November 5th, 2013 by Aaron Troschinetz
A sizable amount of our time here at SAI Global is invested in the growth of our US AQMS Auditor team. This effort requires a very committed team effort within Operations, Scheduling, Contract Administration functions that work with auditor prospects from across all US regions and from a variety of Aerospace, Space, Defense (ASD) backgrounds. Our objective is simply the continued strengthening of our business partnerships with AQMS Auditors in the field since the vast majority of time, the auditor is the ‘face of our business’ with clients. As such, the question I hear a lot remains – How do I become a 3rd Party AQMS Auditor?
As with any profession, 3rd Party Aerospace auditing requires a series of experience, educational/competency and credentialing requirements to be met. First in order to become a 3rd Party AQMS Auditor, one must possess appropriate Aerospace, Space, Defense work experience which serves later as one of the items utilized in grading out appropriate auditor level as Lead (Aerospace Experienced Auditor, AEA) or Team Auditor (Aerospace Auditor, AA). Depending on the number of years within direct quality, manufacturing roles within an appropriate Aerospace, Space, Defense company; auditors are confirmed through a review of their work experience. Secondly, any 3rd Party AQMS Auditor must have successfully passed auditor training known as Aerospace Auditor Transition Training (AATT). This is a training which requires extensive familiarity with the AQMS audit techniques and is verified for auditor competency with both written and oral exams over the course of approximately one week. Finally, 3rd Party AQMS Auditors must complete credentialing with an external Auditor Authentication Body (AAB) which requires a complete review of all skills, experience and trainings as well as carries through to the official vote of the Registration Management Committee (RMC) to issue final, external 3rd Party AQMS Auditor approval.
If you are interested in learning more about ‘How do I become a 3rd Party AQMS Auditor’, please contact our company at (877) 426-0714 or email@example.com.
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Posted in: Aerospace |
October 10th, 2013 by Aaron Troschinetz
Often times with the AS91XX series (AS9100, AS9110, AS9120), organizations frequently overlook the very first few important pages of the respective standard itself as it begins with the foreword statement, application, normative definitions, etc. Admit it – I was once a client (with organizational quality system implementation responsibility) and the tendency is to race right into the clauses and start counting your ‘shall’s’ (e.g. Here’s a ‘shall’, there’s a ‘shall’, oh here’s a few more to cover…). However, there is one very important statement that I think nicely sums up not only the intention of the respective standard but the Industry Controlled Other Party (ICOP) scheme itself: ‘This International Standard promotes the adoption of a process approach when developing, implementing and improving the effectiveness of a quality management system, to enhance customer satisfaction by meeting customer requirements.’ (pg5). At the end of the day, steady implementation of these tools (standard requirements) is undoubtedly a key focus but meeting customer requirements is what should be driving your organization system and in turn, enhancing customer satisfaction, over time, appropriately.
As organizations sift through customer requirements, it’s first important to keep in mind that customer requirements do not stop/end with the organization (supplier to customer) but rather they are intended to be absorbed by the organization (supplier to customer) and appropriately pushed out using ‘flowdown’ throughout their respective supply chain (internal and external). Furthermore thinking in terms of customer requirements not only for the purpose of ‘flowdown’ but effective adoption into an organization’s system can often be best thought through in terms of required actions – 1) Determination, 2) Promotion, 3) Achievement and 4) Improvement.
