"Context of the organisation" is a clause of the main ISO management systems (for example, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, etc) and this requires organisations to consider both the internal and external issues that can impact on their strategic objectives and how they plan their management system.
This means you will need to determine and understand the various quality, safety and environmental conditions that could become inputs to internal and external issues, which are typically experienced in your type of organisation that can have positive or negative impacts.
There should be no need to have separate a contextual description for each environmental, health and safety or quality management system. A single, integrated, contextual statement that suits the requirements of each management system will suffice since there will be a degree of overlap between the context of an OHSMS, a QMS, an EMS or an ISMS.
In practice however, the needs and expectations and the types of interested party will likely have some degree of overlap too, as well as subtle but important differences which would require clear definition. You should consider the focus of your QMS as being different to the focus of your EMS, IMS or your OHSMS management system - your organisational context must reflect that.
Identifying internal issues
To help understand your business’ internal issues, at the micro-level, you need to understand its strengths and weaknesses and be able to identify relevant opportunities and threats. Undertake a SWOT analysis to review and evaluate current business strategies, the position and direction of your organisation, business propositions and other commercial leads.
The SWOT analysis should be developed in such a way that the weaknesses and threats become inputs to determining risk and opportunity. Internal issues might typically be influenced by the following:
Sources of information relating to internal issues might include:
Below are typical examples, however each issue will be focused on the individual organisation:
Strengths are characteristics of our organisation that allow operation more efficiently and effectively than competitors. Consider:
Weaknesses are areas that are recognised as needing improvement. Consider:
Opportunities are trends, circumstances or business opportunities that may be taken advantage of. Consider:
Threats can be external or internal and are anything that can adversely affect business or operations. External threats could be economic, new legislation or even a new competitor in the market. Internal threats could be a skill or staff shortage within your organisation. Consider:
Examples of internal issues suitable for SWOT Analysis include:
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