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Scope of a Management System

Mango Compliance Conversations: The Scope of a Management System

The Scope of a Management System

ISO standards utilize a common framework called Annex SL which involves defining the scope of the management system.

Annex SL is the standard that defines the new high-level structure that is required for all ISO management system standards. It replaces the ISO Guide 83 and expands on the structure that was already established.

The Annex SL structure was created to introduce identical core text and common terms and conditions across all ISO management standards. The template for the Annex SL structure consists of 10 sections to categorize all of the content within a management system standard.

The first section is Scope.

QSM Group’s Managing Director got together with other compliance experts around the world, through Mango Live, to discuss the clause of the ISO standard “Scope of the Management System”.

Watch the video or read the transcript below.

What is the Scope of a Management System

Sean, Kaizen Consulting, New Zealand

The scope is essentially defining the boundaries to which the management system applies to. That can mean:

  • Location
  • Activities
  • Products
  • Services

You need to define what activities you do and where you conduct them, and what is the end product or service.

We find that within the management system, you need to be clear for everyone using that management system what your activities and your services apply to these processes and procedures.

Mark, Business Basics, Australia

Scope of management simply is:

  • What does your management system apply to?
  • What parts of your business is it applied to?
  • What markets?
  • What products?
  • What areas of concern do you have?

By going out and defining these, helps you understand what’s included in what you need to consider.

Nicholas, SRM, South Africa

With the scope, we look at it as the geographic boundaries, the boundaries within a business or within an entire organization, and the scope is very important.

If you’re in Australia, and somebody is in Queensland, and somebody is in Perth, they could have different regulatory requirements.

So, understanding the scope of the organization, whether it’s national, or whether it’s regional, is highly important, because those will be some of the defining factors or inputs to your management system.

Michael, Momentum Safety and Ergonomics, Australia

The scope of your system, to me clearly, is all the things that are included in your management system. You would also mention the things that are not included in your management system.

Obviously, it’s going to vary depending on whether you’ve got a system that is more devoted to quality, health, and safety, environment, food safety, information systems, or some sort of integrated management system that looks at integrating all of these systems.

Your scope is really just going to be all the parts that are in your management system, and the section that you use to describe this is often called scope. It really is something that is early in your management system, so a reader knows what’s there and what’s not.

Chris, FQM, United Kingdom

The scope is documented information, which outlines what your business does.

Very simply put, you identify what your business operational activities are, and how they fit within your management system and its structure.

Andrew, IRM Systems, Australia

The scope needs to be a factual statement that accurately represents what you’re applying your management system to, and the boundaries around what you’re applying your management system to.

John, Many Caps, New Zealand

The scope of the management system is the part of your business which are inside your ISO certification.

You may want to have all your business included or you may want to exclude certain parts. You may decide that we’ve outsourced IT, so you’re going to exclude IT, but you’ll capture that in your supplier maintenance side of things.

It sets the boundaries for what you’re going to work on within your system.

Gary Patrick, QSM Group, Australia

The scope of the management system simply defines and documents the boundaries and limits of what will apply to the system.

The scope is important as it defines how far the management system extends within the organization’s operations, and it also helps provide clarity to relevant stakeholders.

My advice is to ensure that the scope of the management system is as simple, clear, and concise as possible, as this helps stakeholders focus on what’s important.

The scope should include the parts of the organization including locations, activities, products, and services. It should also consider the internal and external issues relevant to the organization’s context, the requirements of interested parties, and compliance requirements.

For quality management systems, the scope can also document a justification for any requirement of the ISO 9001 standard that is not applicable to its management system.

Contact QSM Group for assistance with your management system development, implementation, maintenance, and certification.

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