PEST is an acronym of the four main categories that can be used for analysing an organisation's environment: political, economic, social and technological.

Some voluntary sector organisations prefer to use PESTLE instead, adding two extra categories for legal and environmental issues.

These categories are used to think through the external trends and forces that could have an impact on an organisation in the medium to long term.


PESTprompts you to think externally and into the future, across a range of factors influencing organisational development.


The headings can be limiting; there may be other types of trends you need to consider. People can get hung up on categories and where to list each factor they come up with. The quality of your analysis will depend on the information you already have about your environment.

When to use it

The lists you gather will be a good starting point for analysing your organisation’s environment and opening up options for the future.

Read more about PEST, find out what people think and download our worksheet.

Last updated at 18:01 Mon 12/Apr/10.


How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

Log in or join for free to comment.

Funded by Capacity Builders and Improving Support