Currently there are five main scopes for the IAF MLA: Management Systems Certification, Product Certification, Certification of Persons, Greenhouse Gas Validation and Verification, and Validation and Verification.
A main scope means certificates are ‘equally reliable’ because the conformity assessment bodies conform to the same standard. The combination of a Level 2 activity and the Level 3 relevant normative document is called a main scope of the MLA.
A sub-scope means the certificates are ‘equivalent’ because the management systems, products, services or persons conform to the same standard.
Sub-scopes are divided into two categories (Level 4 and Level 5), as described in section 4 of IAF PR4: Structure of the IAF MLA and List of IAF Endorsed Normative Documents.