Friday, December 9, 2016

Flight "AS9100D" Has Not Departed Yet

By: Andy Nichols
The arrival of the latest version of the Aerospace Standard for Quality Management Systems, AS9100D, in October was highly anticipated—after all, its publication had been delayed a couple of times during 2016. Now, some organizations in the aerospace supply chain are eager to get started on the changes needed to their quality management system.

Unlike a commercial airline departure delay, organizations shouldn’t feel the need to rush to make up time because of the postponement. In fact, the publication of AS9100D is only the start of a chain of events that can alter the timeline of organizations seeking to comply – including upgrading from AS9100C – and be certified to the new version. The deadline for organizations to complete their upgrade doesn’t “expire” until September 2018. However, it’s advisable to plan for the so-called “transition audit” in 2017 or the first quarter of 2018 at the latest.

Air Traffic Control is Responsible
The registrars who provide the Certification Services are required by the aerospace oversight body, known as the IAQG (International Aerospace Quality Group) to have planned and implemented the necessary processes across their organizations to ensure that competent, qualified auditors are in place to perform the AS9100D audits.

This means that all currently qualified aerospace auditor grades (there are two) will be required to complete training and testing (based on the new AS9100D requirements) to demonstrate competency. Indications from the registrar industry are that this process may not be fully completed until March of 2017. This is, in part, due to the limitations placed on the process by the following:

• The number of available qualified aerospace auditors.
• Their availability to complete and pass 9-12 hours of required training and associated activities.
• Registrar-specific scheduling considerations and the applicable IAQG rules regarding this.

For those organizations that want to be a “first achiever,” this can be frustrating. However, it should be noted that the changes from the AS9100C to AS9100D are not very significant and can be mostly attributed to the revised format of the ISO 9001:2015 standard (on which AS9100D is based) rather than significant changes to the specific aerospace industry “adders.” The main changes relate to the requirements for:

Counterfeit Part Prevention/Control
Product Safety
Risk Management
Employee Awareness

A Smooth Landing…
For clients of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center), as well as other organizations seeking to upgrade their AQMS from AS9100C to D, it’s worth considering what might actually be needed to comply with these new requirements and how long it might take to implement them. When viewed against the current AQMS, the upgrade may not actually require an “early start,” and when factoring your timeline, it’s going to be worthwhile to ask your registrar’s management when they will have qualified auditors available to conduct your audit.


Andy Nichols
Quality Program Manager at The Center

Andy has 40 years of expertise in a wide variety of roles and industries, with a focus on quality management systems in manufacturing organizations. In addition to his ISO 9000 Management Systems experience, he has worked extensively with ISO/TS16949, ISO/IEC 17024 and ISO/IEC 17025.

His broad practical knowledge of ‘Quality Tools’ includes: SPC, FMEA, Quality Circles, Problem Solving, Internal Auditing and Process Mapping. He has also been an IRCA and RABQSA accredited Lead Auditor.

To read Andy's full bio, visit

Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at

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