AS&D Standards’ Revisions To Improve Supplier Performance

by L.L. “Buddy” Cressionnie

The International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) is revising the IAQG 9100 family of standards1 to stay aligned with changes to ISO 9001, drive supplier improvements and broaden the scope of the internationally harmonized standards from “aerospace” to “aviation, space and defense” (AS&D).

The main purposes of the AS&D scope change were to add space industry emphasis and to facilitate the use and flowdown of the IAQG standards to stakeholders beyond aerospace, to include land and sea based systems for defense applications.

Also, there was realization that many complex weapons systems require integration across all three industry sectors. This new AS&D focus will likely continue to fuel the explosive growth of the current aerospace standards.


Prior to the adoption of the internationally harmonized aerospace standards, the industry was not efficient in the flowdown of quality requirements to suppliers. Each aerospace manufacturer levied company specific requirements, processes and forms on its supplier base.

This meant the aerospace supplier base was forced to follow different requirements, complete a variety of customer specific forms and endure systems and product audits from their aerospace customers. To help the supply base operate more efficiently under a single set of requirements, the aerospace prime manufacturers came together to develop harmonized quality standards and requirements.

This was a win-win for the industry, permitting suppliers to standardize processes, and aerospace customers to reduce supplier quality management system (QMS) audits and generate savings for the customers.

IAQG 9101 uses the entire current version of ISO 9001 as its foundation, with additional requirements based on expectations of aerospace customers set off in bold, italic type. The IAQG 9100 family of standards is recognized as an effective QMS by authorities and regulatory agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA and the De-partment of Defense.

The international IAQG 9100 standard is published as AS9100 in the United States, EN9100 in Europe, JIS-Q-9100 in Japan, and in other versions around the world. In addition to English and Japanese, the current version of the standard is available in French, Portuguese, German, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese and Korean.

Figure 1 shows the rapid international growth of IAQG 9100. Table 1 shows that of the nearly 7,000 certified suppliers (including almost every major aerospace company in the world), about 4,000 are in the Americas (North, Central and South America).


Upcoming Revision

International Organization for Standardization technical committee 176 is currently amending ISO 9001, with publication expected in May 2009. The ISO 9001 amendment is driving an update of IAQG 9100. This update started in 2005 at an international planning meeting where a milestone plan and schedule were created, stakeholders identified and design specification drafted.

The objectives for the 2009 revision of IAQG 9100 include improving supplier performance and customer satisfaction by focusing on product quality and on-time delivery, allowing its common interpretation for auditors and organizations and taking into account newly identified stakeholder requirements.

The IAQG 9100 team provided a mechanism to receive feedback and performed data mining from the following stakeholder segments:

  • Certification/registration bodies.
  • Civil aviation authorities.
  • Defense organizations, including the U.S. Department of Defense and NATO.
  • IAQG member companies.
  • Space sector organizations, including NASA.
  • IAQG 9100 certified suppliers.

The IAQG 9100 team used a disciplined process to consider proposed changes or additions to the standard. Changes/additions being considered are those that:

  • Constitute QMS requirements that are not contractual or do not contain product specific requirements.
  • Enhance clarity of requirements or address stakeholder needs.
  • Satisfy the needs of the broad IAQG 9100 user community through requirements that are suitable for use by all sizes and types of organizations in the aviation, space and defense sectors.
  • Provide benefits that outweigh the impact of implementation.
  • Are not prescriptive (establish “what” but not “how”) and can be audited.

The data mining activities, which ended in March 2007, and the subsequent review process resolved nearly 400 comments received from the stakeholders. Some of the significant topics addressed included: risk management, key/critical characteristics, configuration management, project management, positive recall, test report validation, statistical sampling, first article inspection and key performance indicators.

The next steps will include completion of subteam activities and preparation of a first draft later this year. The IAQG 9100 revision will be officially balloted to voting members in 2008 and 2009 and is expected to be released in mid-2009, depending on the ISO 9001 revision publication schedule.

Upcoming IAQG 9110 And IAQG 9120 Revision

The IAQG 91102 and IAQG 91203 QMS standards are undergoing a revision process similar to that of IAQG 9100. Each has a team that has identified its stakeholders and is performing data mining. The next step will be to process comments received from data mining.

The IAQG 9110 and IAQG 9120 revisions are dependent on IAQG 9100 in that they use IAQG 9100 as a baseline. Their revisions are trailing the IAQG 9100 revision process by about six months and are expected to be released by the end of 2009.

Upcoming IAQG 9101 Checklist Revision

The IAQG 9100 series includes IAQG 9101,4 a checklist that must be completed for other-party audits. The checklist has come under some criticism because it does not easily lend itself to a process based system.

