AS9100 revisions C & D, what’s the difference and why?

October 21, 2022


With AS9100 Revision D now active, it’s vital that all aerospace companies are aware of and understand the changes made to the accreditation and what needs to be done to conform to the updates. The last thing you want is to be audited against the new standard to be found breaching one of the new specifications.

AS9100 – What is it?

In 2016, AS9100 Revision C saw an update alongside that of the ISO 9001 standard. Following its previous patterns, the aerospace accreditation continues to encompass the most recent version of ISO 9001 with additional aerospace specific requirements.

AS9100 certification acts as a critical tool to improve quality and delivery for all aircraft and aerospace companies who embrace it. Many major manufacturers within the aerospace industry endorse the standard throughout their supply chain. For some OEMs, it is a requirement to be AS9100 certified to work with them.

There are several benefits to being accredited to the AS9100 standard, the first being that it acts as a mark of quality to larger companies looking for suppliers. Your business being accredited could mean the difference between being accepted as a qualified supplier or not.

Another major benefit is that it reflects a focus on customer satisfaction and provides access to best practices within the aerospace industry, reducing risk in the operations of your business.

Why the update?

AS9100 Revision C, released in 2009 addressed questions raised in Revision B due to companies repeatedly delivering non-conforming products or continually delivering goods past the agreed deadline. In revision B, organisations that acted in this way still maintained the AS9100 accreditation as a result of having documented the procedures required, but failing to follow them.

AS9100 Revision C functioned for 7 years before the need for changes became apparent. So why was the update necessary?

Due to the release of ISO 9001:2015, key changes needed to be implemented into the AS9100 standard. Revision D needed to reflect the new structure in addition to adhering to the needs of stakeholders’ within the affected industries, as a result of a web survey conducted in 2013. Furthermore, the standard needed clarification to consider the requests submitted by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG.)

Further to this, another question is raised. Why did the ISO 9001 standard need to be revised? The ISO standards undergo reviews every five years to ensure that they stay up to date with the marketplace they serve. ISO 9001 is adjusted in line with recent industry updates and aligns with other management systems. The article that ISO published says: ‘ISO 9001:2015 is even less prescriptive than its predecessor, focusing instead on performance.’

What has changed?

The major changes between the 2008 and 2015 ISO revisions include: the introduction of more high-level structures; standardised core definitions; and increased efficiency so that requirements of multiple management systems are addressed. In addition to this, ISO 9001:2015 focuses more on the customer; managing risk, control of outsourcing and externally purchased products.

These changes are also reflected in the AS9100:2016 Revision D update. The 12 main changes to be aware of are:

  1. Product Safety: A separate clause has been added in to specific areas.
  2. Product Realisation and Planning: The requirements for this have been clarified and enhanced throughout the whole standard. 
  3. Design Development and Supplier Management: Some text from ISO has been added back into the standard to meet the needs of the IAQG.
  4. Human Factors: This has been added with consideration to nonconformity and corrective actions.
  5. Counterfeit Parts Prevention: This has been added in as a separate clause.
  6. Post-Delivery Support: The current 9100 requirements have been merged with those of the new ISO standards.
  7. Risk: The 9100 requirements have been merged with the ISO standard to emphasise the risks within operations.
  8. Configuration Management: This has been improved considerably to address the needs of stakeholders.
  9. Management Representative Requirement: This has been added back in for QMS oversight.
  10. Preventive Action: The current clause requirements have been absorbed into the risk and non-conformance clauses.
  11. Quality Manual: A note has been added to highlight the requirements that a Quality Manual consists of.
  12. Project Management: This has been combined with the Operation Planning clause so that issues with user interpretation are addressed.

What does this mean for you?

The updated AS9100 accreditation will continue to help aerospace companies to produce safer and more reliable products, whilst also managing risks and opportunities along with quality and environmental considerations.

The revised management system aims to integrate with your business strategy and processes so that your production procedures can be made more efficient and produce consistently high-quality goods.

Are you looking to be AS9100D accredited? Our paperless audit management app can help!

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