- ‘Determination’ is an organization’s starting point of collection and understanding of customer requirements. Collection and understanding starts with definition through appropriate customer contracts, specifications, supporting documents and extends into Top Management/Management Representative (MR) adoption of these requirements into the leadership activities within the system. Furthermore, definition of these requirements often falls along lines of product determination and supplier development requirements. (ref. AS9100C; 5.2, 5.5.2, 7.2.2, 7.4.2)
- ‘Promotion’ supports communication of customer requirements with all affected functions and levels of the organization. Communicating customer requirements is clearly a key function of the Management Representative (MR) but also should extend further into appropriate cross-functional activities that play a key role in customer requirement understanding and achievement. (ref. AS9100C; 5.2, 5.5.2, 8.2.1)
- ‘Achievement’ naturally implies adherence or compliance with customer requirements (as defined) but goes further into continual monitoring/measuring of customer requirements. Customer requirements may change or for that matter an organization (supplier to customer) may change so consistent organizational resource planning must be in place to adjust accordingly (ref. AS9100C; 5.2, 5.5.2, 6.1, 8.2.1)
Posted in: Aerospace |
- ‘Improvement’ is obviously inherent to the concept of continual improvement overall but specifically to customer requirements in circling back to 1) Determination, 2) Achievement and 3) Promotion… The process with customer requirements does not end with initial simple definition through common tools such as a customer requirement matrix but rather challenges the organization (supplier to customer) to adopt into their system institutionalized customer requirements within their processes. (ref. AS9100C; 5.2, 5.5.2, 5.6, 6.1, 7.2.2, 7.4.2, 8.2.1)
September 11th, 2013 by Aaron Troschinetz
As the larger Aerospace market continues to experience growth both in commercial and defense sectors, one of the largest strains being observed through 3rd party conformity assessments continuing to surface is lack of robust configuration management programs within organizations. As it should come as no surprise, growth often strains change management requirements to both products and services alike and organizations must be able to respond quickly to ever changing customer requirements from high-level contractual terms and conditions with their customer(s) to potential impacts with quality/delivery expectations and even down to precise adjustments in product/service-level specification requirements.
In this regard, organizations should first pay careful attention to necessary changes within their configuration management programs in terms of the planning activity output itself. This planning activity (referenced throughout AS9100C, 7.1 ‘Planning of Product Realization’) should always start with the contractual flowout of requirements from the customer(s) and serve as input to configuration management (e.g. How does the customer communicate changes? How does the customer approve changes and what expectations are established for delivery of change from the organization, i.e. supplier?). Once these fundamental items are understood, they should appropriately be built into the organization’s configuration management system to ensure adherence with these types of requirements. Beyond the mechanics of a configuration management system, the identification of change orders or change requests come into play (e.g. How does the organization identify these changes being processed? How does the organization ensure their appropriate tracking to completion and any necessary changepoints within the larger scope of Product Realization processes?). As changes are being processed, careful attention should also be paid to any potential impact on On-Time Quality Delivered (OTQD). Even the smallest change request can have mounting impacts within a Product Realization activity and these should be carefully mapped out and communicated throughout the organization accordingly. Lastly, as change management continues into the operations of the larger organization, periodic configuration management audits should be in place to periodically verify change control is effective (e.g. Are the latest product/service level specification requirements being maintained? Are there ‘gaps’ in the management of change which are not identified that could put at risk delivery of change requests being achieved?).
One thing constant is change and I often think of a common W. Edwards Deming-ism when it comes to understanding the potential impact of change and the choice we have with it – ‘It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.’
Posted in: Aerospace |
August 12th, 2013 by Aaron Troschinetz
In previous version AS9104A, the multi-site certificate was a singular definition and life was simple. Despite the fact Aerospace multi-site certificates were a mixture of single certificate listings with different site relationships or interfaces, we dealt with these certificates under one approach with some latitude in terms of certificate representation and overall associated information. Nonetheless, as we’ve now shifted to AS9104-1, we’ve been introduced to a new concept with multi-site certificates which effectively breaks them into a collection of different certificate structures – Multiple Sites, Campus, Several Sites and Complex.
Now with each of these certificate structures, it is first important to understand the legal or contractual link between the sites involved (e.g. Are they in fact part of an overall organization, one encompassing management system?) and then from there it is important to establish out geographical locations and interrelationships between the sites, products/services involved. Once we begin to formulate these starting pieces I try to advise clients to think ‘holistically’ in terms of the system we have on paper and try to establish a line of thought consistent with some main features involving each of these certificate structures:
- With the sites involved, are we looking at a system with overwhelming features of ‘commonality’ in terms of quality management system processes involved that are operating to the same methods and procedures? If so, let’s explore Multiple Sites…
- With the sites involved, are we in fact looking at an overall sequential product realization activity (e.g. output of one is an input to another)? If so, let’s explore Campus…
- With the sites involved, are we seeing evidence of ‘differentiation’ in terms of quality management system processes involved, operating to different methods and different products/services involved? If so, let’s explore Several Sites…
- And finally… with the sites involved, are we seeing a combination of more than one of the above? For example, some sites represent a Campus and some a Several Site or some combination but all as part of one overall system.
