Compliance Conversations: Why is Scope of Management System Important

Posted by Craig Thornton

Compliance consultants from around the world join us for this discussion on Management System Scope.

In this video, we discuss the importance of the Scope of the Management System.

Check out the video here:


Video Transcription

Why is the Scope of the Management System Important?

Nicholas, SRM, South Africa

The scope of the management system is extremely important because it defines the boundaries of applicability, particularly within a business.

  • Is it applicable to some processes or all processes?
  • Is it applicable to geographic regions?
  • Is it applicable to an entire country?
  • Is it a Global Management System?

It's extremely important.

The scope of the management system will define who leadership. Leadership can be leadership in an organisation, it could also be global leadership within the organisation, and that's going to influence roles and responsibilities.

It's also going to influence those legal factors that we spoke about as to how your management system is defined.

Chris, FQM, United Kingdom

The scope of a management system is important, and one of the main reasons that it is important is many businesses change dramatically over time. Therefore the scope of their operations, and ultimately, the scope of their management system will change accordingly.

Where an organisation is fairly static, delivering either the same products and or services, in the same way, to the same clients, in the same jurisdictions, etc., then often the scope will not change.

However, if you are a changing organisation, an organisation that is growing or acquiring other businesses, then it's important that the scope is reviewed regularly, to identify if your management system structure needs to be defined or updated to include a scope of this new section, new service, new product, new geographical location, which you're operating in.

Michael, Momentum Safety and Ergonomics, Australia

It's clearly important, because there's so many different parts of the management system that could be in there, it's important that you outline what you are referring to.

Things that happen in your business are going to be governed by this particular management system, you may have a number of different management systems happening at the same time, so they need to clearly define their boundaries. Or there may be other processes that help govern what happens in an organisation that may or may not be included in your management system.

It's really important from the point of view of the concerned parties - they are going to be your internal and external concerned parties - that they know what this system is referencing,

Sean, Kaizen Consulting, New Zealand

To know what to include and exclude from management of the whole system:

  • You need to know the activities that applies to the management system,
  • You need to know the location of the activities,
  • The interaction between different processes that have input and output from those processes for each one of those activities.
Hence, it's quite important to define what the scope of the management system is, so you can manage it accordingly.
Mark, Business Basics, Australia

Why is the scope of the management system important?

It tells you the point.

It tells you where you have to worry about it where you don't.

It keeps on giving you a reference to come back to understand what are you trying to achieve, and what are you trying to do with the management system.

It tells you what's left out what's included, and gives you some purpose and direction.

John, Many Caps, New Zealand

Well, as we said previously, it sets the boundaries of your management system.

It determines where you spend your time, it determines what processes you need to document, how you need control things, and who does what.

It really does set the ballpark for the whole QMS.

  1. If your business is growing, the scope will need to change accordingly.
  2. Interested parties - both internal and external - need to know what the system is referencing.
  3. The Scope is a reference point to help you understand what you are trying to achieve with the management system.
  4. The Scope helps set the tone for your entire QMS.

Tags: Management System, ISO, Compliance, ISO Certification, Compliance Conversations, Management System Scope