Merging with a non ISO 9001-certified organization


Q: My federal agency is comprised of many different internal organizations. We have a scenerio where a recently certified organization to the ISO 9001:2008 Quality management systems–Requirements is planned to be merged with a non-certified organization that has no type of management system. The certified organization’s certification runs for three years but it will be more closely integrated with the non-certified organizations. Will the merger affect the certified organization’s certification? Do you have any insights on how these types of occurrences typically affect the management system itself when an organization that is certified for 100% of its operations now becomes 50% of a larger organization? It’s quite likely that the certified organization’s name will change at least in part.

A: With regard to your question, if company “A” is already ISO 9001:2008 certified and is now being merged with a non-certified company here’s what should be considered.  First, the current ISO certification is only applicable to company “A” as defined in the scope of the quality manual as well as on the ISO 9001 certification issued by the ISO registrar.

Your ISO registrar needs to be immediately informed of changes effecting the company name, top management and/or processes.  The registrar may very likely require the newly merged companies to be reevaluated for ISO certification and listed under one ISO certification.

Most ISO registrars will not issue ISO certification for just a portion of a company.  All processes that comprise the quality system must be identified and included as a part of the QMS unless specific exclusion is stated in the quality manual as permitted by ISO 9001.  The management representative will need to ensure that top management is aware of how this merge may affect the current QMS so effective actions can be taken to bring company “B” in line with the established QMS procedures and other ISO requirements.  I hope this helps.

Bill Aston
ASQ Senior Member
Managing Director of Aston Technical Consulting Services
Kingwood, TX
www.astontechconsult.com

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