ISO 9001:2015 Insight: Clause 4.2 Needs and Expectations of Interested Parties

by Breda Kearney | April 10, 2019 | Blog , ISO 9001:2015 , Quality , |

ISO 9001 requires the organization to understand the needs and expectations of its interested parties. This means that the organization must identify the groups that can impact on its ability to achieve the intended results of the Quality Management System or QMS (i.e. customer satisfaction, conforming products and services) and determine what they require or expect from the organization.

Examples of interested parties can include: Customers, Suppliers, Shareholders, Employees, Regulatory Authorities, Public etc.  Once the relevant interested parties are identified, the organization must determine what they require – For example, a key customer may have specific requirements related to delivery time or a critical supplier may have specific requirements related to on-time payment. The specific requirements of each interested party can be found, for example, by reviewing contracts, performing market research, specifications, analysing feedback, meetings or by reviewing the current legal requirements.

When the requirements of each interested party are determined, the organization must adopt risk-based thinking and take appropriate actions to ensure that the requirements of those interested parties that are critical to the QMS (based on ISO 9001:2015) are met.

ISO 9001 auditors will look for evidence that the organization has implemented an effective risk-based strategy for managing relationships with its interested parties. The organization should seek feedback to ensure that critical requirements are being met and also to identify any changing needs and expectations. Feedback from its interested parties should be reviewed formally as part of the management review but can also be reviewed as required during operational or monthly reviews.

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