Limited Scope in Quality System



We are a small coatings
company. We are starting our process of developing all the stuff (Q. Policy, Levels I to IV ,etc.), but our Manager only wants to certify 4 functions: Production, Q.C., Maintenance and Warehouse.
As we are making paints for a Non automotive market we don´t need any QS or 16949 and we are not responsible for design, so we will persue ISO 9002.
We are building our Q. Manual and the easy part is writing a note in the 4.4 saying that 4.4 is not applicable for above reasons.
But the problems started when we arrived to 4.3. Our sales department same as other departments are barely starting to be formed.Same case is Purchasing, H.R. and so on.
I know that is valid to declare in my scope only a part of my company, but that doesnt mean that the rest of the functions (needed to complete the quality system) will never take a participation, hence my idea is to consider activities such 4.6, 4.18, 4.11 as "services suppliers", which could be into my company or from outside (e.g. a corporate function, because we have a corporate group)They have to deal with us and agree the needs to be covered. We will give them our Training, materials and calibration needs and they will ensure the quality of those services.Then my Q. Manual will describe those "external services" and our responsibilities in each chapter. But in the case of 4.3 ,... can our Operations or production manager or anybody else take the responsibility of Contract review, due that Sales dept. will not be part of our Scope?.

I hope that my doubts have been more or less clear (my domestic language is spanish)and I will appreciate any help on how to handle both my documentation and related links and implementation in order to prepare my company for a certification of mentioned areas in about 8 --10 months.In a near future we will certify the entire company.

Thank you in advance


Al Dyer

Only a suggestion, but shouln't you be persuing registration/compliance to ISO-9000/2000? I'm not even sure a Registrar would register you to the 1994 standard.


[This message has been edited by Al Dyer (edited 24 March 2001).]

Laura M

You say you are a small coatings company, but have a corporate HQ somewhere - so the entire company isn't that small?

Like Al, I wonder if you want certification or compliance. If anything is "outsourced" then you need to show how you control them...the purchasing requirements may come into play. I was in a situation where "oursourcing" occurred. You are still responsibile for the results of the outsourcing - someone to review (internally audit) that what is being done meets the requirements. You can't scope it out however, but document how you address the requirement.


Laura and Al:

Thanks for your help.
Well, when I mentioned that we are a small company I meant less than 50 people. When I said "corporate" i tried to describe the first company founded by the owner( about 40 people). Our plant is a new branch of that first (making no paints), owned by the same person. They do not have any certification.
I certainly agree that the best would be to work on the 9001:2000, but I will try to convince them to do that, But anyways, if I apply the new one I still have the problems with inputs like 7.4, 6.2.2,7.6 and outputs such as 5.2/7.2.1, 7.2.2,7.2.3

Meanwhile, I would like to know oppinions on how to write the Manual Chapters realated to external functions


Dan Larsen

I believe some of your confusion may be coming what a certification applies to. All four functions that you want to certify use the services that you want to "write around". Remember that the certification applies to your system, not specific operating functions within the system.

With respect to purchasing, for example, the functions that you wish to certify all require purchased items to create output. In your case, you manufacture paints. Raw materials are purchased to make the paints. Who orders the raw materials? Who inspects them upon receipt? What type of controls do you place on your supplier? Purchasing is part of the system and should be addressed in your policy. Keep in mind that you don't need a "purchasing department" in order to control the purchasing process. In many small companies, various managers and supervisors have buying authority. In effect, all of them are purchasing agents and all of them should be aware of the policy requirements.

Training is another area that you very likely can't ignore. You mention that you have 50 employees. How do you address their training needs? How do you document that they are trained? You can outsource some of the training (for example forklift training or hazardous material training) but once it's completed, your company is still responsible for documenting that the training was performed. I also suspect that you do a fair amount of on-the-job training that you should take credit for.

As for contract review, you have to define the person with the authority for deciding whether or not you accept the customer order based on the customer requirements for product and delivery. That person has the contract review responsibility.

Take another look at the standard, keeping in mind that it applies to the system and not the individual functions and I think it will start to become clear.

(An afterthought: Take a look at Figure 1 in ISO 9001:2000. The circle is your company. The functions you mention are within the small box titled "product realization". When you get certified, you get certified for the entire circle, not each individual box. Now, that's not to say you can't outsource some of the other small boxes. But remember that outsourcing is nothing more than purchasing, therefore by the standard you have to apply controls. Help any?)


Thank you for stop by and devote some of your time to give a great help.
I personally think it is more complicated the way my management wants to handle ISO certification, because as you said, the entire system is who makes the quality, customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. The PDCA cycle will never run if someone remains jammed or not involved.
I think the best idea is to try to involve all key departments (even waiting some weeks to fill some vacant positions we are try to fill).
Of course I will follow your advices and hope to continue in touch with you and the rest of the folks. Thank you again.

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