Time flies in the aerospace industry, and we are now approaching the halfway stage of the transition period of the recent update of AS9100 – the leading quality management standard in the aviation, space and defence industry.
Safety is a must, quality is required and failure is not an option – and as such, the industry has come to rely on AS9100 to ensure these critical components are met. Last September saw Revision D released, which updates the standard to ensure it remains in alignment with ISO9001, which saw a revision in 2015.
What are the changes?
Both Revision D and the recent revision of ISO9001 feature a new alignment of clauses under Annex SL, the common 10 clause high level structure under which every standard will now be aligned.
This new alignment, essentially creates a Plan-Do-Check-Act workflow. Clauses 1-3 focus on definitions and scope, while Clauses 4-7 work together to create the business plan. Clause 8 is how the business will do the work, Clause 9 provides the opportunity to check how well things are working, and Clause 10 is designed to act on business improvement opportunities.
Preventative and corrective actions have been elevated into an improved, more comprehensive risk based thinking methodology, which sees both risk and opportunities being addressed at both the corporate business management and operational levels, making the risk/opportunity management a powerful requirement woven into the aerospace standard. This risk based thinking is a new mentality designed to help organizations identify factors that could cause a quality management system to deviate from planned results.
Additional changes include: product safety was added in a new clause and in other areas; counterfeit parts prevention was added in a new clause, dedicated to building a counterfeit part prevention process, and appears in three other areas of the standard; awareness clause was added with reinforced requirements for awareness of individual contribution to product and service quality and safety along with ethical behavior; human factors are included as a consideration in nonconformity management and corrective action; and configuration management was clarified and improved to address stakeholder needs.
The rationale behind these changes is to ensure better alignment with the strategic direction for the business, having greater leadership engagement, being more structured when setting objectives and ensuring management review is aligned to organizational results. No longer should organizations have a separate business plan and quality management plan.
This provides an opportunity for an integrated management system that addresses other elements such as environment, health and safety, business continuity, etc.
Furthermore, the revision aims to establish standardized methods for best practices and continual improvement; enable organizations to better identify and manage risk; emphasize the importance of change management; ensure greater flexibility with documentation; coordinate initiatives that are of importance for original equipment manufacturers, regulatory bodies, government agencies and other interested parties; and ensure there is on consistent management system used throughout the aerospace supply chain
The process for AS9100D originally started in 2013, before being released in September 2016. There is a number of key deadlines that organizations should be aware of with regard to the transition.
As of June 2017, no audits – initial, surveillance, recertification or transfer – will be conducted to AS9100C, unless already in progress. All audits starting after this date will be to the new revisions of the three aerospace standards (9100/9110/0120).
From June 15 2017, to September 14 2018, organizations shall transition within their current AS9100C audit cycle, i.e. at the next planned surveillance or re-certification audit.
AS9100C certificates will not be valid after September 14 2018. Therefore, organizations that are already certified to AS9100C will need to complete a successful transition audit, which includes a positive certification decision, by this date.
Bureau Veritas has developed a white paper on AS9100:2016 – Key Changes to the Standard which is available to download here.
For further information please visit www.bureauveritas.co.uk.
July 3 ,2017