What Is the BS EN 9100 Standard?
9100:2018, alternatively referenced as 9100D or simply AS9100, is a standard that applies to the Quality Management System requirements of aerospace organisations. The International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) compiled the standard, collecting input from representatives in aviation, space and defence-related entities to create a quality standard that effectively reduces organisationally-unique requirements, implements effective quality management systems and defines industry-wide good practices. These actions effectively guide all levels of an organisation’s supply chain to perform more consistently regarding quality, cost and delivery.
BS EN 9100 works in conjunction with ISO 9001:2015, an industry non-specific standard that sets the most basic Quality Management System requirements, adding additional requirements that apply specifically to the aerospace industry. These quality standards have become increasingly popular, to such a degree that most global aerospace manufacturers and suppliers will only work with AS9100-certified partners.
The BS EN 9100 series of quality standards adds requirements to the ISO 9001 standard that apply specifically to the aerospace industry, including the following:
- Additional configuration management
- Special risk management
- Industry-critical items
- Increased focus on timely deliver
- Focus on product management
- Approval process and scope for suppliers
- Prevention of counterfeit parts
Since October 1999, the BS EN 9100 Aerospace Management Systems has been a useful Quality Management System standard for the aerospace industry. Originally introduced by the American Society of Automotive Engineers and the European Association of Aerospace Industries, the document was subsequently picked up by the International Aerospace Quality Group as a method of maintaining industry quality levels on a global scale.
BS EN 9100 is also used to describe a series of quality management system documents used for different groups within the aerospace industry. These individual specifications are described in more detail below:
- BS EN 9100:A general aerospace industry standard that encompasses the requirements of ISO 9001 in addition to industry-specific requirements for quality and safety. This document defines the standard for quality management systems within the aerospace industry and is intended for use by organization’s that design or provide products and services.
- BS EN 9110:This standard is also known as the Aerospace Management System for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Stations. This standard is based on BS EN 9100, and it includes maintenance-specific requirements that relate to the processes of maintaining a commercial, private or military aircraft. MRO suppliers often seek this level of certification as a way to maintain an additional layer of control in their processes.
- BS EN 9120:This standard is alternatively known as the Aerospace Management Systems for Stockist Distributors. Also based on AS9100, AS9120 includes specific requirements for aerospace-related organizations that work in the sourcing or production of parts and materials. These types of organizations include those that resell, distribute and warehouse aircraft and aerospace parts and components. They are often called stockist distributors because they act as intermediaries between a manufacturer and a retailer. The additions AS9120 includes are considerations related to the chain of custody, product traceability and control of records.
Whether your organisation is looking for a first-time certification or recertification, the information below can help you better understand the changes to expect with the new BS EN 9100D standard and how you can get certified.
BS EN 9100 Series and ISO 9001
Like the majority of industry Quality Management System standards, BS EN 9100 was written and designed to work alongside the most recent version of ISO 9001, just as its previous iterations. When considered together, the two standards define the quality management standards of the aerospace industry as a whole, from the most loosely affiliated companies to international aerospace and defence corporations. They work to standardise the development, production, installation and provision of aerospace products and services. The complementary nature of these standards, therefore, means that any organisation seeking BS EN 9100:2018 certification must first comply with ISO 9001:2015.
Key Differences in the New AS9100
- Risk-Based Thinking: ISO 9001 has always focused a great deal on the concept of risk, but it is a new focus for the 2018 version of AS9100. The new standard has risk mitigation practices incorporated into the core of the management system described within, ensuring organisations focus on risk from day one, and on throughout the operational process. This makes the system more effective at preventing against and planning for risk.
- Clause 6.1: This clause has been improved and replaced in the BS EN 9100 system by Clause 8.1.1. The clause, which relates directly to risks in the quality management system by way of new customers, markets, partnerships and localisations, has been redesigned to be more applicable. Risk mitigation techniques described in the new clause include contract review and signature requirements, new technology handling processes and an external provider selection system.
- Handling Change: The new BS EN 9100 provides a more concrete framework for handling and controlling changes in the industry. The framework helps organisations evolve and adapt to their changing environments and circumstances. This framework also helps organisations maintain some level of business continuity regardless of the degree of change by considering and accounting for the changes effects and appropriately preparing.
- Product Safety: An entirely new and separate clause has been added to BS EN 9100 relating to product safety, and extra sections relating to product safety have been included where appropriate. These product safety requirements specifically address safety considerations throughout the product lifecycle, including through the manufacturing process.
- Counterfeit Parts Prevention: Included in a separate clause of its own, as well as in other related clauses, this addition to AS9100 provides requirements relating to the mitigation and prevention of counterfeit products. These requirements include steps to help combat the acceptance of counterfeit or fraudulent products in AQMS processes.
- Awareness: The 2018 edition of AS9100 includes reinforced requirements for individuals to be aware of their contribution to the system. This awareness not only involves their contribution toward the quality of the product, but also toward the safety of the product, the risk involved in the process and the ethical behaviour of the business as a whole.
- Human Factors: BS EN 9100 recognises human error as the leading cause of nonconformities in the products or processes produced by a company. The new standard requires companies to closely consider the human factors that could be affecting their processes, consider the interactions between humans and between humans and machines and how such interactions could impact human performance in the organization’s processes. These human factors can be anything from physical and psychological health to personality, stress or fatigue.
- Product Planning and Realisation: The process of planning products is detailed more closely in BS EN 9100, clarifying and expanding on certain points that were not clear in the previous version. Of particular note is the addition regarding obsolete products and how to handle them in the product planning process.
Benefits of BS EN 9100 Aerospace Birmingham certification
The benefits of BS EN 9100 certification for globally-minded businesses include:
- Operational Efficiency: The focus on process management and improvement means that implementing AS9100 in your business can help improve your organisation’s efficiency. Find new ways to save money by producing more product at a lower cost.
- Stakeholder Relationships: If you want to improve your company’s image in the eyes of your staff, customers and suppliers, demonstrating compliance with a respected industry standard is a good place to start.
- Minimize Operational Risk: Risk-based thinking like that required by BS EN 9100 helps your organization develop and implement the best practices for the aerospace industry, improving process quality and product traceability to help reduce risk and improve product safety.
- Focus on Customer Satisfaction: Improve your relationships with your customers by offering products that consistently meet or exceed their quality expectations and are delivered promptly.
- Improve Business Opportunities: Access a wider range of global markets by obtaining an internationally recognized certification. Many aerospace manufacturers refuse to do business with anyone without an AS9100 certification, so obtaining one gives you access to those big names while simultaneously improving your marketability.
- Protect Organizational Knowledge: Knowledge is one of the most important resources to aerospace businesses, so protecting it is key. Using the requirements and guidance of BS EN 9100, you can better safeguard your organization from information losses and simultaneously improve your organisation’s use of knowledge.
Getting Certified for BS EN 9100 Aerospace Birmingham
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