AS 9100 Rev C and ISO 9001: 2008

Published on: 18th March 2013

Further to the WEAF series of training courses against the above standards (and please don’t shoot the messenger, but) it’s all change again!

As many of you will be aware the ISO 9000 series of standards are regularly revised and re-issued and this will prompt other associated sector scheme standards to follow suite (just to maintain the standard numbering system between the ISO and sector scheme standard). With this in mind the AS 9100 scheme owners have decided to take the opportunity and will be up-dated and re-issuing the AS series of standards.

Although it is early days, we understand that most of the AS 9100 changes are focused on the assessment process and the assessor reporting requirements, rather than having any – significant impact on the companies this time around.
We have noticed that some confused messages are being banded-about with reference to these pending changes.

In summary, and aiming to explain the larger picture – within the UK the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) will continue to assess Certification Bodies against the ISO 17021 requirements. UKAS will undertake this accreditation task along with reference to the AS sector scheme requirements such as AS 9104-1 with reference to AS 9104-2 and 9104-3; these latter two standards provide specific requirements for defining the assessment process and Certification Body assessor qualifications – basically focusing on the existing ISO 19011 and ability of the assessor to demonstrate sector expertise.

Many of you will have noticed that some Certification Bodies are  instructing their assessors to arrive at the company and start assessments earlier in the day and have also shortened their lunch break!

Why the changes?
We all have opinions about why any standard and or sector scheme should change! Usually ISO standards are revised and re-issued due to changes within business culture and or due to a re-focus of a particular element of the standard due to customer or consumer expectation or requirement.

The recent launch of the AS 9100 Rev C is still very fresh in all our minds. Therefore, the pending re-issue of the AS 9100 is probably due to Certification Body assessors not delivering the required results for the scheme owners and their masters. We can guess at this due to assessors having to spend more time within the company assessing, coupled with an emphasis on Certification Bodies having assessors to define the assessment process and assessor qualifications (remember the PEAR’s, this is more about assessors being able understand the business and define this within their report, than of any real benefit to the company).
None of my clients have every said, yippee – more PEAR’s please!
Many of the Certification Body assessors are from engineering and compliance backgrounds with vast expertise within respective aerospace and defence sector requirements. However, not all fully understand business techniques, bottom line focus, production process control and capacity planning, performance monitoring or measurement indicators. This is born-out by the AS 9100 having to be reissued with more supporting AS’s to direct the content of the assessment report.

Where do we go from here?
Those of you from the DEF STAN, BS 5750 and AQAP days of traceability and quality control will note that many of these requirements of quality management systems with a product focus has crept back into the AS 9100, along with the requirement for performance measurement and monitoring. Therefore, at the present time our advice is to focus on refining your AS 9100 Rev C (and PEAR) requirements and understanding – provide the appropriate data to the assessor so that they can populate their reports.

You should also consider how you undertaken “risk assessments” internally when reviewing contractual risk.At the present time, we understand that the majority of the pending  AS 9100 changes will follow those within the pending ISO 9001, along with Certification Bodies requiring more from the assessment process and their assessors.

Should WEAF receive further information we will of course let you know.