle that if it is not written down it does not exist so every process will need to be considered which in reality means that every control of the ISO 27001 Annex A will require a process to be covered by a process. We will not cover the entirety but to get a flavour, let’s take a look at a sample of what Annex A says.

ISO 27002 Clause 5.24 Response to information security incidents

The organization should plan and prepare for managing information security incidents by defining, establishing and communicating information security incident management processes, roles and responsibilities

ISO 27002 Clause 5.24 Information security incident management planning and preparation

ISO 27002 Clause 5.26 Response to information security incidents

Information security incidents should be responded to in accordance with the documented procedures.

ISO 27002 Clause 5.26 Response to information security incidents

ISO 27002 Clause 5.37 Documented operating procedures

Operating procedures for information processing facilities should be documented and made available to personnel who need them.

ISO 27002 Clause 5.37 Documented operating procedures

ISO 27002 Clause 5.32 Intellectual property rights

The organization should implement appropriate procedures to protect intellectual property rights.

ISO 27002 Clause 5.32 Intellectual property rights

This is usually the function of the legal department and part of good legal practice. Legal will have many requirements of their own but we are interested for ISO 27001 certification in ensuring that they have handled intellectual property rights as well as the legal register.

ISO 27002 Clause 8.32 Change Management

Changes to information processing facilities and information systems should be subject to change management procedures.

ISO 27002 Clause 8.32 Change Management

How to comply with ISO 27001 Clause 8.1

Time needed: 1 day.

How to comply with ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 Guide to Operational Planning and Control

  1. Document all of your operational processes

    In a document with appropriate mark up and version control document the operational processes of the business. Make sure you document what you do, not what you think an auditor wants to hear. You can only be audited against what you say you do so be sure you do it. Write clear and concise steps that anyone could follow to achieve the same process results and outcomes. Always include at least one exception step that covers what happens if a part of the process fails or does not operate as intended. You will need to document not only the information security processes but any process that covers the ISO 27001 in scope products and services. It is covered by the ISO 27001 scope statement then it needs documenting.

  2. Ensure your process documents are reviewed and approved

    Process documents are part of the information security management system and they should be reviewed and approved and part of the review and approval cycle.

  3. Keep evidence of the process operating

    When you come to the audit the auditor will want to see evidence of the operation of the process. This could be tickets in a ticket system, operational performance reports, copies of emails. What ever the artefacts referenced in the process are make sure that you can show copies of at least one of them.

  4. Audit your operation processes

    You are required to audit your operational processes at least once annually and then based on need and business risk. Be sure that you have conducted the audit, documented and followed the continual improvement process.

  5. On Ending Employment / Engagement

    Ensure that at the end of employment or the end of engagement that you communicate the contractual obligations that are, and will remain, in play in regards to information security.

  6. ISO 27001 Continual Improvement

    Continually update your communication plan to respond to known threats, risks and issues.

  7. Implement Change Management

    In line with the Change Management Policy and best practice document and implement a change management process ensuring that changes go through the process and you can evidence the operation of the change process at audit time.

  8. Implement Third Party Supplier Management

    In line with the Third Party Supplier Policy and best practice document and implement a third party supplier process ensuring you have the controls and reporting mechanisms in place to the extent that you can evidence the operation of the supplier management process at audit time.

ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 Implementation Guide

There are many ways to document and evidence operational control. Consider the best methods for you.

When documenting operational processes you can have all your operational processes documented in one document called the Operations Manual (Ops Manual). This approach is great for smaller businesses.

Alternatively you can have many documents spread out in, and embedded in, the business and the operational areas where the processes are executed. This is more suited to a large organisation with teams and more people.

Consider it as a centralised or decentralised approach with the associated pros and cons of those kinds of implementation.

Finally there is always a hybrid approach where some processes are in the business but the ops manual remains the ‘shop window’ or the main reference point for those processes for management and control.

How do you demonstrate compliance to ISO 27001 clause 8.1?

It is very simple and straightforward to demonstrate compliance with ISO 27001 clause 8.1 operational planning and control.

Document all of your processes, have plans in place that you can evidence and have evidence of the processes operating as you have documented that they should.

ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 Template

ISO 27001 templates are a great way to implement your information security management system. Whilst an ISO 27001 toolkit can save you up to 30x in consulting fees and allow you to deliver up to 10x faster these individual templates help meet the specific requirements of ISO 27001 clause 8.1

ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 FAQ

What is ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 Operational and Planning Control?

The organisation shall plan, implement and control operational processes and keep evidence of their effective operation. In addition the organisation shall implement change management and third party supplier management.

How do I evidence I meet the requirement of ISO 27001 Clause 8.1?

You evidence compliance to the ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 by having written and documented processes and procedures in place that say exactly what you do and cover the requirements of the ISO 27001 standard. In addition you have records and evidence of the operation of those processes and procedures so you can evidence that you actually do what you say you and that it works as intended.

Where can I download ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 templates?

You can download ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 templates here:

ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 example?

An example of ISO 27001 Clause 8.1 can be found here:

Do my ISO 27001 operational processes need to be documented in Microsoft Word?

No. You can document them in what ever way makes sense for your organisation. As long as they have the appropriate document mark up and controls in place.

My processes are in Monday / Jira / Other .. is that ok?

Yes. As long as they say what you do and you can evidence that you do it that is fine.

How often do I review ISO 27001 operational procedures and ISO 27001 operational processes?

You review them when ever anything changes and at least annually. When it comes to audit make sure that you can evidence they were reviewed at some point in the preceding 12 months to the audit. Can

Should I have one large document or many documents for ISO 27001 operational processes?

The standard does not care as long as they are documented so do what works best for you and your organisation. We recommend one document for small to mid sized organisations.

ISO 27001 Certification Requirements

See Also


ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management

ISO 27001 Strategy Session
ISO 27001 ISO 27001 Toolkit
ISO 27001 Policy Bundle

ISO 27001 Templates Toolkit: Business Edition

ISO 27001 Policy Templates: Professional Edition

Stuart Barker

About the Author

Stuart Barker

Stuart is an ISO 27001 Consultant and author of the ISO 27001 Templates Toolkit. Over 20 years he has helped hundreds of organisations with the ISO 27001 standard and getting them ISO 27001 certification with a 100% success rate.

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