AS9101D: Are You Ready?

If your company is certified to AS9100B, you should already know that the transition to AS9100C Aviation, Space, and Defense Standard starts July 1, 2011. If your surveillance or re-certification audit is going to take place after this date, you must have completed the transition to the new requirements, and have the correct documentation and objective evidence to demonstrate effectiveness.

AS9101D Audit Requirements for Aviation, Space, and Defense is the new, completely rewritten standard that defines the requirements for Certification Bodies (CBs) to audit your system. This standard creates common auditing methods and document formats (seven appendices) that the CB auditor will use, and can be used by your organization in support of your internal audits, and external audits at your suppliers.

Key differences to the audit requirements and CB audit process include:

• Expanded scope of what and when a Major nonconformity will be written. Major nonconformity situation example, “a nonconformity where the effect is judged to be detrimental to the integrity of the product.”

• A new nonconformity report (NCR) used by the auditor. Example, when nonconformity found requires immediate containment action meaning –“fix now” to contain the nonconforming condition, it will be done. Immediate containment and correction can be reviewed by the audit team during the audit.

• Each audited “Product Realization Process – level of effectiveness” will be recorded on the Process Effectiveness Assessment Report (PEAR). The PEAR identifies 4 effectiveness levels. If the auditor classifies the effectiveness level as a “1 or 2” it will result in a nonconformity being issued.

• No more soft grading or scoring. If the auditor found evidence of non-fulfillment of a requirement, the auditor determines the nonconformity classification (major/minor). The “observations and opportunities for improvement” grade no longer exists for borderline correction actions.

• Audit results will be posted on the Online Aerospace Supplier Information System (OASIS) for approved parties to view (i.e., your customers)! This transparency alone only emphasis the need to seriously examine your current documented system and its conformity and effectiveness.

With the development of the AS9100C and AS9101D standards, you can count on performance-based, process-oriented audit methods and techniques facing your company future. It is now May, and the clock is ticking. Life was good when the auditor would ask for “thus and so” and you could show “thus and so” and get a check mark. Those days are changing fast!

Question:  Has your Certification Body (CB) informed your organization of the new requirements and their future audit process?  We have found it’s a CB communication mixed bag!  Let us know, and do you think the new CB audit process and AS9100C expanded requirements will make a difference in supplier quality? Respond!! 🙂

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