What are ‘interested parties’ and why do I need to define them?

An interested party can be considered a person or organisation that can affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision or activity made in your company.

Examples of interested parties are customers, owners, employees, providers (suppliers), bankers, regulators, partners, or society that can include competitors or opposing pressure groups.

It is important to understand who your interested parties are, what there requirements are and the associated risks/opportunities, so that you can:

  • compile a meaningful quality policy
  • ensure your management system includes required controls to meet the needs of your interested parties (for example, design and development controls, regulatory requirements, etc.)
  • consider feedback from interested parties to make better decisions

Defining the needs and expectations of interested parties contributes to the establishment of the ‘context’, along with the internal and external issues, which initiates the development a management system that is relevant to the organisation.

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