The AS-9100 Standard 


The AS-9100 is a quality management system (QMS) standard defined specifically by and for the aerospace industry. Published in the late 1999, it was developed by the ISO Aerospace Technical Committee 20 in conjunction with the American Aerospace Quality Group (AAQG), the European Association of Aerospace Industries (AECMA) and other similar international bodies from Brazil, China, Japan, and Mexico.


The AS-9100 was developed from its predecessor, the AS-9000 (1997), which adopted the 20 elements of ISO-9001-1994 and aligned them with the needs of the air transport industry.  The AS-9100 incorporates additional provisions to cover civil and military aviation and aerospace industry standard requirements more comprehensively. It also covers the needs of suppliers, regulatory bodies, and customers of the aerospace industry.


The standard was developed with the following objectives: 1) reduce defects in the supplier chain; 2) reduce costs; 3) continuously improve quality; 4) enhance customer satisfaction; and 5) reduce the man-hours spent by an organization on quality management activities, primarily by replacing the various customer requirements and specifications with a single industry standard that's acceptable to everyone. 


The registration process for the AS-9100 generally consists of the following steps: 1) review of the AS-9100 standard and related literature; 2) formation and training of a team that will oversee the certification process; 3) review of the organization's policies and procedures against AS-9100 requirements; 4) selection of a registrar that will facilitate the certification process; 5) alignment of the organization's policies and procedures with the AS-9100 and proper documentation of such in the Quality Manual and all other applicable documents; 6) implementation of the new quality management system; 7) on-site audit of the organization according to AS-9100 requirements; 8) acquisition of the AS-9100 registration; and 9) conduct of semi-annual or annual surveillance audits. An optional pre-assessment audit may be undertaken by the organization prior to the actual on-site audit for certification.


Key features of the AS-9100 include: 1) quality improvement; 2) variation control or management for key product characteristics; 3) production and service provisions unique to the aerospace industry such as part accountability, foreign object detection, production documentation, part identification, and part traceability; 4)  process/tooling change control and management; 5) supply chain quality control, which covers the control of purchasing and acceptance processes; 6) design and development control; 7) product configuration control management; 8) product quality, reliability, and safety control; and 9) continual improvement.


To cater to the growing demand for AS-9100 registration, the AAQG, in conjunction with the Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB), has established a system that allows auditors to perform AS-9100 audits and registrars to grant supplemental registrations.  This system includes the training of auditors and registrars and providing them with 'hands-on' experience to ensure their competence in the field.  The Registrar Management Committee was created by the AAQG to manage this important function.


See Also:  The ISO 9000 Standard The TS-16949The TL-9000 Quality Systems




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