Most major aviation, space, and defense (AS&D) organizations require that their direct suppliers be certified to one or more aerospace quality management system (AQMS) standards that fall under the AS9100 series.
AS9100 Standards for AQMS
The AQMS standards contain the entire ISO 9001, Quality management systems – Requirements, and additional AS&D industry requirements. The standards are accepted worldwide and endorsed by aerospace regulators, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the US Department of Defense (DoD). Published by SAE International, these standards include:
- AS9100, Quality management systems – Requirements for aviation, space, and defense organizations
- AS9110, Quality management systems – Requirements for aviation maintenance organizations
- AS9120, Quality management systems – Requirements for aviation, space, and defense distributors
AS9100, AS9110, & AS9120 Certification Requirements
Certifications to these AS standards must be issued by a certification body that is accredited to the AS standards by an accreditation body recognized by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) Industry Controlled Other Party (ICOP), such as ANAB.
The certificate scope must match the standard. For example, a distributor would be certified to AS9120 and not AS9100. The requirements of the standard must match the work that is being performed. In the end, scopes matter. While the customer may want a direct supplier to be certified to a specific standard, such as AS9100, that standard may not match the required scope or the work that the supplier is performing.
Sometimes, there can be a disconnect with some customers and suppliers in terms of what they request contractually, and this is a problem that the supplier needs to address with its customer. While each AS AQMS standard is based on ISO 9001, AS9110 and AS9120 contain specific industry and regulatory requirements for maintenance organizations and distributors respectively and should be used as the certification standard for those types of organizations.
The AS AQMS standards provide a mechanism to ensure that the additional regulatory requirements of the aviation, space, and defense industry are met. The ultimate goal of certification of AS&D suppliers to AS9100 standards is to ensure the products manufactured, repaired, and distributed are safe and reliable through the implementation of processes within an aerospace quality management system.
ANAB Accreditation for AS9100 Series Certification Bodies
ANAB, as an accreditation body recognized by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) Industry Controlled Other Party (ICOP), is a trusted accreditor of bodies that issue certifications to the AS9100 series of standards. A certification body (CB) must conform to ISO/IEC 17021-1 and be accredited to ISO 9001 for at least a year prior to applying for AS accreditation.
You can learn more about accreditation for aviation, space, and defense management systems certification bodies (AS9100 series) here.