The AA1000SES has been designed to enable organisations to respond in a comprehensive and balanced way to material issues, impacts and opportunities. It is applicable to all types and levels of stakeholder engagement. It is applicable to both internal and external engagement, and to public, private and civil society organisations of all sizes. It can be used for project-based activities as well as for ongoing purposes.

The AA1000SES is intended for use by stakeholder engagement process owners. It will also be of use to managers and others responsible for making decisions, as well as to participants in stakeholder engagement. AA1000SES may also be used to support a wide range of other standards that recommend or require stakeholder engagement. It may be used, for example, to support risk, quality, relationship and knowledge management; social responsibility and sustainability; transparency and reporting; and governance and accountability.

The AA1000SES has not been designed to replace or undermine existing frameworks, such as government consultation requirements or formal collective bargaining arrangements between organisations and workers. It may, however, usefully inform and support these engagements.