The New AS9100:2016 Standard
These aerospace standards not only include all of those changes in the ISO 9001:2015 standard but in addition, the aerospace adders have been enhanced….but more on that later.
How much time do I have?
The deadline for upgrading to the ISO 9001:2015 standard is September 15, 2018 (just under 3 years from now). The same deadline applies to the aerospace standards but this is where things get interesting.
Since the trio of aerospace standards are not being released until April 2016, and required training for 3rd party auditors will not be ready until the fall of 2016, that will only leave about 2 years for your company to meet the requirements of these new standards. But it gets worse.
In order to be considered fully upgraded to the new aerospace standards, your company must have an upgrade audit, respond to and close out any nonconformance’s, have your audit report reviewed by NQA and have your new audit report uploaded and published in OASIS by the close of business September 14, 2018.
To allow for all of those activities to occur, your upgrade must be conducted by June 2018. So in actuality, aerospace companies have roughly a 21 month window (September 2016 to June 2018) to upgrade, not the 36 months you thought you had.
What has changed?
The majority of the changes to the standard can be found in the ISO 9001:2015 standard. First and foremost is the change in structure. The ISO 9001:2015 standard has adopted the annex SL format and is available for purchase now. The AS9100, 9110 and 9120 standards, on the other hand, are still in draft form meaning that they still have to be voted on by all sectors (Americas, Europe and Asia/Pacific), approved and published. Only then will they be available to the public.
The International Aerospace Quality Group has posted a brief presentation, FAQ’s and comparison between the current and new versions of the aerospace standards on their website.
What should I do now?
Get a copy of the newly released ISO 9001:2015 standard and start incorporating the new requirements of this new standard into your aerospace quality management system. It is often asked if you have to change the numbering system or structure of your ISO 9001:2008/AS9100C based quality system to reflect the structure of the new standard. The answer is no, but it sure would make it easier to ensure that your quality system addresses all of the requirements of these new standards.
Going forward, just like the ISO 9001:2015 standard, you can transition to these new aerospace standards during a tri-annual reassessment (preferred method), a surveillance audit or through a special visit. Be advised that if you transition during a surveillance or special visit, you will retain the current expiration date on your certificate but the new certificate will reflect the new version (e.g. AS9100:2016) of the standard. If you transition during a re-assessment audit, you will be issued a new 3 year certificate which will reflect the new version of the standard.
A word of caution though; if you decide to upgrade your aerospace quality management system to meet the ISO 9001:2015 requirements before the fall of 2016, there are two things you must consider.
The new ISO 9001:2015 standard drops some of the requirements of the current version of the ISO standard and aerospace standards. Be careful not to drop the 2008 requirements until you’re ready for your upgrade audit, but instead ADD the 2015 requirements to the 2008 requirements. For example, ISO 9001:2015 no longer requires procedures. If you drop this requirement meeting ISO 9001:2015, you would be in violation of the current versions of the aerospace standards.
If you chose to upgrade your system to ISO 9001:2015 (while keeping in place all of the requirements for AS 91XX & ISO 9001:2008), NQA can issue a separate certificate for ISO 9001:2015, while keeping your AS 91XX & ISO 9001:2008 certificate in place. However, this will require additional audit time when ready to upgrade to ISO 9001:2015 and again when ready to upgrade to AS91XX:2016 (two audits with additional time instead of only one).
Since the aerospace standards are still in draft form, it cannot be determined if they will follow in lockstep with ISO regarding those omissions. Requirements that are no longer required by the ISO 9001:2015 standard may still be required by the AS91XX:2016 standard once they are published. Remember, the new aerospace standards are still in draft form and subject to change.
By January 2017, those NQA clients who have not yet transitioned to the newest versions of the standard will be required to let us know the date when they expect to transition.
Companies that have not completed the transition to the new standard by September 14th 2018 to include the uploading of their new certificate into the OASIS database will no longer be valid and shall have a certification status of “expired” in OASIS.
In addition, they will no longer be eligible for transition and an initial certification audit (stage I and II) will be required to establish conformance with the 2016 editions of the AQMS standards.
Reviewed by: Michael Venner, Aerospace and Automotive Director