4.2 Understanding the Needs and Expectations of Interested Parties

ISO Navigator Pro

ISO Navigator Pro™ is a free tool that provides practical, expert guidance for businesses wishing to interpret the fundamentals of ISO 9000:2015 to help understand, and better implement, the requirements of ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007. The ISO Navigator Pro™ database divides the requirements into four sequential stages; Plan, Do, Check and Act.

If you're looking for integrated ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 EQMS documentation, please click here.


Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties

This Step 1 in the ‘Plan’ stage of the ’PDCA’ cycle. Define, build, operate and improve your QMS. Your mangement system should define your organization’s goals and intended outcomes, determine internal and external issues, identify stakeholders and their requirements, and define the management system’s scope. The guidance shown on this page is relevant to the following standards:

ISO 9001:2015
ISO 14001:2015
OHSAS 18001:2007

Understanding the Needs and Expectations of Interested Parties’ is a new requirement. You should allow time to develop an understanding of your business's internal and external stakeholder interests. Such interests are those that might impact upon your quality or environmental management system’s ability to deliver its intended results, or those that might influence your strategic direction. This information should be gathered, reviewed and regularly monitored through formal channels, such as management review meetings.

Internal stakeholders could include:

Types of Internal interested parties: Possible needs and expectations: How to capture key issues:
Employees and contractors Shared culture, attitudes and job security Employee meetings, consultation and feedback
Clients and customers Competitive pricing, reliability and value Client/customer reviews and relationship management
Suppliers Benefical supplier-client relationships Supplier reviews and relationship management
Unions and worker representatives Representation and cooperation Consultation and feedback on employment and safety issues

External stakeholders could include:

Types of External interested parties: Possible needs and expectations: How to capture key issues:
Regulators Compliance and reporting Critical product specification issues and conformity
Shareholders Profitability and growth Consultation and engagement exercises to identify concerns
Neighbours and communities Social responsibility and engagement Consultation and engagement exercises to identify environmental concerns
Local Authorities and Government Consultation and information Engagement with planning and development issues

The relevant requirements of interested parties must be available as inputs into the management system planning process, as potential risks and opportunities. There is no requirement to retain documented information, but the following types of documentation would help to evidence this:

  1. Minutes of meetings (from meetings from each group of interested party);
  2. Requirement spreadsheets and databases (CRM & ERM type applications);
  3. External communications and documentation;
  4. Quality system manuals.

Demonstrating compliance

Look for evidence that your organization has undergone a process to initially identify these groups, and then to identify any of their requirements that are relevant to your organization’s management system. You should also determine whether these groups’ requirements are reviewed and updated as changes in their requirements occur, or when changes to your organization’s management system are planned.


4.1 Understanding Context
4.3 Determining Scope
4.4 Management System Processes

Free internal audit checklists

Check out our free internal audit checklists. The audit checklist is just one of the many tools which are available from the auditor’s toolbox that help ensure your audits address the necessary requirements.

Client list

Over 8,000 companies and globally recognized brands have relied on our templates to provide a path to improve, collaborate, and to enhance their operations to achieve certification, please see our client list for more information.