Students often ask how to select a suitable AS9100 consultant for their AS9100, AS9110, or AS9120 project. I find that my greatest source of up-to-date industry information comes from teaching for BSI and through being an Aerospace Experienced Auditor (AEA). Real peace of mind about your AS9100 consultant comes from answering these questions,
- Do you hold a current AEA approval from the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG)?
- If so, could you show me your approval on the Online Aerospace Supplier Information System (OASIS)? All approved auditors will be on this portal.
- Do you have an Aerospace Auditor Transition Training certificate (AATT)?
- Can you show me the certificate please?
- Have you held a position at a well-known aerospace Prime or Original Equipment Manufacturer, or MRO, or Distributor that I have heard of?
- Do you act as a tutor for a recognised body in aerospace subjects, like auditing?
What does this mean to your AS9100 consultant selection?
If the answers to these questions are all negative, it doesn’t mean that the consultant is unable to help. It just means that they will have to earn the trust of your certifying auditor. Over the years we have found it invaluable to be AEAs. It affords us the respect of the auditor and allows us to have frank discussions with them about possible non-conformances.
Why is AEA status important?
Gaining an AEA status is not easy. Not only are our qualifications scrutinised but so is our experience. You must hold the AATT qualification and exhibit relevant experience with a prime or OEM, to even be considered as an AEA.
AEA status also means that your consultant is an active auditor, and active auditors know what to look out for. They understand the most common non-conformances at any point in time. AEAs know a lot of fellow auditors, and what concerns them, and they also understand what the IAQG is most concerned about. These concerns shift depending on the rates of quality issues seen within the industry at any one time. Likewise, aerospace tutors will constantly hear from Quality professionals throughout the industry.
Look for an AEA first, AATT qualifications second, and tutor experience third, when selecting your consultant.
This simple rule will have a positive impact on the amount of time, effort and money you need to invest and the amount of value you receive during your project.