The AS9100 is a type of quality management system that is widely adopted and standardized for the Aviation, Space and Defense industry. The initial release was done in October 1999 by the European Association of Aerospace Industries and Society of Automotive Engineers.
The AS9100 replaced the earlier version AS9000 and now incorporates the current ISO 9001 requirements and the newest release AS9100:2016 or also known as AS9100 Rev. D, has added safety, human factorsand counterfeit parts.
Currently, major aerospace suppliers and manufacturers worldwide require certification to AS9100 as a condition of doing business.
AS9100 certification process
The continuity and consistency of the AS9100 certification are achieved by a process that requires five primary phases as explained below.
1. AS9100 Document Review
This involves assessing the systemto ensure that all documented information has been created as required by the standard. A comparison is performed of your documented information with the AS9100 requirements standards. The documented information must pass approval before certification.
2. AS9100 Pre-Assessment
The pre-assessment phase involves reducing anxiety levels associated with the assessment process and identifying areas of concern for the initial assessment also know as the Stage 1 and 2 certification audit.
Types of pre-assessments
There are two kinds which are.
Desk audit- is intended to ensure that the documented information appropriately meets all requirements of the AS9100 standard.
Dress rehearsal – this is a mini audit usually an abbreviated version of the AS9100 Certification Audit. Personnel are interviewed, and the audit will usually provide guidance on areas that will be a concern during the certification audit.
3. AS9100 Initial Assessment
This initial assessment is done in two phases. The first is the stage 1 audit, which is to examine the organizations understanding and readiness for the certification audit. During this phase the auditor will provide areas of concern that must be addressed prior to the next phase (Stage 2).
The second phase is the stage 2 or Certification Assessment which evaluates all processes in depth to determine compliance with the requirements of the standard and effectiveness of the system.
4. Certification Surveillance
The surveillance assessments are the core of the post-certification process for AS9100 certification. They determine whether the management system of your organization is efficient, assure ongoing conformity and encourage continual improvement. The last of the surveillance audit is the recertification audit which ensures the accreditation compliance and the full assessment of the requirements.
5. Re- certification
This is done once every three years during the third year of each 3-year certificate period. The quality management system and ALL process are assessed in their entirely. QMS assessments ensures that effectiveness is thoroughly evaluated.
The above are the phases of AS9100 certification process. Even though the decision to have an AS9100 audit requires a commitment of resources and time it is imperative to understand the importance associated with such certification