Can (and should) you do ISO 9001 in a single department/area?

Sidney Vianna

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Leader
Admin
I also believe you are a very intelligent and knowledgeable, true professional. A consultant to be praised. It just so happens we have opposing views in this topic, based on our past experiences.

Nothing to be too excited about.

Cheers.:agree:
 
A

ABUHASHIM

Thanks to you ALL, I really, satisfy with both of your points' of view,
and I really, has benefit from your experience.
 

John Broomfield

Leader
Super Moderator
I believe that if a company claims that they have a certified QMS that produces a certain product, then all the processes or departments that are involved must be included in the scope of certification. A company who will claim full certification in producing/designing a product but has a limited scope (i.e. Sales and Marketing only) is misrepresenting the ISO certificate to their customer.

As long as the scope is clear as to what is the product or service being offered, who are the intended user of the product/service, and what processes or departments are involved in order to deliver the product/service, then claiming certification to such scope IMHO is well grounded.

Here in this part of the world we have:
  • a power distribution company with an ISO 9k certified training process to ensure employee competence;
  • a fastfood giant with an ISO 9k certified burger patty making process for distribution to stores nationwide;
  • a government bank with ISO 9k certifications to two of their products - trust banking and wholesale lending;
  • city governments with ISO 9k certifications on their business permit issuance process;
  • and many others on the service sector.

I would have to agree with JaneB.

tony s

Thank goodness someone has stopped talking about certifying companies and departments!

Only a system can be certified. Individual departments rarely have the resources available to operate a system that conforms to a recognized system standard.

Newcomers to this subject are confused enough without those of us who want to help them getting it wrong.
 
J

JaneB

I also believe you are a very intelligent and knowledgeable, true professional. A consultant to be praised. It just so happens we have opposing views in this topic, based on our past experiences.

Nothing to be too excited about.

Cheers.:agree:
Thanks Sidney - me about you too - I've learned much from what you write and how you approach topics - and very much enjoy hearing your point of view and discussing various things. :agree:

Apologies again re. the 'out of line' question - I occasionally forget that not everyone else is running their own business! Mea culpa :eek:

And pace re. the patronising - if referring to the bunch of questions re. S&M (interesting acronmy that) I didn't respond because they related to the other topic and that was one reason I asked to break it away to a different one, so's not to muddy the waters. Well, tried, anyway. :lol:
 
J

JaneB

Only a system can be certified.
Yes, but of course. No question.

Individual departments rarely have the resources available to operate a system that conforms to a recognized system standard.

I've repeatedly said, let's not just think about an individual 'department' - even the topic heading says 'department/area' and the various examples given should make this clear. For some reason that escapes me, you keep setting up 'department' as a kind of strawman position, and then arguing that. 'Tain't what I said. I'm happy to argue/debate/discuss what I did say and mean, but I'm not going to defend or debate a position I did not take.

Possibly we're hearing/seeing different things here - may help if you think (instead of department) a 'business unit' (assuming you have that term there?) Something like 'smaller organisation/subset of organisation' within a larger organisation. Again - I gave the refs from 9004 that support this line of thinking.

Now, re. your statement, this is perhaps largely true - but not always and hence my original dissension (presumably acknowledged by your qualification of 'rarely'). And hence the debate.

My experience in this forum is that informed and interested debate on a valid topic - even a controversial one as this is - is a good thing, John. It's a public forum with a whole range of participants.

The breaking this topic away from the OP's query was aimed at avoiding confusion on that particular query - because I agree that S&M isn't on the face of it a likely candidate. But my approach to that query was and remains that there was not enough info provided to make me advise it as a "dead cert do not do it".

Whenever a client asks me a question about certification for a subset of the larger organisation such as service/contract/business unit etc, I always take some time to investigate and understand what the context is, what their understanding is, and why they want to do it before providing an opinion.

And, of course, anyway it is the role of the certifier/registrar to make this decision - not a consultant.
 

John Broomfield

Leader
Super Moderator
And, of course, anyway it is the role of the certifier/registrar to make this (scope) decision - not a consultant.

