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ISO9001 and The Scope (and fine print)

In our last post we pointed out that skipping the initial sections of the ISO9000 standard is dumb, it's like walking into the movies after the first 30 minutes and hoping you know what's going on so if you haven't read our post on the initial clauses pop back there and have a read, we'll wait.   


ISO9000 and The Initial Clauses (the one's everybody skips) - Talking Points

For many people when they launch a new process or system, they want to dive right into the getting stuff done part, then using it part .. you just shouldn't do that with your ISO9000 implementation.

Clause 1 - The Scope

Think about the scope as the real opening of the movie, you just can't miss it, it sets the ground rules for the rest of your manual, let me explain.

  • Firstly, this is the scope of the standard, it has nothing to do with the scope of your business, so it's all about the quality management system (QMS). So we aren't interested in your products or customer demographics we are essentially bookending your quality system and we'll cover that in a later post but just remember, the scope is about the QMS, not your company.
  • Secondly, it discusses the need to demonstrate the organisation's ability to consistently provide products or services that meet the assorted customer, regulatory & statutory requirements associated with what you do. Now we have intentionally made the 2 words bold here 
    • Consistently: that's a not so subtle hint that the expectation is you will control your processes and systems so that the first and the last product or time your service is used the experience is the same, you can only do this with consistent system checks and measurements.
    • Meet: So here they are saying it has to meet the standard or customer expectation, it doesn't say exceed or meet & exceed (incidentally that's an oxymoron .. something can't meet a spec and exceed it) You can, of course, choose to consistently exceed a standard or expectation as a market advantage as a clear business decision, just remember that it's probably the customer won't pay for it, if however, you exceed by accident, i.e. through process variation, that's called waste and your customer certainly won't pay, you are losing money and possibly not actually complying with the standard.
  • Thirdly is discussed its aim to enhance the customer satisfaction through effective application of systems including improvement & assurance of conformity to the requirements. The whole premise behind being certified to ISO9000:2015 is that it should give your customers at least some level of certainty that your organisation will be able to provide them consistent products or service over a sustained period of time and of course continually improve how you do that making you a more stable organisation for them to partner with.  

Clauses 2 & 3 

Clauses 2 & 3 are really just about reference and understanding of ISO9000:2015, Quality Management Systems – Fundamentals & Vocabulary and of course the terms & definitions document. You have to buy these as well, but they are very worthwhile in having, think of them as a translation or a tool to enhance your understanding of what the ISO9000 standard actually means.

So you could skip those initial clauses, but I guarantee that your QMS is going to be on unsteady ground, which in turn puts that unsteadiness though the rest of your organisation and make you pretty nervous when it comes to certification audit time. 

Take the time, clearly understand the early clauses 0.1 to 0.3 and 1 through 3, to do that you will need to have a good appreciation for the big picture of the standard and your organisation, only then should you get into the detail.

Get In Touch

If you need any support in developing or improving your ISO or Quality Systems we'd love to hear from you, just click here to make an appointment and find out how we can help you Make Things, Better

You can also call John on 0211649739 to set up a meeting 

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Thursday, 02 April 2020

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