Multiple site Certifications


Brenda M

Anybody out there registered multiple sites on the same certificate at the same time?
Any best approaches would be appreciated.
Elsmar Forum Sponsor


Fully vaccinated are you?
Motorola Semiconductor Sector (now OnSemi) went world-wide on one cert. Coordination and communication are the words. I just drove in from Rochester, NY and I'm too tired to go into a long diatribe, but if you ask some specifics I'll try to answr - or - give me a call tomorrow if you want to discuss. I should be recovered by then.

How many sites do you have? How many people at each site? How diverse is each site (eg. design at one, mfg. at another)?

Laura M

A world wide company I used to work for had each site audited and separately issued a certificate. This included design only centers for applicable elements. When every site was completed, the certs were merged into one. The scheme was worked out with the registrar before they started. Don't know much more of the details.

Brenda Mundroff

1 site is already registered. Adding 9 more sites across the country and Mexico. This is strictly a service industry (data processing). Site size ranges from 5 employees to 200. All 10 sites together add up to 650-700 employees.

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
Now, from the registra point of view.....

There are any number of schemes that can apply. They are registra specific and involve $$$. One multi-site cert typically means 1 audit..spread over all sites simultaneously(or 1 extended continuous audit period)....depending on the # of sites and employees, a randon sample of the sites can be done, therefore saving much money. Also depends on similar systems. The down side...if one fails they all fail.... You need to talk to your registrar, and work out their details. Not all will even consider a multi-site. But bottom line is, you are the customer...what do you want..and what can the registra do within their guidelines...some just say its not allowed...but it is and they just don't want to bother as it is a hassle and involves lots of paperwork and coordination

You have been working with a registrar...what is their take? Before you go any further, find out and change to registra that gives you what you want if they won't.

[This message has been edited by barb butrym (edited 02 December 1999).]


Fully vaccinated are you?
The bottom line here is that the scope of your registration is the defining factor. You include in your scope the facilities you want on the certificate. If are already registered at one (or more) site and you want to add a site (or more than 1 site), you do it by modifying your scope statement and the registrar goes in and audits the site. If all goes well, you are issued a new certificate.

I advise my multiple site clients to insist on one specific auditor being the lead auditor at EVERY audit. This means only 1 site can be audited at one time. However - it totally eliminates auditor interpretation differences and related BS.

A good point was made in regard to sampling of sites. Take Federal Express (FedEx). Their registrar only went to Memphis as I remember.

Rather than to repeat the details there, take a read and then come back with clarification questions you have.


Fully vaccinated are you?
From: ISO Standards Discussion <[email protected]>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2000 08:25:12 -0600
Subject: Re: Multiple sites each ISO9000 certified /../Star/Hartman/Kozenko

From: [email protected]

> My question is: Where does ISO 9001 (in any version) require us to be
> so prescriptive in our processes that we create such bureaucratic rules and
> procedures as has been alluded to here? Can we not maintain a
> documented system that states, "Site A will provide Site B with a request
> for ___" without being descriptive about what that request will look like?

The saying goes, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," and the respective posts of Star and Hartman perfectly illustrate that this applies to ISO9000 as well as to any other art form.

To answer the quoted question, the Standard doesn't require more than a documented QMS.

The problem described by Star in his post was one of corporate rigidity, the inflexible nature of some organizations to adapt to concepts instead of rules.

Typical example: "George does it this way, and he's bringing in the most business so everyone should do it the way George does."

I watched that question bounce around for six months until the common sense answer finally emerged, and only then did things move forward. George had a staff of about 25 people, and the way he HAD to do things was markedly different from some other business centers where a staff of 4 or 5 held down the fort. I was able to "sell" the concept that every business center in the organization had a clean "line in the sand" between itself and corporate headquarters, and each niche of the business needed to simply document the way they did things. The few business centers that didn't do everything required by the Standard (esp. Contract Review) were the ones who squalked the loudest, so it took another six months for folks to realize that (in this example) the Standard's Contract Review requirements were a good idea, and most of the trouble those squalkers were in, was because they didn't conform.

Several times during this year-long self-documented effort, I often caught myself considering the possibility that the organization as a whole would not reach the level of collective enlightenment required for the successful achievement of certification. The rigidity was so prevalent that I was criticized for stating my factual assessment, but failure was guaranteed (as I saw things) if someone didn't say it. And in fact it opened the dialogue that led to reinforcing my original recommendation that one corporatewide certificate could be earned, provided each business center had its "feet held to the same fire" for compliance, flexibility as to "how to" allowed, but "documented" just the same. Successful certification was achieved under this scheme, on the first Certification Audit.

In Star's organizational environment, such a corporatewide approach obviously wouldn't work, and top management should review the comparative costs of "separate business center" certification versus "corporatewide single certificate."

There are advantages to each approach, and in Star's example, it might just be cost beneficial to start getting certifications on a segmented plan, with an eventual long term goal of possibly combining all the "mini-QMS's" at a later date.

David M. Kozenko
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