AS9100 has many benefits including, but not limited to:
- Reduced operating costs
- Reduced waste
- Reduced customer audits
- Improved allocation and use of resources
- Increased productivity and performance
- Increased marketability
- Increased customer satisfaction
Accreditation is the means by which an Accreditation Body gives formal recognition that an organization, such as a Certification Body, is competent to carry out specific tasks. ANAB (ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board) is the Accreditation Body that accredits The Registrar Company (TRC) as a Certification Body conforming to ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015.
Accreditation provides assurance to TRC’s customers that TRC operates according to internationally accepted criteria and also ensures the impartiality and competence of TRC as a Certification Body. Accreditation also provides confidence and acceptance of TRC’s certifications by users around the world.
Unaccredited Certification Bodies may not operate according to international requirements and may offer a certificate without an audit or without an understanding of an organization’s operations.
An accredited certificate includes both the Certification Body’s symbol and the accreditation symbol of the accrediting body.
Most aerospace OEM organizations have established requirements for AS9100 compliance and registration.
AS9100 is designed to be a flow-down requirement and many Tier-1 to Tier-3 supplier organizations are requiring their suppliers to implement and register an AS9100 compliant quality management system.
The initial certification audit of a management system is conducted in 2 stages:
The objectives of stage 1 are to:
a) review the client’s management system documented information;
b) evaluate the client’s site-specific conditions and undertake discussions with the client’s personnel to determine the preparedness for stage 2;
c) review the client’s status and understanding regarding requirements of the standard, with respect to the identification of key performance or significant aspects, processes, objectives and operation of the management system;
d) obtain necessary information regarding the scope of the management system, including: the client’s site(s); processes and equipment used; levels of controls established; applicable statutory and regulatory requirements;
e) review the allocation of resources for stage 2 and agree the details of stage 2 with the client;
f) provide a focus for planning stage 2 by gaining sufficient understanding of the client’s management system and site operations in the context of the management system standard or other normative document;
g) evaluate if the internal audits and management reviews are being planned and performed, and that the level of implementation of the management system substantiates that the client is ready for stage 2.
The purpose of stage 2 is to evaluate the implementation, including effectiveness, of the client’s management system and takes place at the site of the client(s).
The objectives of stage 2 are to audit the following:
a) information and evidence about conformity to all requirements of the applicable management system standard or other normative documents;
b) performance monitoring, measuring, reporting and reviewing against key performance objectives and targets (consistent with the expectations in the applicable management system standard or other normative document);
c) the client’s management system ability and its performance regarding meeting of applicable statutory, regulatory and contractual requirements;
d) operational control of the client’s processes;
e) internal auditing and management review;
f) management responsibility for the client’s policies.
How long does the certification process take?
Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits are typically scheduled 30 days apart.
If non-conformances are identified during the stage 2 audit, the period for closure of the non-conformances is between 30 and 60 days.
A certificate of registration is not issued until the stage 1 and stage 2 audits are completed, any/all non-conformances have been closed, and the certification body has completed a review of the audit process.
ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization. ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization that develops voluntary International Standards that ensure quality, safety and efficiency.
AS9100 is developed by the American Aerospace Quality Group (AAQG) and coordinated with the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG).
The AAQG consists of a membership of organizations that are responsible for the design, development, manufacture, and support of original equipment at the systems level.
The IAQG is responsible for international aerospace initiatives and consists of member organizations from Europe, the Americas, and the Asia-Pacific who together provide input into the standards through experience and industry practices. The IAQG is also responsible for the management of the Online Aerospace Supplier Information System or OASIS.
The Online Aerospace Supplier Information System, or OASIS, is the international, web-based database of information regarding all registered aerospace suppliers worldwide.
The information on a company’s certificate is considered “level 1” data and is available for public access in OASIS. Information regarding the company’s performance during initial and surveillance audits is considered “level 2” data and is only available through controlled access.
For many organizations, certification/registration is a requirement to be a supplier to many organizations.
Certification is a means to ensure your organization and your customer that you have effectively implemented a management system. Further, that the system truly provides the means to ensure that your products or services are developed with consistency, quality, and customer expectations in mind.
Organizations implement and register a Quality Management System (QMS) because they are aware of the benefits associated with both the management system and certification. With the added audits performed by the certification body, your organization has access to valuable information like industry trends and best practices; a second set of eyes that can identify areas of needed improvement in the system where your internal audit team may not; and finally, recognition in the efforts your organization makes towards continual improvement, product/service quality, and customer satisfaction.
TRC clients have input in the personnel utilized to conduct their third-party assessment. Clients may request or decline any personnel selected for their audits and review the qualifications and credentials of all audit personnel prior to any assessment.
TRC understands that a certain level of comfort and familiarity is gained over a period of time, making the assessment more efficient. While every attempt is made to maintain a consistent audit process, we must ensure that clients understand that there is a possibility that the auditor can change from time to time or permanently.
Rotation of auditors following defined time periods is also a requirement of certain quality standards.