This section details the general and documentation requirements that are the foundation of the management system. The general requirements ask you to look at the processes of the management system, how they interact with each other, what resources you need to run the processes; and how you will measure and monitor the processes. The second part of the section then sets out the requirements for the documentation needed to effectively operate the system and how the documentation should be controlled.

The management of the systems is the responsibility of the "top management" at a strategic level in the organization. The "top management" must know customers' requirements at a strategic level and make a commitment to meeting these as well as statutory and regulatory requirements. "Top management" must also set policies; and to achieve these policies set objectives through planning how the objectives will be met. "Top management" should also ensure that there are clear internal communications and that the management system is regularly reviewed.