AS9000 Registration

Source: NSF International Strategic Registrations, Ltd.

In 1997, the US aerospace industry issued a new, cooperative quality standard for their suppliers: AS9000.
In 1997, the US aerospace industry issued a new, cooperative quality standard for their suppliers: AS9000. The new standard, based on ISO 9000, is more specific to the aerospace industry and contains additional requirements.

NSF International Strategic Registrations is accredited by ANSI/RAB to perform ISO 9000 audits for Aircraft & Parts and Guided Missiles & Space Vehicles & Parts, SICs 372 and 376 respectively. NSF-ISR is also listed by General Electric Aircraft Engines (GEAE) as an approved registrar to conduct assessments and issue certificates of conformance to AS9000. We take pride in offering you:

•Highly skilled AS9000 auditors with extensive aerospace and quality audit experience
•A simple and effective registration process
•A continuous registration program with surveillance audits conducted every six months and no requirement for re-certification every three years
•Global recognition of the NSF Mark for management system registration

Background on AS9000
There is particular sensitivity to safety and quality issues in the aerospace industry. Procurement Quality Assurance functions at some prime contractors may require purchase order adders for ISO 9000 registered suppliers, with each prime having their own unique requirements. In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposes additional requirements beyond ISO 9001 to meet regulatory requirements and FAA expectations.

AS9000 contains ISO 9001 verbatim supplemented with 27 additional qualifiers and 8 notes to clarify language or offer alternatives to satisfy the requirements of the existing twenty elements of ISO 9001. The document was developed by a joint committee formed by the Aerospace Industries Association and the American Society for Quality. Companies represented on the committee included AlliedSignal, Allison Engine, Boeing, General Electric Aircraft Engines, Lockheed-Martin, McDonnell Douglas, Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, Rockwell-Collins, Sikorsky Aircraft, and Sundstrand. The document was published by the Society of Automotive Engineers in May 1997.

Although AS9000 is a voluntary standard, GEAE implemented AS9000 as the basic specification for supplier quality systems. GEAE mandates that its suppliers comply with AS9000 and schedule audits with Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB) accredited registrars listed in the GEAE "yellow pages." Other aerospace companies (e.g., AlliedSignal Aerospace and Allison Engine Company) have either mandated their suppliers to comply with AS9000 or are evaluating its applicability to their procurement requirements. FAA has indicated that they will accept AS9000 under defined circumstances including:

•Primes maintain liability and responsibility
•Primes demonstrate oversight of all third-party audits
•Criteria for acceptance of demonstrated compliance must be defined

AS9000 has received unprecedented support from diverse industry groups including prime contractors, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). Suppliers have a rare window of opportunity to capitalize on this momentum and participate in moving the aerospace industry toward standardization while adding value and common sense to their existing quality systems. By embracing the spirit and the intent of AS9000, the supplier base can declare their commitment to a process that reduces redundancy while adding real value to the manufacturing process. Earning registration to AS9000 will clearly place your organization on the leading edge of quality initiatives by:

•Demonstrating your conformance to the internationally recognized ISO 9000 standard plus the additional requirements of AS9000
•Providing your organization with strong objective evidence to support quality claims
•Establishing your commitment to the streamlining of aerospace quality requirements
•Association with a document endorsed by seven aerospace prime contractors
•Clients who successfully complete an AS9000 will receive an ISO 9000 accredited certificate as well as an AS9000 certificate of compliance

NSF-ISR Certificate of Conformance
NSF-ISR can provide a certificate of conformance to AS9000 when the assessment is conducted in conjunction with an ISO 9000 registration. Currently, registrars cannot provide accredited AS9000 certificates because the aerospace industry is still developing the registration scheme with the accreditation community. Therefore, most companies implementing AS9000 will seek ISO 9001/2 or QS-9000 registration and obtain an accredited certificate to either one of these standards. Once the complete registration and accreditation program requirements are defined and implemented, accredited certificates may then be issued.

NSF-ISR is presently scheduling and conducting audits to AS9000 for both new and existing customers. Provisions have been made to add AS9000 conformance onto ISO surveillance audits at minimal costs without requiring clients to re-register.

NSF International Strategic Registrations, Ltd., 9004 Wellthor Circle, Soddy-Daisy, TN 37379. Tel: 888-248-0433; Fax: 423-847-3693.