Scope of the ISO 9001 quality management system needs to be defined and documented as part of your system. It is normally the first thing a certification body wants to understand to they can send an appropriate auditor with industry experience.

ISO 9001 Scope example

Typically your ISO 9001 scope might say something like “the provision of products and support services in the domestic and commercial solar panel industry”. In the past, a section of the standard could be specifically excluded from certification with justifications. Typically this was “we don’t do this”. This is no longer the case. If you are seeking or renewing registration beware. You need to include all sections of the standard and the whole business process within your scope, not just the areas you cherry pick.

You would normally include a scope as part of your quality manual and as part of the submission you make to a certification body. They will agreed dates with you, assuming they have an auditor qualified to audit businesses of your type. The certification may not have an auditor with the correct business codes, as a consequence of this, they are not permitted to work with you. There is no point in sending an auditor who is qualified and experienced in the automotive industry, if your system is a dentist! They can only work within their own scope agreed with their own governing body. In the case of the UK this is United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS). They are your auditors auditor. They ensure all certification bodies operate in a consistent manner.

You need to bear in mind that not all certification bodies are accredited. These unaccredited bodies tend to charge less, often consulting and certifying as an all in one package.  Generally these companies do not behave in a manner likely to help you improve. Your customers will typically understand this unaccredited certification method and will often not consider an unaccredited certificate as valid. We at Activa Consulting do not work with unaccredited certification bodies.

Follow this link the next section