With an emphasis on relevant interest parties in the background of ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS), for many clients is poses two important questions that must be answered: who are their interested parties or stakeholders and, once you have this information, what do you do with it.
What or who is a ‘relevant interested party’?
This standard looks at understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties and does so right from the start of the standard in section 4:2. The reasons for this is that these ‘interested parties’ will have an impact on how your organisation or company will provide goods and services that consistently meet customer needs, as well as legal requirements.
Under the standard, you need to identify who these relevant interested parties are but for some clients, this can seem like too big a task. Just where do you start?
We would suggest looking at the following group:
- Customers – let’s start with the obvious. A group of people – individuals or other businesses – who have a clear expectation of what and how you provide it would be your customers. They are directly affected by your ability to satisfy both their needs and expectations.
- Government and non-government organisations – many companies and organisations have legal requirements that need to be met when producing goods and services. Essentially, regulatory and monitoring bodies who determine whether your goods and services meet these standards are also relevant interested parties.
- Employees – your staff may not buy your goods and/or services, but they are directly affected by the work environment. At the end of the day, no one wants to produce poor quality products or services.
- Shareholders – the costs of products and service, their research, production, marketing and so on affects your bottom line, produce faulty goods or provide inadequate services and financial viability is affected. And no shareholder wants to see their investment disappear before their eyes.
Why knowing who your relevant interested parties matters
There are several requirements to this comprehensive ISO standard, one of which is determining who these relevant interested parties are because, once you know who they are, you can determine what their requirements and expectations are too.
Different sections of this standard refer to these interested parties. For example;
- Section 4:3 scopes QMS by determining who would be affected by the quality of what you offer and how.
- Section 5:2:2 wants to know how your quality policy includes these relevant, interested parties too.
- Section 7:1:6 looks at traceability and which of these parties would have an expectation that this is done and to a high standard
- Section 8:2:3 addresses the requirements of these relevant parties of your goods and services
These are just four examples. There are other sections of the standard that address what expectations or requirements your stakeholders would have in the quality of your products and services you produce.
But this doesn’t mean this standard is over-hefty or difficult. What it may mean is that working with an independent, but knowledgeable team will be the ideal solution for helping you meet this important accreditation.
How can we help you?
If you’re in need of assistance with any aspect of ISO or GDPR compliance, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions about the path to compliance or are looking for advice and support to maintain compliance, call 01484 817 444 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.