Multi Country Registrations



We are a small engineering firm located in Canada and are in the process of opening another office in the US (California). We are also embarking on our ISO 9000 implementation - so my question is this:

Should we have one or two registrations? Is it even an option since the California office is set up as a separate company (with the same ownership, however). Our original set up will have design work happening in both locations, but with manufacturing starting in the US first, then in Canada in about 2 years.

Any thoughts appreciated...


Super Moderator
Super Moderator
My last job had a facility in Mississauga and another in upstate New York. We went for a combined certificate. However, NY facility finished the product that was generated by the Mississauga facility.

My current job, there are now three facilities that have their own individual registration (with three different cost savings there!). However, one of our sister facilities who is just two hours away is also considering pursuing registration and we are strongly considering a combined certificate.

It may be possible to have a combined cert, but I'd also ask Registrars for two just for your location and one that includes California. This will help you determine the best route to take.

Looking at the 2 year difference between the processes of two facilities, I'm almost tempted to say go with the same Registrar but site-specific start. Once the two facilities are up and running where they are supposed to be, then go for a combined certificate.

But I still think getting quotes/feedback from Registrars might be a smart move.
As Rox already said, both options are possible without any major snags. It's a question of what is best for you. I suggest a discussion with the registrar.



Forum Moderator
We have four facilities:

Design and Development, Manufacturing, Service Repair at our main facility

Design and Development of hardware and software at two satellite facilities

Service and repair at the fourth facility

The first three locations fall under one certification while the fourth facility has its own cert. independent of the rest.

Remember, exclusions are limited to section 7 of the standard so if you go with separate certifications, you will need to implement and maintain two independent QMS’s. Of course, facilities at different geographical locations sharing common QMS components presents some special challenges too!



Quite Involved in Discussions
Most of the large registrars have auditors in Canada and California.

There is a definite cost savings by combining the 2 locations on one certificate.

When designing your system, you may want to consider centralizing some of the records at the headquarters such as corrective and preventive actions, internal audits, management review, training, etc...

Mention the areas which are controlled by the head office to the registrar.

Usually the registrar will assign a lead auditor for your main site. The lead auditor usually makes the final decision on any findings generated from all sites.

I am involved as a consultant in 5 site corporate registration certificate in Ontario and Quebec. We estimated that we saved about 50% on registration fees. Also not all sites will be audited by the registrar on an annual basis.


Laura M

I think it depends on how many systems are/should be common. If the intent is to be common, then have one cert and registration process. With the goal and focus if ISO being continuous improvement - how would the facilities best achieve this? If lean thinking is a part of the decision - how would each facility function most effectively - anticipating the long term. Some companies are so diverse that separate systems/certs make sense. If your client base, processes and company objectives are similar in the 2 facilities then I would go for one system and one cert.