An international IAQG 9101 team was formed to develop a robust assessment process that will reinforce the on-quality and on-schedule goals of IAQG. The team’s membership includes representatives from both the IAQG member companies and from certification bodies that use the checklist.

The IAQG 9101 team was challenged to ensure the new version has three features:

  1. Performance to certification linkage.
  2. Process orientation rather than clauses.
  3. Efficiency and effectiveness.

At a kickoff meeting this January, the team benchmarked certification/registration processes used by other industries and assigned research and review tasks to subteams: design specification, ISO 9001 audit practice group5 materials, process audit methods, report content and format, and information sharing and customer performance.

The IAQG 9101 team envisions an end state in which there will be one IAQG audit process standard used for IAQG 9100, 9110 and 9120; a more process oriented assessment tool based on the plan-do-check-act model; and a complete description of the audit process.

The first draft of IAQG 9101 is expected in late 2007. The revision will be introduced into the other-party audit process as organizations transition to the 2009 versions of IAQG 9100, 9110 and 9120.

Updates on AS9003

There is another standard for inspection and testing that gets little publicity. AS90036 is a U.S. standard that is not harmonized internationally or endorsed by IAQG. AS9003 is currently being rewritten by the space industry and its customers, including NASA, to be more consistent with IAQG 9100 and ISO 9001.

AS9003 is targeted to organizations that process aerospace products (for example, heat treat, plating, coatings or other special processes) or for very small organizations that make product following customer design and have simple processes.

AS9003 is not intended for use in organizations that design or manufacture complex aerospace components or critical items or for medium-size or larger organizations.

There is currently no assessment checklist for AS9003, although a third-party AS9003 certification scheme is offered by some certification bodies. The revised AS9003 will be published in late 2007 by SAE International.

Other-Party Management Team

IAQG has strengthened the existing third-party certification scheme by developing an industry controlled other-party process for certification of organizations to the IAQG 9100 series. The IAQG other-party management team (OPMT) facilitates the industry management of other-party certifications.

OPMT is an IAQG oversight committee chartered to manage the other-party quality management schemes and assessment results performed by each of the global sector management schemes. OPMT provides oversight of the accreditation bodies, certification bodies and auditor authentication. In the Americas Aerospace Quality Group (AAQG), the sector management scheme is the registration management committee.

The other-party certification scheme and OPMT adhere to a trio of IAQG 9104 standards, often called the trilogy of standards:

  1. 9104—Requirements for Aerospace QMS Certification/Registration Programs (this standard will be re-numbered as 9104-1 in the next revision).
  2. 9104/2—Requirements for Oversight of Aerospace QMS Registration/Certifications Programs.
  3. 9104/3—Requirements for Aerospace Auditor Competency and Training Courses.

To manage the other-party certification scheme for the IAQG 9100 series, IAQG developed the Online Aero-space Supplier Information System (OASIS) in 2003.7 This system includes information about IAQG member companies, national aerospace industry associations, national accreditation bodies, approved certification/registration bodies, aerospace experienced auditors and certified suppliers.

The certified supplier information includes certificate status (including scope of certification and copy of certificate) and assessment results. OASIS is useful for managing suppliers and finding trend information for managing the IAQG 9100 scheme.

If you have questions about the standards, e-mail them to the appropriate leader through the IAQG website at www.iaqg.sae.org/iaqg/publications/SDRs_listing.pdf.


  1. IAQG (AS/EN/JIS-Q) 9100—Quality Manage-ment Systems—Aerospace—Requirements, IAQG, 2004.
  2. IAQG (AS/EN) 9110—Quality Management Systems—Aerospace—Requirements for Mainte-nance Organizations, IAQG, 2003.
  3. IAQG (AS/EN) 9120—Quality Management Systems—Aerospace—Requirements for Stockist Distributors, IAQG, 2002.
  4. IAQG (AS/EN/JIS-Q) 9101—Quality Manage-ment System Assessment, IAQG, 2006.
  5. ISO 9001 Audit Practice Group, http://www.tc176.org.
  6. SAE AS9003—Inspection and Test Quality System, SAQ International, 2001.
  7. Online Aerospace Supplier Information System, www.iaqg.org/oasis.

L.L. “BUDDY” CRESSIONNIE is the Americas’ lead for the IAQG 9100 team and participates on the U.S. technical advisory group to ISO/TC 176. He represents Lockheed Mar-tin Aeronautics as the company management system integration manager. Cressionnie is an ASQ senior member with quality manager and quality auditor certifications. He is also a certified RABQSA aerospace experienced auditor and International Register of Certified Auditors lead auditor for ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Cressionnie has a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Florida and an MBA from Texas Christian University.

Average Rating


Out of 0 Ratings
Rate this article

Add Comments

View comments
Comments FAQ

Featured advertisers