Once this picture of the initial certificate structure can be made, I then turn client’s attention to the full supporting requirement information for multi-site definitions as outlined in Appendix ‘B’ in AS9104-1. This Appendix is a very useful tool for both auditors and clients to have in hand as this discussion unfolds and from there begin to survey these requirements as it impacts the representation of information on the certificate (i.e. Campus certificates require one ‘controlling’ address) as well as eventual audit duration/frequency impact (i.e. Several Sites certificates allow for up to 30% reduction on various functions that may not be happening at certain sites and Multiple Sites certificates allow for reduced surveillance, in line with IAF MD#1 requirements).
NEW multi-site certificate structures do represent change for us all but by taking this discussion one step at a time we can begin to better understand what our multi-site certificate is telling the marketplace about the total system being registered.
Posted in: Aerospace |
July 17th, 2013 by Aaron Troschinetz
I’m pleased to announce that SAI Global has completed our accreditation transition
to the NEW AS9110B:2012 standard. SAI Global has achieved this transition well
ahead of the mandatory deadline (as set forth by the IAQG) for all AS9110 audits
to be conducted using the AS9110B:2012 version no later than January 1st, 2014.
AS9110B:2012 represents mostly minor clarifications in product safety
requirements, further alignments with the AS9104-trilogy of requirements and
helps to further harmonize this Maintenance Repair Organization (MRO) intended
standard within the overall AS91XX-series. It is also worth noting with this
transition that there is no adjustment to audit durations required and it will
be handled as a transition to complete at the next ‘normal’ on-site audit
At this time, while we are completed through accreditation
Posted in: Aerospace |
transition; we will take the next 30 days to complete our appropriate remaining
integration steps including completion of the set-up of the updated program
listing, establishment of revised auditor documentation in our systems,
modification of all AS9110 auditor credentials with the new standard and
identification of the next available audit opportunity to transition our clients
with their first AS9110B:2012. We intend to have this completed as swiftly as
possible and will advise once complete.
July 11th, 2013 by Aaron Troschinetz
At the conclusion of any appropriate on-site audit activity, it is important for clients to understand that the management of any issued NCRs becomes a ‘ticking clock’ of activities that must be sequenced in a certain order with reference to the appropriate AS standards (ref. AS9101D, 4.2.4 and AS9104-1, 8.4) .
- … 7 days from issuance of NCR … the organization needs to determine any appropriate required containment actions as well as correction. Containment is typically related to NCRs that are product in nature. Correction is required for any noted issues within the appropriate objective evidence of the issued NCR.
- … 14 days from issuance of NCR … the organization needs to reach agreement with the assigned auditor on these appropriate containment actions and corrections.
- … 30 days from issuance of NCR … the organization needs to ensure acceptance of the issued NCR’s correction action plans (as supported in the completion of the NCR, Appendix ‘B’ form)
- … 60 days from issuance of NCR … the organization needs to provide objective evidence of how they’ve brought themselves ‘back into full conformance’ with the applicable AS91XX standard requirements.
It’s important to note a few items relative to NCR Management: 1) The organization is ultimately responsible for hitting these milestones and failure to hit any milestones may trigger the appropriate commencement of the CB’s suspension process ; 2) Any previously issued NCRs at an organization are always subject to continued verification of effectiveness at subsequent future audits. NCRs require this CB continuance of follow-up and organizations need to understand that again, if corrective actions cannot be verified for continued closure that it may trigger the appropriate commencement of the suspension process. and 3) In the event a ‘special audit’ (ref. AS9101D, 4.3.6) is required for verification of corrective actions with any issued NCR, this activity (including any issued auditor recommendation) must fit neatly within the 60d closure requirements of the issued NCR.
Posted in: Aerospace | Compliance and effectiveness |
June 11th, 2013 by Aaron Troschinetz
AS9104-1 is upon us all – Oversight, Accreditation Bodies (ABs), Auditor Authentication Bodies (AABs), Certification Bodies (CBs), 3rd party AQMS auditors, client organizations and customers/AS primes alike. And as the dust continues to settle, there’s two groups impacted with change that I would like to particularly focus on including 3rd party AQMS auditors and client organizations.
-For 3rd party AQMS auditors, AS9104-1 is beginning to set the platform for heightened AQMS auditor competency, initial authentication and even re-authentication requirements (in line with eventual release of AS9104-3 as well). We are also now faced with clearer 3rd party AQMS auditors requirements for integrity issues, complaint handling. In the sense of both items, the onus is increasing on 3rd party AQMS auditors to manage their credentials as well as be aware that their end audit product/auditor recommendation serves a very importance piece in verifying full compliance with the requirements at all times and will be held to a high standard of appropriate depth, accuracy.
