In addition to offering a host of benefits, AS9100 certification is a certification for quality management in the aerospace industry. AS9100 is a documentation standard that specifies the requirements for a company. AS9100 is a universal standard, meaning that any manufacturer or vendor can use it and be recognized worldwide. Companies who have passed AS9100 certification must have a valid registration, and their registration period must be at least a year. How does this certification work, and why is certification in this standard so vital to aerospace companies?

What Is AS9100 Certification?

AS9100 is a standard that establishes recommendations for implementing a Quality Management System (QMS) in multiple sectors, including aviation and defense industries. The International Aerospace Quality Group created the standard, which expands on the criteria for a QMS as described in the ISO 9001 Quality Management System standards. It stands for Aerospace Standard (AS) based on the internationally recognized standard ISO 9001, used to create a QMS in all sectors. In contrast, the AS9100 standard is tailored for aviation, space, and defense sectors. It was released in 1999 and has gone through multiple revisions since its inception, including:

  • Rev A: 2001
  • Rev B: 2004
  • Rev C: 2009

The AS9100 format is based on the ISO 9001 standard, an international standard set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Furthermore, the International Aerospace Quality Group, which publishes AS9100, is a globally recognized group of officials from organizations worldwide.

What Is A Quality Management System (QMS)?

A QMS is a framework that aids organizations in carrying out quality control activities. It can help to improve the quality of products or services. The objective of the QMS is to increase customer satisfaction and reduce potential risks by continuously improving processes and identifying problems before they occur. Quality management systems are not just limited to manufacturing sectors but also other business sectors like retail, education, or healthcare. When it comes to something like the aerospace industry, the requirement for high quality is evident.

AS9100: Why Is It Important?

The aerospace sector has unique standards that must be met, and the quality management system must include these key requirements. By implementing an AS9100-compliant QMS, you will be able to demonstrate to your aerospace customers that you are meeting the aerospace-specific necessities and improving the quality of your products and services, and increasing customer satisfaction.

Who Needs AS9100 Certification?

AS9100 is primarily utilized by organizations that supply goods and services to the military, space, and aviation sectors since it is an industry-specific quality management system standard. AS9100D requires compliance by companies working in the aerospace industry or with partners in the aviation industry, such as:

  • Manufacturers of aircraft parts and materials.
  • Organizations that provide quality management services to aerospace manufacturers.
  • Aerospace part and assembly designers.
  • Other companies regularly or irregularly work in the aerospace industry.

An AS9100 Standard certification shows that the company has quality processes and procedures in place to meet quality standards. There are many benefits to getting your company certified in this standard.

How Can You Become Certified?

Though not legally necessary, AS9100 accreditation is frequently required for effective involvement in the aforementioned industries. Certification to AS9100 standards may allow you to gain access to significant Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and other distribution network segments. Companies in those industries who want to scale up and become more serious will need to participate in an AS9100 Audit. This audit will cover all aspects of your business relating to the standards set out and involve both an external and internal audit that will examine their QMS. Most companies will outsource this task since only larger companies can afford to hire in-house audit teams.

What Will An Audit Cover?

The audit process will cover all internal and external aspects of your business that relate to the standard. To qualify, you will need to pass several inspections. Naturally, you can usually opt to perform them onsite, remotely, or even perform a self-audit.

Internal Audit

An internal audit looks at the quality of a specific set of processes and practices within an organization. A quality management system internal audit helps identify areas for improvement and enables companies to track their progress in achieving their goals while providing a benchmark for future decision-making. The internal audit helps determine whether all processes are in line with the company’s policies and procedures. Quality management systems are complex, and it is not easy to figure out where they go wrong. 

External Audit

An external audit is primarily aimed at checking those companies with which the company does business. This is vital to check that suppliers are also conforming to the regulations. Furthermore, it may also check existing customers to see if the audited company meets its obligations.

What Makes Aerospace Safety So Important?

Safety is the first and foremost concern that companies must-have when it comes to their products. This can be seen in the aerospace industry, which is one of the safest industries in existence. The aerospace industry takes safety very seriously and is always trying to make improvements in order to ensure that they are providing a safe product for their clients. When companies cannot guarantee their safety and security, it will be more difficult for them to gain a competitive advantage. One way to do this is by implementing a safety culture in their operations. In order to successfully implement a safety culture, it is essential that there are prevention strategies in place that create an environment where employees are aware of potential hazards and dangers that may exist on any given day. One of the best ways to demonstrate a commitment to safety is to become AS9100 certified.

Suppose your organization is looking to improve quality, reduce costs, and avoid non-conformance penalties. In that case, you need to understand what it means to be AS9100 certified and why it’s an essential part of your quality management system. Now that you know what it means to be AS9100 certified, you can see how it can help manufacturers increase their profitability by improving quality control.