As a management systems consultant I am with the client some time before the registrar. This means I am helping the client to scope their system according to the business objectives. We may then separately (and more narrowly) scope their system for certification or marketing purposes. We then work with the client to determine their registrar selection criteria.

The client then makes their decision in selecting their registrar and in specifying the scope of their system for certification.

Hopefully they choose a registrar that enhances their reputation. Hopefully they will avoid selecting a registrar that seeks to make the system they certify depend on them for its conformity in any way. Sometimes clients call me back for advice on how to get their registrar to stop providing advice.

In 23 years I have once advised a client to to certify only the pipleline inspection part of their managemen system. This exceedingly narrow scope was the only part of their system where certification provided the client with marketing benefits.
 
J

JaneB

In 23 years I have once advised a client to to certify only the pipleline inspection part of their managemen system. This exceedingly narrow scope was the only part of their system where certification provided the client with marketing benefits.

Perhaps my meaning was unclear. Like you, I have only once advised a client to restrict their scope to a particular contract, because there were many benefits to them in doing so. I have quite often steered a client away from an ill-informed initial decision to try a more limited scope, as occasionally they haven't quite understood, as you so correctly point out, that it is a system that is to be certified.

And yes, consultants advise, and most often are with our client before the certifier is. And of course we assist our client and I hope provide them with the best, most professional and best informed services and advice we can.

But ultimately it remains - always - the decision of the certifier/registrar as to whether the scope the client wishes is - or is not - acceptable.

Consultants give advice but we do not and cannot replace or supplant the role of the certifier.
 
Q

qualitymanager

Before I begin, let me state categorically that my personal sentiment is that all organizations (and parts thereof) should be (to the extent practical) ISO 9001-compliant (not necessarily certified). Mostly because I was/am/will be a customer to some of them.

Now, off to fight the good fight :cool:

Starting here:

...
I work for a very large, international CB, with over 70,000 management system certificates issued around the World, and would tell you: It does not make any sense whatsoever for an individual department of an organization to attain certification to ISO 9001. You will create artificial controls and procedures, attain certification, but the organization will see no real benefit.
...
Paraphrasing NIKE: JUST DON'T DO IT!

and making a quick pit stop here:

...
Certification of a single department following a standard that is finally (as in final goal) intended for the satisfaction of the customer through the delivery of a product/service that meets this customer requirements it's the perfect example of stupidity and greediness that gives ISO a bad name.

Just put yourself in the shoes of one of the customers of a company that was claiming ISO for ONE department.

What is your level of confidence in that company.

NB: Pick any department/process.

And to the rest of you, what I have to say is: Go tell it to ISO!

(end cheekiness :D)

No, really - take a look at the following 4 links, in the listed sequence:

(broken link removed)

https://www.iso.org/iso/standards_development/technical_committees/list_of_iso_technical_committees/iso_technical_committee.htm?commid=252502

(broken link removed)
(last paragraph)

https://www.iso.org/iso/pressrelease.htm?refid=Ref825

I hope I can add something new to your experience Stijloor
Friends,

I've been working with quality management systems for 20+ years. I have yet to see an organization where only a single department/process was ISO certified. I know it's possible, and a Registrar/CB may possibly agree to this approach, but I can't see the value other than to "look good."

Stijloor.

The way I see it, the core work of ISO (significant parts of ISO clause 7.5) is not done by the ISO Central Secretariat. AFAIK, no other part shown in the org chart is ISO 9001-certified.

Now I'll take cover from the expected barrage about the org chart not showing a 'department', and whatever other holes you can find in the info above.

Sorin - I'd rate my confidence in ISO at 8/10.

btw - Thanks to Sidney for sparking my interest in this thread.


Yours in the spirit of continual improvement of our collective knowledge,

qualitymanager
 
Q

qualitymanager

Please clarify:

Do you disagree that (1) the ISO Central Secretariat is a department of ISO, AND (2) it is the only department of ISO certified to ISO 9001?
 
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