Changes in the Certification Process for Aviation Space and Defense Quality Management Systems

An airplane souring above open building due to AQMS certification quality and reliability.

For over 20 years, Aviation, Space and Defense (ASD) original equipment manufacturers and the ASD supply chain have embraced and enhanced the use of aerospace quality management system (AQMS) certification processes under the ICOP (Industry Controlled Other Party) scheme. In 2022, the IAQG (International Aerospace Quality Group) initiated some big changes to the over processes and methods and associations for implementation of the scheme’s requirements.

ICOP Scheme and IAF Rules and Requirements

One change is that the IAQG has applied to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) for MLA recognition of the ICOP scheme as one that works within the requirements of the IAF rules and procedures for accreditation and the certification of organizations. The IAF is voting on this by the end of March 2023 to accept the scheme, and, if confirmed, the Accreditation Bodies (AB) will be able to request an IAF MLA scope extension to include the ICOP scheme.

ANAB is very excited and committed to this IAF and private sector partnership as a recognition of accredited certification processes adding value in a collaborative and cost-effective manner to various stakeholders.

In addition to the IAF membership application, the scheme has changed many of the processes for accreditation and certification to better align with IAF requirements.  Some of these have been previously reported on in past ANAB Blog posts Certification for AS9100 Aviation Quality Management Systems and AS9104 and New Revisions, and, in 2023, we are seeing the implementation of these new requirements.

Implementation of New AQMS Requirements

In December 2022, the IAQG released a revision to Supplemental Rule 004, which identified the requirements for transitioning organizations within the scheme to these new requirements. This revision required that ABs be capable of the new requirements by the end of 2022 and that Certification Bodies (CBs) be in conformance with the new requirements no later than January of 2023.

This means that the changes previously mentioned here are now being put into practice. Some of the significant changes for organizations certified to AS9100, AS9110 and AS9120 are the potential changes to the number of required audit days. This is the result of new rules that include OCAP (Organization Certification Analysis Process), which does a risk analysis of the organization being certified and can raise or lower the audit duration.  Other changes include reductions for processes that are not applicable at an organization, which can reduce audit duration up to 50%. Finally, there are changes to the classifications of an organization’s “structure” which is more line with IAF mandatory requirements for a single or multi-site organization.

AQMS certified organizations are required to submit their information about customer satisfaction and internal audits at least 90 days before the conduct of the audit to the CBs. Applicant and certified organizations will begin to see these new requirements and changes in 2023 and into 2024 as the CBs begin to transition their process and seek updated accreditation.

Learn more about Accreditation for Aviation, Space, and Defense Management Systems under the AS9100 series and register for the ANAB self-paced training class Understanding Revisions to the Requirements and Concepts of AS9104:2021 Series.

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