The High Level Structure

The High Level Structure (HLS) is the new central tenet of ISO 2015 and of Rev D. Without the HLS it is difficult to align policy objectives with strategy, to clarify the organisational context and to make practical use of the process approach: all of which are now specified within Rev D. We believe it will it add real value to aerospace companies.

Unlike management regimes and fashions that have gone before it, the High Level Structure contains all of the seeds for success.

  • The HLS focuses the organisation on the value it delivers: not its meaningless functional silos;
  • It is process-enabled, which when combined with a value-driven model, facilitates true business improvement: top-down, bottom-up and end-to end;
  • It encompasses all activities: not just those that can be automated and creates a framework where all can be managed under the same roof.

Revision C mentioned the word “risk” four times; Rev D mentions it forty times. A similar ratio is found in the 2015 version of ISO; which after all is the underlying template for Rev D.

Moving forward

Of course there will always be the naysayers. There will be those that try and rail against a process-driven approach: preferring to stick doggedly to reams of ineffective procedures. There will also be those that follow the BPM route: adhering to the dictum that automation is the answer to everything.

But we believe that both groups will eventually see the error of their ways:

  • The procedure adherents will see their competitors take market share as the effectiveness and agility improvements resulting from process cause and effect analysis have a marked impact. They will also most likely clash with their auditors.
  • The automation crowd will finally see—as most CEOs have already seen—that you cannot exclude the human forever. To do so is expensive folly: especially in an industry like aerospace which has few transactional processes and many which are highly specialist or manual.


For help with the upcoming changes to the AS9100 take a look at our free resources which include white papers and AS9100 webinars. Furthermore, if you would like personalised help with the transition from Rev C to Rev D then please feel free to contact us personally and we will be happy to help.