ISO 9001:2015 4.2 - Identifying and understanding the needs and expectations of relevant interested parties
It's very important to understand the needs and expectations of interested parties in your ISO 9001 management system. Interested parties will have an impact on your organization’s ability to provide products and services that consistently meet customer needs as well as legal and regulatory requirements. This article will help you in understanding the needs of interested parties and continuously meet their expectations.
An interested party is typically includes your customers, government or non-government organization, employees, owners or shareholders. You should know who your interested parties are for many reasons. To name a few, the management system scope needs to include the relevant interested parties' requirements, measurement traceability needs to be maintained- when this is an expectation of those interested parties, the quality policy is to be made available to relevant interested parties (when appropriate), and requirements for products and services may need to include requirements from relevant interested parties.
So, how do you get started?
In plain English, the requirements of the standard want you to be aware of the parties that have some interest in your organization, and to have knowledge of what their requirements are of your business. Follow these steps and you'll be on your way...
Finally, make sure this exercise is not just a one time analysis. The needs and expectations of interested parties are fluid, so you need a way to ensure this review takes place on a frequency that makes sense for your business.
Christopher M. Spranger, MBA, ASQ MBB
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