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Site certification and QMS scope

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by Mike E, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. Mike E

    Mike E New Member

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    I have a question for the group. Our current 2008 QMS scope is the design, engineering and supply of process engineering solutions, geared mainly at the pulp and paper industries. We have a main office in the US, US regional sales people and a European sales office. Our system is written such that the QMS procedures start at the receipt of the customer PO, so there are no sales procedures and the sales personnel don’t do any design or project management activities. Only the US main office is certified.

    We’ve had an uptick in European projects and management wants to run projects from the European office. Design would still come out of the US office, but other project management activities would be done by personnel working in Europe. Given the seemingly broader boundaries of the 2015 standard, especially in terms of risk based thinking, I’m feeling that our scope needs to expand to include our sales activities and project management activities in Europe. It’s a wholly owned subsidiary of the US company, so to many people’s minds, it’s not us and so outside of any requirements our system has. I disagree, since the customer interfaces with both US and European personnel, regardless of which entity receives the order.

    From a certification perspective, can one certificate cover the operations of both offices? Would that be a multi-site certificate? Does the fact the European office is a standalone entity play, at least financially , into certification? Are we violating ISO (is that even a thing, but my management posed the question)?
     
  2. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    No.

    QFO members from CB organizations can provide more details.
     
  3. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to QFO Mike E!

    There is no violation of ISO as the standard says nothing about multi-site certificates. However, accredited registrars must follow IAF rules, such as IAF MD1:2007, which addresses this very subject. In 2.3.1 it says "...all sites shall have a legal or contractual link with the central office of the organization and be subject to a common management system, which is laid down, established and subject to continuous surveillance and internal audits by the central office." Plus a bunch more... in short, both sites get audited though their certification scopes as stated on the certificate (which limits what they are audited to) and are expected to be a part of the same management system.

    Please ask your registrar for details, but in short yes both sites can be listed on a corporate certificate. It happens all the time. Once their certification is determined to be in good standing, there may be an option to audit some activities less frequently (sampling).

    I hope this helps!
     
  4. Mike E

    Mike E New Member

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    Thanks for the information everyone.
     
  5. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Good day @Jennifer Kirley . If I understand your comment correctly, (allow me to paraphrase)..."a single common QMS, but separate scopes and separate certifications".

    In my understanding the only way to have scopes unique to each facility, is to have separate certifications. How can a single certificate apply to separate facilities which each have their own differing/unique "scope" ?

    Thank in advance for your input.
     
  6. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    Suppose an organization designs and manufactures widgets, and has a separate warehouse to distribute the widgets from. If there is a corporate set of processes that serve manufacturing sites, such as design, purchasing, HR and management review, the overall certificate would be issues to read "The design, manufacturing and distribution of widgets." There could be one group certificate, with an overall scope statement to read "The design, manufacturing and distribution of widgets" but the manufacturing site would be listed on the certificate with the mini-scope reading "The manufacturing of widgets" and the warehouse would additionally be listed with the mini-scope reading "The distribution of widgets."

    Ask your registrar for details.
     
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  7. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    John, I've seen it done with an addendum page listing the sites and scopes.
     
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  8. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Thank you @Andy Nichols and @Jennifer Kirley for this input. Greatly appreciated.

    Be well
     

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