The standard aims to ensure guarantee service management integrated and aligned with different corporate strategies, making services management system performance more effective for organisations, customers and suppliers.

The standard also adopts the HLS structure common to all the new ISOs, enabling the best interaction of multiple integrated management systems.

The main changes that will be introduced with the new ISO concern:

  • Incident management, service request management, availability management, service continuity management, service level management, service catalog management, capacity management and demand management have been distinguished;
  • The prescriptive sections of the standard have been reduced so as to make the application of the service management systems easier for any organisation;
  • The required documentation supporting the service management system have been reduced so as to make its definition more strictly aligned with the organisation needs;
  • The design, build and transition process definition for the service has described more precise way.

The certificates can be updated during any audit scheduled before September 30 2021.


However, the IAF decided that all initial and recertification audits must be in compliance with the 2018 version of the standard 18 months after transition starting date. For this reason, it is important to timely plan the implementation of the new requirements and the transition audit execution.

The expiry date of the certifications issued in accordance with ISO/IEC 20000-1: 2011 during the transition period will come at the same time with the end of the transition period itself.

During the transition period, already certified organisations can choose to make the transition to the new standard:

  • During a surveillance audit;
  • During a recertification audit;
  • In-between to programmed audits, programming an extra audit.

In order to prepare for the standard, RINA recommends the following:

  • Familiarise with the standard contents and perform a gap analysis between new requirements and current organisation’s systems procedures;
  • Carry out training for interested personnel to prepare them understanding the main changes;
  • Plan the implementation of all necessary changes to the service management system;
  • Get in contact with the reference person, in order to program the transition and execute the audit;
  • Assess the implementation effectiveness through internal audits, and define further actions if necessary.