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About This Item


Full Description

An identical version of this document is available outside the United States and Canada as BS EN ISO 14971:2007. It is also available in German (DIN EN ISO 14971:2008) and Spanish (UNE EN ISO 14971:2007).

From the Foreword

International Standard ISO 14971 was prepared by ISO/TC 210, Quality management and corresponding general aspects for medical devices, and Subcommittee IEC/SC 62A, Common aspects of electrical equipment used in medical practice. Annex H, "Guidance on risk management for in vitro diagnostic medical devices", was prepared by ISO/TC 212, Clinical laboratory testing and in vitro diagnostic test systems.

This second edition cancels and replaces the first edition (ISO 14971:2000) as well as the amendment ISO 14971:2000/Amd.1:2003.

For purposes of future IEC maintenance, Subcommittee 62A has decided that the contents of this publication will remain unchanged until the maintenance result date1) indicated on the IEC web site under in the data related to the specific publication. At this date, the publication will be

- reconfirmed,
- withdrawn,
- replaced by a revised edition or
- amended.


The requirements contained in this International Standard provide manufacturers with a framework within which experience, insight and judgment are applied systematically to manage the risks associated with the use of medical devices.

This International Standard was developed specifically for medical device/system manufacturers using established principles of risk management. For other manufacturers, e.g., in other healthcare industries, this International Standard could be used as informative guidance in developing and maintaining a risk management system and process.

This International Standard deals with processes for managing risks, primarily to the patient, but also to the operator, other persons, other equipment and the environment.

As a general concept, activities in which an individual, organization or government is involved can expose those or other stakeholders to hazards which can cause loss of or damage to something they value. Risk management is a complex subject because each stakeholder places a different value on the probability of harm occurring and its severity.

It is accepted that the concept of risk has two components:

a) the probability of occurrence of harm;
b) the consequences of that harm, that is, how severe it might be.

The concepts of risk management are particularly important in relation to medical devices because of the variety of stakeholders including medical practitioners, the organizations providing health care, governments, industry, patients and members of the public.

All stakeholders need to understand that the use of a medical device entails some degree of risk. The acceptability of a risk to a stakeholder is influenced by the components listed above and by the stakeholder's perception of the risk. Each stakeholder's perception of the risk can vary greatly depending upon their cultural background, the socio-economic and educational background of the society concerned, the actual and perceived state of health of the patient, and many other factors. The way a risk is perceived also takes into account, for example, whether exposure to the hazard seems to be involuntary, avoidable, from a man-made source, due to negligence, arising from a poorly understood cause, or directed at a vulnerable group within society. The decision to use a medical device in the context of a particular clinical procedure requires the residual risks to be balanced against the anticipated benefits of the procedure. Such judgments should take into account the intended use, performance and risks associated with the medical device, as well as the risks and benefits associated with the clinical procedure or the circumstances of use. Some of these judgments can be made only by a qualified medical practitioner with knowledge of the state of health of an individual patient or the patient's own opinion.

As one of the stakeholders, the manufacturer makes judgments relating to safety of a medical device, including the acceptability of risks, taking into account the generally accepted state of the art, in order to determine the suitability of a medical device to be placed on the market for its intended use. This International Standard specifies a process through which the manufacturer of a medical device can identify hazards associated with a medical device, estimate and evaluate the risks associated with these hazards, control these risks, and monitor the effectiveness of that control.

For any particular medical device, other International Standards could require the application of specific methods for managing risk.


This International Standard specifies a process for a manufacturer to identify the hazards associated with medical devices, including in vitro diagnostic (IVD) medical devices, to estimate and evaluate the associated risks, to control these risks, and to monitor the effectiveness of the controls.

The requirements of this International Standard are applicable to all stages of the life-cycle of a medical device.

This International Standard does not apply to clinical decision making.

This International Standard does not specify acceptable risk levels.

This International Standard does not require that the manufacturer have a quality management system in place. However, risk management can be an integral part of a quality management system.

Document History

  1. ISO 14971:2019

    Medical devices - Application of risk management to medical devices

    • Most Recent
  2. ISO 14971:2019 Plus Redline

    Medical devices - Application of risk management to medical devices

    • Historical Version
  3. ISO 14971:2007

    👀 currently

    Medical devices - Application of risk management to medical devices

    • Historical Version
  4. ISO 14971/Amd1:2003

    Medical devices - Application of risk management to medical devices - Amendment 1: Rationale for requirements

    • Historical Version
  5. ISO 14971:2000

    Medical devices -- Application of risk management to medical devices

    • Historical Version