AS9100 Aerospace Quality Management

AS9100 is the standard for organisations designing, developing, or providing aviation, space, and defence products and services. If you manufacture any parts for aircraft or defence applications, this is the standard you should apply for. AS9100 was developed to standardise aerospace quality management systems and reduce customer audit requirements.

The aerospace industry is a high-risk sector, and regulatory control is needed to capture the requirements and the importance of safety, reliability or maintainability globally.

AS9100 incorporates all the foundational elements of ISO 9001 but aims to improve confidence in the aerospace sector.

  • Key performance indicators established against key processes of the business

  • Risk management process to critically review the business and identify mitigations to remove those risks

  • In depth review of contractors and subcontractors to ascertain their risk to your business and their performance

  • Verification of all products as well as monitoring of the products through its life cycle

  • Documented control of production activities, equipment and tools

  • Increased top management commitment and customer focus

Auva Certification has specialist aerospace auditors that are equipped to assess your systems to a high standard and provide a value-added service.

The OASIS Database

The Online Aerospace Supplier Information System (OASIS) is an online database managed by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) that stores and shares supplier information and performance data. To achieve AS9100 or AS9120 certification, the use of the OASIS database is mandatory, and ongoing maintenance is critical to maintaining certification.

OASIS serves as a repository of information related to aerospace suppliers’ certification and performance, including data on quality management system certification, production facilities, and products or services. Aerospace organisations use OASIS to identify and evaluate suppliers based on their performance history, certification status, and other relevant factors. Certified organisations, certification bodies such as Auva, auditors, training providers, and other relevant parties are registered on the system.

Auditors will provide an introduction to the system during initial assessments, but interested parties can also explore it by clicking here. While it is free to register and view certified organisations, there is a fee to join the system as a certified organisation, which Auva will apply once certification is achieved.

Upgrading from ISO 9001 to AS9100 or AS9120?

Due to the standard using ISO 9001 as the foundation, you do not need a separate assessment to maintain your ISO 9001 certification. The AS9100 or AS9120 assessment is performed simultaneously with your ISO 9001 assessment and by the same assessor. No additional time is added on top of the AS9100 or AS9120 assessment, and when you receive your certification, you will receive two certificates. It’s almost like buy one get one free. If you already have ISO 9001 in place, you are probably 75% compliant with the AS9100 or AS9120 standards; you can achieve certification relatively quickly with a few tweaks and alterations.

Why AS9100 is important

By implementing these principles, your business is set up to create value for your customers consistently. This, in turn, brings many business benefits.

Like most industries, the aerospace sector has been through some turmoil, and the impact of Covid-19 has been severe. Aircraft worldwide were grounded, which has had a lasting knock-on effect throughout the supply chain.

Surprisingly, the supply chain is proving to be very resilient. Although many people lost their jobs, the businesses stayed afloat and survived to come out the other end. Many companies downsized, closed facilities and merged sites and sold off portions of their companies that were not core and focused on different markets.

Many aerospace suppliers are still around and starting to grow again. The commercial sector was more impacted than the military sector, but organisations switched to medical due to the synergies between the two industries. Although aircraft are very different to medical devices, the strict controls and precision needed for each component are very similar; therefore, it was relatively easy to switch focus.

These changes show the importance of having a robust management system, which helps to focus the mind, identify potential risks, and reduce the impact on the business. Without systems in place, the sector may look very different right now.

AS9120: Aerospace requirements for stockist distributors

Part of the AS9100 family is the AS9120 certification for aerospace stockists and distributors of parts used within the aerospace and defence sector. If your business buys and sells parts or materials but performs no manufacturing function, this is the standard you should apply for. It aims to promote producing and distribution of reliable and high-quality aerospace materials and products. The requirements involve proper traceability through the supply chains, documentation, and inventory control.

  • Identify operational improvements and decrease costs

  • The aerospace industry often requires AS9120 as a prerequisite to doing business with suppliers

  • AS9120 certified distributors can be trusted to deliver high-quality products and services that are safe and reliable

  • Increased traceability and control of records

  • Streamline your processes which often leads to cost savings but more importantly, less time trying to resolve issues or look for workarounds

  • Understand your legal obligations and help to ensure compliance

Ensure consistent quality of services and products and improve customer service

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