What is a PESTLER?

As part of our ongoing payments, we offer internal audit support and prepare documents that adhere to certain clauses within each of the ISO standards we offer.

In a previous article of ours we explained that under clause 4.1 of ISO 9001; “The organisation shall determine external and internal issues that are relevant to its purpose and its strategic direction and that affect its ability to achieve the intended result(s) of its quality management system.

The organisation shall monitor and review information about these external and internal issues.”

But what does this mean?

Businesses are expected to address the risks and opportunities as determined in accordance with the requirements of 6.1 and analyse the relevant needs and expectations of workers and other interested parties and must evaluate all internal and external influencing factors.

As part of the evidence to support clause 4 and 5 and adhere to ISO 9001 and other ISO standard’s compliance, Compliant work with clients to complete a PESTLER.

Read on to discover what a PESLTER analysis is. 

A PESTLER analyses the Political, Economic, Socio-Cultural, Technological developments, Legal, Environmental and Reputational factors in your business environment. The purpose of carrying out a PESTLER is to:

  1. enable businesses to recognise and take advantage of opportunities that are available to them.
  2. analyse hazards in a business’s environment to prevent them from beginning projects that could fail.
  3. enable businesses to adjust what they are doing to work with change rather than against it.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the areas that Compliant’s internal audit support review with clients:


Political factors determine how much the government and government policy may affect a company or a particular sector. This can include trade, fiscal, and taxation policies as well as political stability and policy. Some of the examples provided by Compliant include:

  • greater regulation around Information security
  • greater guidance on social distancing environments
  • greater changes on regulatory laws
  • revised publication over inspections


Economic factors include items that directly affect an economy’s performance, which in turn has an impact on an organisation’s profitability. Factors considered here are interest rates, employment and unemployment rates, the cost of raw materials, and exchange rates are all factors. Some of the examples provided by Compliant include:

  • confidence issues in spending in non-critical areas
  • ensuring our offering demonstrates value for money and a Return on Investment (ROI)
  • client finances
  • grant providers providing access to facilities


In comparison to more concrete considerations like interest rates or corporation taxation, social issues may appear like a minor factor. However, they can still have a hugely disproportionate impact on entire sectors of the economy. Under the social environment businesses need to consider new trends. This aids decision makers in better comprehending the requirements and desires of customers in a social context. Changing family demographics, educational attainment, cultural fads, attitudinal shifts, and lifestyle changes are among the contributing factors. Some of the examples provided by Compliant include:

  • greater desire to be compliant
  • greater desire to be the best, environmentally, ethically, quality
  • greater emphasis on IMS and health and safety standards


Technology is everywhere. Technological factors consider the rate of technological innovation and development that could affect a market or industry. Factors could include changes in digital or mobile technology, automation, research and development.

We often see businesses trying to focus on developments only in digital technology, but consideration must also be given to new methods of distribution, manufacturing, and logistics. Some of the examples provided by Compliant include:

  • continual drive for more efficient solutions
  • investment in internal IT
  • support from sub-contractors and consultants


Businesses need to be aware of the rules and regulations in the countries where it conducts business. They also need to be informed of any changes in the law and how they can affect how their business is run. Employment law, consumer law, health and safety laws, international trade regulations, and other factors are among them.

Political and legal elements might overlap, but the main distinction is that while legal factors must be followed, political ones are guided by government policy.

Depending on the ISO certification being invested in these include, but are not limited to:

  • Employment and consumer protection laws
  • Licenses and permits required to operate
  • Health and Safety laws
  • Industry regulations
  • Protection of IP (intellectual property)

Compliant provides an audit proof legal register with all of the applicable laws that businesses need to consider.


Environmental factors are becoming more and more topical. Environmental considerations are those that are impacted by ecological factors and the environment around them. This component is becoming more crucial to how businesses should operate as CSR (Corporate Sustainability Responsibility) and sustainability become more and more important. Climate, recycling practises, carbon footprint, waste disposal, and sustainability are all factors. Some of the examples provided by Compliant include:

  • incentives in place for service or product developments
  • adopt a robust CSR Policy
  • ensure all water waste is disposed of ethically when using oils

Compliant provides clients with a professional aspects and impacts register as part of ISO 14001 management packs. This is also reviewed for ongoing payment clients as part of their annual internal audits.


The most significant asset that any business has is its brand. A company with a positive public image is more appealing to stakeholders including customers, employees, and investors. Considering reputational factors enables businesses to effectively control their business image. Some of the examples provided by Compliant include:

  • maintain and retain corporate image – both visually and verbally
  • register trademarks to ensure brand is secure
  • deliver goods and services on time every time

How a Pestler can support clauses 4 and 5 of ISO 9001

Having an up-to-date PESTLER supports evidence for clauses 4 and 5 of ISO 9001 as it shows your business has given consideration to external factors and take action by implementing mitigating controls where needed. Our professional pre audit support ensures that your PESTLER is update to date, bespoke and audit ready.

If you’re looking for support on your next ISO project, more information can be found on our services page here.