We support you in multisite certification, scroll down to see how...


Accreditation assesses certifiers on their multisite certification with the IAF.MD1 as reference. The IAF is the world association for accreditation. As discussed with a lot of people in our network on multisite certification the MD1 is not always that clear, probably leading to different interpretations in the assessments. With René van Dam from the SC&AN (Services on Certification and Accreditation in the Netherlands), we listed these issues. We also think that there is a need for guidance on the interpretation of the MD1.

Please mail us your comments and suggestions. Based on your input we will contact IAF as a group of people, an “interested party/stakeholder”.





0. Introduction

The MD1 is meant for organizations with a number of sites with a single management system

Different management systems for different  certification scheme's must be possible

1. Scope

This document shall not be used for situations where independent organizations are collected together by another independent organization (e.g. consulting company or an artificial organization) under the umbrella of a single management system

What is the definition of an independent organization? When they have a contractual link (3.3.1),  there are dependencies

2.4 Central function

The organization should define the central function

In the MD1 are rather a lot of descriptions of the central function (2.4, 2,5, 3.3.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.6, 7.3.1, 7.7.1). Shouldn't there be 1 clear definition of this function?

2.6 Virtual location

A virtual location uses an online environment for performing work or providing work or services

A virtual site is a single site for the purpose of calculation of the sites to be sampled. But what is the virtual site exactly (the example in the MD1 of Design & Development is not clear, at the end this is a part of a physical site)?

3.1 Site

Definitions of sites can be laid down in law - national or local licensing

Are there in reality definitions of sites as part of national or local licensing?

3.1.2 Headquarter

Where it is not practicable to define a location (e.g. for services), the coverage of the certification should take into account the organization’s headquarters processes/activities as well as delivery of its services

Can we consider the HQ, when the central function processes/activities are excluded, as a site that could be sampled?

3.2 Temporary site

Temporary sites shall be subject to an audit on sample base

How often shall a temporary site be audited?

4.6 Similar processes/activities

In the case of a multi-site organization where each site is performing very similar processes/activities, there may be a clear case to be made for appropriate “site sampling”

"Similar processes/activities"  is rather subjective. Does a more generic or more specific scope of definition influence this similarity?

5.4 Centralized management review The organization’s single management system shall be subject to a centralized management review Must the sites do their own management review, next to the centralized Sampling

The size selection shall consider several aspects

How are the several aspects of considering the site selection being used? Size of sample (initial, re-certification, surveillance audit)

For an initial, a re-certification or surveillance audit the size of an annual sample is the square root of the number of sites with 1, 0.8, or 0.6 as a coefficient

What are the bases of these calculations used of the  size of the samples Size of sample

The size of a sample for a re-certification audit can be reduced, compared with an initial when the management system has proven to be effective

Which criteria are used for an effective management system, when determining the size of a sample for a re-certification audit? Sampling

The size of the sample can be increased taking account several factors

How do these several factors work in relation to increasing the sample?

7.1 Centralized processes

Determine the degree of centralization of process/activities which are delivered to all sites (e.g. purchasing)

The frequency and the calculation of the audit duration of these centralized processes are not defined in the MD1


See further our homepage on MD1.Support!

Multisite certification At Scania

Multisite certification At Scania

Interview on multisite certification with Per Webb from Scania

Read more

It's a very good initiative that MD1.Support can help organizations in multisite certification!

Dirk Regenboog from Bureau Veritas Certification Netherlands
Dirk Regenboog from Bureau Veritas Certification Netherlands

MD1.Support helped us a lot how we could benefit from multisite certification

Jack Reinders from Bronkhorst
Jack Reinders from Bronkhorst

Bas Logister of MD1.Support helped us in the understanding of the requirements and the calculation of multisite certification,

Ronald Velsink from Unica
Ronald Velsink from Unica

Bas Logister of MD1.Support helped us in our negotiations with the certifier

Henk Kerkdijk from Teijin Aramid
Henk Kerkdijk from Teijin Aramid