Compliance Conversations: What are Interested Parties?

Posted by Craig Thornton

We have gathered ISO compliance consultants from around the world to give some insights into helping you understand the generic ISO standard requirement "Interested Parties".

In this video we discuss what constitutes an "interested party' and how they relate to the management system of your organisation.

Check out the video here:


Video Transcription


What are Interested Parties and how do they relate to an organisation's management system?


Chris, FQM, United Kingdom

Interested parties are significant to any businesses management system.

The reason you want to understand an interested party and document that within your management system, is an interested party is a person or organisation that could have an impact on your business, or you may have an impact on them.

If we think about different organisations, clearly, there are straightforward interested parties we can identify, like

  • Our employees
  • Our customers
  • Our suppliers

and maybe further afield into the registration bodies, i.e.

  • Our certification assessment bodies,
  • Legal authorities,
  • and so on and so forth.

We can go much further and much deeper into that and we'll explain that in some of the other questions.


Andrew, IRM Systems, Australia

Interested parties are essentially, organisations, groups, individuals who have an interest in what you are managing under your management system.

So, if you've got a safety management system, they've got an interest in the outcome of your safety management practices under your system.

Same for a food safety management system, how you manage the food safety hazards, and the outcomes you're aiming to achieve through your food safety management system.


Michael, Momentum Safety and Ergonomics, Australia

Interested parties are always going to be those groups, or people who have an interest in how your company or business runs.

This is obviously going to be first, customers. They are going to have an interest in the product that you produce, the quality of that, how safely it's done, those sorts of things. Without customers, your business is not obviously going to be very successful, so they're the ones that come to mind straightaway.

But you can also think of suppliers. Suppliers are going to have an interest in how your company performs, so that you buy their product or service, they've got obvious interest there. But also, suppliers are going to be, potentially, sending employees and delivery drivers etc. into your company.

Other groups that come to mind might be shareholders, if you have them, they're going to obviously be an interested party.

We should never forget our employees. Employees clearly have an interest in how well the company is run, the management system, how safe it is, the quality of the product that's produced, so they can keep their jobs.

And let's not forget about someone like neighbours.  Neighbours are going to have an interest from the point of view of things like traffic management, parking, there may be some dangerous processes that you're involved in which are going to interest them, there may be some common emergency evacuation plans, those sorts of things.


Sean, Kaizen Consulting, New Zealand

Interested parties are any person or organisation that can have an impact on your quality, health and safety or information security of your company.

This can include your:

  • Employees
  • Suppliers
  • Contractors
  • Management team
  • Neighbours
  • public regulatory requirements through your certification bodies or regulatory bodies.

Anyone who can have an impact on you or you can have an impact on them would be considered interested parties.


Nicholas, SRM, South Africa

An interested party you can say is a stakeholder.

Any stakeholder within the business that may be:

  • Shareholders
  • Government
  • Local communities

Anybody who has a vested interest in your organisation, its business risk management philosophies, and also the performance of the business.

For any of those people you want to identify what their needs and expectations are, because you want to consider them in your management system.

You want to see how you can utilise your management system to manage the risks, leverage the opportunities and ensure that you can deliver on those needs and expectations if you decide to adopt them.


Mark, Business Basics, Australia

Interested parties are traditionally called stakeholders.

They’re any person who has an involvement with the company that could be internal or external party to the business.

Internally, that'd be people like the:

  • Management
  • Staff
  • Directors
  • Owners
  • Supervisors and
  • Everything in between.

External to the business, these could be people like:

  • Regulators
  • Competitors
  • Customers
  • General public
  • Suppliers

What are you after from these interested parties? They relate to the management system because they'll craft and shape the requirements of the business. They'll craft what decisions are made as to how to build a management system. What things to put in, what things to leave out, and what things are we looking at taking advantage of?


Gary, QSM Group, Australia

Interested parties of those that may pose significant risk to an organisation if their needs and expectations are not met.

This could include:

  • Other organisations
  • Shareholders
  • Customers
  • Regulators
  • Employees
  • Contractors and subgroups of these.
John, Many Caps, New Zealand

Interested parties are anyone who has an effect or are affected by your business or your current management system, examples might be:

  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Holders of IP
  • Banks
  • Employees
  • etc.


Anyone who can have an impact on your business and the management system is classed as an Interested Party. These can be:

  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Employees
  • Neighbours.
  • Local communities
  • Regulator
  • Competitors
  • Shareholders


Tags: ISO, Compliance, ISO Certification, Compliance Conversations, Interested Parties