Certification - Aerospace

AS 9100


Quality Management Systems:
Aviation, Space & Defense Organizations

What is AS9100?

AS9100 is the international management system standard for the Aircraft, Space and Defense (AS&D) industry. The standard provides suppliers with a comprehensive quality system for providing safe and reliable products to the aerospace industry. AS 9100 also addresses civil & military aviation requirements.

It contains the actual requirements an organization must be in compliance with to become AS9100 registered. If the organization creates a Quality Management System which meets these requirements they can seek AS9100 Registration, resulting in their “AS9100 Certificate”. Specifically, AS9100 is an SAE document (managed by the IAQG) that defines requirements for the AS9100 Quality Management System Standard. It is based upon ISO 9001.

AS9100 Includes all of ISO 9001 quality management system requirements and specifies additional requirements for a quality management system for the aerospace industry. The additional aerospace requirements are shown in bold, italic text., and most are augmentations of the requirements contained in ISO 9001.

  • Who is IAQG?
  • Who uses AS9100?
  • Benefits of AS9100
  • Current version of AS9100

Who is IAQG?

IAQG or the International Aerospace Quality Group manages the standardization of the aviation industry. IAQG is an international non-profit association, registered in Brussels, operating under Belgian law. The IAQG is a cooperative organization within the aircraft, space & defense industry comprised of 3 sectors:

  • Americas – AAQG (SAE AS9100)
  • Europe – EAQG (EN/AS9100)
  • Asia/Pacific – APAQG (JISQ 9100)
    • JAQG – Japan Aerospace Quality Group
    • CAQG – China Aerospace Quality Group
    • KAQG – Korean Aerospace Quality Group

IAQG serves to establish a commonality of aviation, space and defense quality systems, establish and implement a process of continual improvement, establish methods to share best practices in the aviation, space and defense industry as well as coordinate strategies and activities with regulatory/government agencies and other industry stakeholders of the aviation industry

Who uses AS9100?

Companies that design, develop, and/or produce aviation, space and defense products; and by organizations providing post-delivery support, including the provision of maintenance, spare parts, or materials, for their own products.

AS 9100 has been endorsed by all major Aerospace regulators, including:

  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • S. Department of Defense (DoD)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Benefits of AS9100

  1. Better customer satisfaction: The AS9100 standard requires that you focus your efforts on understanding the requirements of your customers so that you can better meet their needs. Better customer satisfaction means more repeat business, and therefore, better future sales.
  2. Improved company image: Because AS9100 is the internationally recognized standard for Quality Management Systems in aerospace companies, it has become the default expectation for customers. If your customers are expecting you to have AS9100 certification, then it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to provide your first order to a customer. If they don’t place their first order, then there is no way you can show them how good your products and services really are, and you will have lost a customer before you even get started.
  3. Better decision making: AS9100 embeds your top management into the QMS, and champions making decisions based on evidence and data rather than vague attitudes. By using data to make your decisions, you will better focus your resources on more important issues, which can lead to cost savings.
  4. Increased efficiency: AS9100 is based on the process approach to understanding how you provide your products and services, and emphasizes understanding how these processes interact. By taking this view of your whole business process, you can find and eliminate inefficiencies within your system for better delivery of your products and services.
  5. Engaging your employees: By defining and mapping the processes, and involving the people within those processes in the activity, you can not only ensure that your processes are functioning as expected, but you can engage your workforce towards the goals of process improvement and customer satisfaction. Who better to make your processes better and find ways to save both time and money?
  6. Better supplier relationships: By focusing on mutually beneficial relationships with your suppliers, you can find ways to work together in order to improve your customer satisfaction. Suppliers who work with you can help you with products better suited to your needs that are delivered sooner and cheaper. With suppliers who also benefit from your relationship, you can have long-term agreements that will save time and money overall for both you and your suppliers.
  7. Habitual improvement: One of the principles that is ingrained into the AS9100 requirements is the need to find ways to make the management system incrementally better over time, a process called continual improvement. By making improvement a part of your daily business, you can harness the power of your engaged workforce and focus them on finding ways to make the processes that they are involved in better, faster, and cheaper to run. In this way, you will find reductions in costs and time as you use your Quality Management System in years to come.

Current version of AS9100

Current revision of the AS9100 standard is the revision D. The AS9100D standard is primarily applicable for the aviation, space, and defense industry and incorporates the new clause structure and content of ISO 9001:2015. The AS9100D standard includes ISO 9001:2015 quality management system requirements and specifies additional aviation, space, and defense industry requirements, definitions, and notes as shown in bold, italic text.

The changes in the AS9100D as derived from the ISO 9001 includes:

  • adopting the Annex SL High Level Structure
  • Context of the organization
  • Interested Parties
  • Accountability of top management
  • Documented information
  • Replacement of preventive action with risk-based thinking
  • Communication
  • Change Management Program

Some unique changes to the AS9100D includes:

  • Increased focus on counterfeit parts.
  • Attention to the impact of human factors
  • Product safety focus
  • Ethics Training
  • Supplier Monitoring (Delivery)