The new Aerospace standards are now in full swing and organisations are begining to be assessed to the new versions of AS9100, AS9120 and AS9110 (2009 versions).
Many users of the old standards will be familiar with the AS9101 checklist and some organisations used this for their internal audit processes. The AS9101 document has been revised and is now an integral part of any organisations aerospace management system and careful consideration needs to be given to its use. Although it is not a mandatory document to be used internally, organisations seeking approval to any aerospace standard needs to be aware of its contents as there are significant requirements built into the AS9101 document which need to be complied with in order to gain certification.
One of the major changes within the standards is the requirement to audit by process rather than clause based auditing. Organisations need to ensure that they are performing effective internal audits by using the process approach to not only verify that the system is in compliance with the standard requirements but to also ensure that inputs and outputs to each process is defined and the process interactions are being controlled. Further information on process based auditing will follow in subsequent blog updates.
Processes need to be identified and controlled, there are no defined methods for this but tools such as process flowcharts, turtle diagrams and SIPOCS are commonly used.
You will find within the AS9101 document a form called the Process Effectiveness Assessment Report, commonly known as the PEAR. This is a tool which will be used by the Certification Body and can be used by organisations if they wish. It will help organisations to identify the processes within their system, the monitoring and measurement requirements within that process and to establish if that process is effective. Organisations can be compliant to the requirements of the standard but the process can be ineffective if it is not meeting the monitoring and measurement results required by the system or customer requirements.
There are many requirements built within the AS9101 document which need to be complied with and Certification Bodies will be requiring a significant amount of information to aid in the planning of the audit prior to any auditing activities taking place.