Compliance Conversations: Why is it important to identify all your interested parties?

Posted by Craig Thornton

We have gathered compliance consultants from around the world to give some insights into the ISO requirement, Interested Parties.

In this conversation we talk about the importance of identifying all your interested parties.

Check out the video here:


Video Transcription


Why is it important to identify all your interested parties?


Michael, Momentum Safety and Ergonomics, Australia

If you don't identify all of your interested parties, then you're going to not be able to address them in your management system.

The idea of a management system is that it will align, as best as possible, to the interests of these interested parties.

If you haven't identified them in the first place, you won't be able to do that.

It's much like risk management, if you haven't identified the hazard, you won't be able to assess the risk.


Sean Kaizen Consulting, New Zealand

The importance of identifying your interested parties?

How can you manage something if you haven't identified it? Or if you don't keep an active registry of it?

You need to know who your interested parties are.

You need to know what impacts they imposed to your company, or the impact that you impose to them in order for you to identify the processes and procedures to manage them, and monitor regularly.


Nicholas, SRM, South Africa

Well, ultimately, these interested parties or the stakeholders within your business, are all potential participants in the performance of your management system.

You can use your management system to manage risk, leverage opportunities, to help you to achieve objectives. But just remember, some of those objectives in the performance outcomes of your management system, may be from needs and expectations of these interested and affected parties.

From an environmental perspective, let's say you've got a local community that is surrounding you; they are going to be interested in your environmental performance, in your air emissions or your water emissions. They have a vested interest in the performance of your system, and that's why you want to identify those needs upfront.

  • Who are these stakeholders?
  • What are their needs and expectations?
  • How can I accommodate those needs and expectations within the management system to ensure that we meet the performance criteria that are needed?
Chris, FQM, United Kingdom

Identifying all your interested parties allows you to then take a risk-based approach to understand the impact these interested parties would have on your organisation, if something changed.

The other way is the impact that you may have on them as your interested party, if something changed within your business.

It could be related to a change in:

  • Your operational premises,
  • The way you operate, e.g. because of the recent pandemic in 2020 coming into 2021, many organisations are working from home and their means of communication with their interested parties may be significantly different.
John, Many Caps, New Zealand

It's important to identify interested parties because it helps you understand all the forces that are pulling on your business.

It makes sure that you meet all the needs, from delivering quality to shareholder return.

Gary, QSM Group, Australia

Interested parties assist in the planning, development and implementation of a fit for purpose and effective management system that adequately addresses relevant risks, opportunities and legal requirements.

Some needs and expectations may be mandatory, such as compliance with laws, whilst others may be voluntary.

Andrew, IRM Systems, Australia

It's important you identify these different interested parties or stakeholders quite broadly, what their expectations are, is really important.

If we go back to the example of a food safety management system, if we don't identify a significant interested party and their expectations, that expectation will never achieve an outcome that meets it expectation, which is a major missed opportunity under our management system.


Mark, Business Basics, Australia

The importance of identifying interested parties is you need to know everyone that relates to the system.

You really don't want to leave somebody out, then all of a sudden, you have a regulator coming knocking on the door and shuts you down because you haven't got the appropriate licenses.

Or you forget to realize that your part of a business that is very susceptible to the general public, and you go and dig a great big hole right in the middle of Times Square, and all of a sudden you have every man and his dog coming out the woodwork to complain about what you're doing.

  1. Identifying your interested parties helps you identify any risks or impacts they pose to your company
  2. If you know all your interested parties then you can put in management systems meet all their needs and expectations.

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