- For client organizations, they should be fluent with their contractual terms with CBs more than ever as the AS9104-1 is promoting more ‘flowdown’ or ‘flow-out’ of requirements from CBs to their client organizations in areas such as ITAR/EAR compliance, right of access with IAQG/Oversight as well as notifications if certification is withdrawn/suspended. Client organizations are obligated to follow these requirements when CBs ‘flow-out’ CB contractual terms and these are non-negotiable for the purposes of delivery of audit services.
In the end, the expression goes, ‘Change is inevitable’ and as we continue with the trilogy of AS9104-series; there will be more to come.
Posted in: Aerospace |
May 9th, 2013 by Aaron Troschinetz
In the course of Management System audits, auditors often find themselves confronted with various LEAN implementations and as a result, trepidation sets in as to the validity of these tool implementations of solid, ‘moving forward’ continual improvement examples (ref. AS9100C, 8.5.1).
It’s interesting to see examples of how LEAN can overcome an organization and peel away at foundational layers of a Management System but in the end, I contend the most effective organizations have LEAN and Management Systems ‘working together’. Imagine for a moment a LEAN implementation without … robust data analysis (ref. AS9100C, 8.4), standardized work instructions (ref. AS9100C, 4.2.3 and 4.2.4), process identification (ref. AS9100C, 4.1 and 8.2.3) and even ‘just fix it’ tools (ref. AS9100C, 8.5.2). It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? Nonetheless, auditors come across this all the time and we sit there dazed and confused.
Clearly a company that is elevated a LEAN culture within their organization would NOT handle these overlapping tool sets independently and one of the important aspects of a robust internal audit program (ref. AS9100C, 8.2.2) over time is that we look for evidence of how processes are stabilized and requirements are formalized (using a process-approach, appropriate process audit trails). In the end, without this settling with continual improvement and the formalization of tools within a comprehensive Management System, LEAN will need to keep LEAN’ing back in.
Posted in: Aerospace |
April 8th, 2013 by Aaron Troschinetz
AS9104-1 has brought various changes to CB requirements including new clear and explicit ‘flowdown’ requirements from CBs to their clients with items such as client’s provision of audit report information through CB’s management of OASIS, ‘right of access’ with Oversight/ABs during client audits and notification requirements for clients to their customers if suspension/withdrawal of certificate occur. These items are not commercial terms so to ensure they remain preserved and transparent, SAI Global has contained them in one Addendum document.
How does it affect me (client)?
SAI Global clients are encouraged to review these NEW AS9104-1 SAI Global Client Contract Addendum requirements carefully to make sure the appropriate personnel in their organization are aware of what is being required from clients moving forward.
What action do I need to take, if any (client)?
None at this time – this communication is only intended to notify clients that this NEW AS9104-1 SAI Global Client Contract Addendum document is being adopted moving forward with SAI Global work and as a result, this communication is being sent to all clients.
Posted in: Aerospace |
March 12th, 2013 by Aaron Troschinetz
When building an effective overall business management system (and correspondingly quality management system), organizations should pay particular attention to the establishment and attainment of competency requirements with functions deemed detrimental to the performance of their system as well as related to achievement of conformity of product. Competency, as defined as the demonstration of knowledge and skills (ref. ISO 9000:2005, 3.1.6), is a frequent audit trail for auditors to truly test the robustness of a client’s overall system. Auditors will regularly walk through questions such as the following: 1) How does the organization identify the appropriate functions that affect system performance and relate to product conformity?; 2) How are these functions made aware of these competency requirements and how are they defined? and 3) How well are these competency requirements achieved in respect to these functions and does lack of achievement of these competency requirements put at any risk the performance of the system or conformity of product? It’s important to keep in mind that competency is both definition and achievement so organizations should have clear, concise definitions of skills, educational requirements required for a function and then correspondingly be ensuring these items are clearly demonstrated and achieved. As for elaborate tools, software or competency-based processes; there are countless examples of how this concept has moved forward significantly in the marketplace but in the end, no technological solution can help an organization if the homework with identifying the right functions to match the right knowledge and skills has not been done upfront.
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Posted in: Aerospace |