Understanding the organisation and its context arises from the Annex SL model to simplify the use of management standards. 

Previous versions of the Standard were not easily relatable to most organisations and did not assist with integration with other management specifications.

This heading aims to encourage the organisation and its leadership team to take cognisance of the external and internal issues that face them. Any good CEO would be doing this anyway, otherwise they are unlikely to be in business.

It is important to identify issues that may fundamentally alter or change the purpose of the business. The quality system should reflect fundamental business changes.

The external and internal issues are not static and would include current issues such as economic situations, pandemics, customer preferences and new or emerging technologies.

Internal issues might address homeworking initiatives, staffing levels, knowledge development of new products.

It is important to remember that these factors can alter quickly. The author of this blog recommends that these are documented – maybe in some PowerPoint slides – and communicated to staff.

Obtaining information about the external issues relating to an organisation should bestraightforward. There might be industry or sector specific websites, associations, and regulators. Plus, CEO’s may be considering these issues on a regular basis.

Internal issues will be abundant and will be upmost in the minds of most managers and senior staff.

Once these external and internal issues are identified, it is wise to get broad agreement amongst the management team so they can start to be addressed and considered in a strategic manner. Rather than on an ad-hoc basis. 

The purpose of a good management system is the ‘plan-do-check-act’ approach.

The author advocates the use of a PESTEL and SWOT analysis to manage the above exercise. 

For further information and to book your ISO9001 survey please contact: Marcus J Allen at Thamer James Ltd. Email: [email protected]

Marcus has twenty years’ experience in delivering Governance, Risk and Compliance solutions to over two hundred organisations within the UK. Including over one hundred ISO9001 programmes.

Marcus holds a BSI ISO9001 lead auditor qualification and is registered on the BSI Associate Consultant Programme.

Marcus holds the respected Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance from the International Compliance Association and holds a master’s degree in Management Learning & Change from the University of Bristol. Marcus is a Fellow of the Institute of Consultants and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.