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Aerospace Management

AS9120 / AS9120B

The standard for stockists and distributors of parts to manufacturers that supply the aerospace industry.

What is AS9120:2016/AS9120B?

Prepared by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG), with representatives from aviation, space, and defense companies in the Americas, Asia/Pacific and Europe, AS9120:2016/AS9120B standardizes quality management system requirements.

It can be used at all levels of the supply chain by organizations around the world to improve quality, cost, and delivery performance. This is accomplished through the reduction or elimination of organization-unique requirements, effective implementation of the quality management system, and wider application of good practices. NQA is the 3rd largest certification body for Aerospace in the world.



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Helps you with

  • Global recognition
  • Access to large OEM's
  • Proving business credentials
  • Process effectiveness
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Product improvement
  • Supply chain access
  • Entry onto the IAQG Online Aerospace Supplier Information System (OASIS database)

Benefits of Aerospace Certification

Global recognition as a reputable supplier icon

Global recognition as a reputable supplier

Certification is recognised internationally and accepted throughout industry supply chains, setting industry benchmarks for sourcing suppliers.

Access to large OEM’s icon

Access to large OEM’s

All companies registered to an Aerospace standard are listed in the OASIS database.

Improved stakeholder relationships icon

Improved stakeholder relationships

Improve the perception of your organization with staff, customers and suppliers.

Customer satisfaction icon

Customer satisfaction

Deliver products that consistently meet customer requirements and a service that is dependable and can be relied on.

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Win more business

Procurement specifications often require certification as a condition to supply, so certification and verification opens doors.

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Reduced operating costs

Continual improvement of processes and resulting operational efficiencies mean money saved.

Proven business credentials icon

Proven business credentials

Independent verification against a globally recognised industry standard speaks volumes.

Is AS9120 certification right for my organization?

AS9120:2016 is intended for use by organizations that procure parts, materials, and assemblies and resell these products to a customer in the aviation, space, and defense industries. This includes organizations that procure products and split them into smaller quantities, including those that coordinate a customer or regulatory controlled process on the product.

This standard is not intended for organizations that maintain or repair products, or for organizations that perform work that affect or could affect product characteristics or conformity.
This standard includes ISO 9001:2015 quality management system requirements and specifies additional aviation, space, and defense industry requirements, definitions and notes.

All of the AS9100 series of standards underwent significant change in late 2016. Though a number of those changes were necessitated by a change in the base standard, ISO 9001:2015, many of the aviation, space and defense industry requirements were also modified and enhanced. Following the structure of ISO 9001:2015, AS9120:2016 includes requirements specific to:

  • Context of the organization
  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Support
  • Operation
  • Performance evaluation
  • Improvement
A good starting point is obtaining a copy of the AS9120:2016 standard and the supporting standard AS9101 from SAE. These provide the detailed requirements that your management system must comply with. 

Key themes of AS9120:2016

Within the sections of the AS9120:2016 standard, new requirements above and beyond those specified in the previous revision AS9120A address:

Risk Based Thinking - The concept of risk has always been implicit in ISO 9001 but AS9120:2016 makes it more explicit and builds it into the whole management system.  It ensures that risk is considered from the beginning and throughout and makes “prevention” part of strategic and operational planning.
Clause 6.1 - is related to risks in the quality management system such as new customers, new market, company partnerships, business localizations etc.
Concept of Change - Provides a framework which evolves to enable organizations to adapt to their changing environments or circumstances. The benefits of a robust process to control change is that business continuity is maintained and potential consequences of change are appropriately considered.
Organizational Knowledge - Knowledge specific to the organization is gained by experience and conveyed through lessons, identification of experts and the implementation of succession planning.  AS9120:2016 can help you safeguard the organization from loss of knowledge, (e.g., through staff turnover; failure to capture and share information) and encourages your organization to acquire (e.g., learning from experience, benchmarking) and share knowledge (e.g. mentoring of newcomers).
Product Safety - including requirements to address product safety considerations throughout the product lifecycle.
Counterfeit Parts Prevention - Provides requirements to mitigate the effects of the growing threat of counterfeit / fraudulent product while recognizing the emerging counterfeit/fraudulent statutory/regulatory requirements on AQMS processes.
Awareness - AS9120:2016 now requires employees to be aware of their contribution to product or service conformity, to product safety and the importance of ethical behaviour.
Human Factors - Requires the consideration of human factors in the root cause analysis for onconformities. To do that you must understand the interactions between people, machines and each other and their impact on human performance. Human factors could include physical fitness, physiological characteristics, personality, stress and fatigue to name just a few.
Obsolescence - In the planning process, you must consider the consequences of product obsolescence.

Project Management - Requires that you must plan and manage product and service provision in a structured and controlled manner including scheduled events performed in a planned sequence.
Design and Development of Products and Services - AS9120:2016 now includes a requirement that an organization is to establish, implement, and maintain a design and development process that is appropriate to ensure the subsequent provision of products and services. An organization can determine that this (and any other requirement) is not applicable if its decision will not result in failure to achieve conformity of products and services (see AS9120 4.3 and annex A A.5).

Steps to Certification

  1. Step 1

    Complete a Quote Request Form so we can understand you and your business. We will then use this to personally prepare a proposal for your certification and define what is known as your 'scope of assessment'.

  2. Step 2

    We will then contact you to book your assessment with an NQA assessor. It consists of two mandatory visits that form the Initial Certification Audit. Please note that you must be able to demonstrate that your management system has been operational for a minimum of three months and has been subject to a management review and a full cycle of internal audits.

  3. Step 3

    Following a successful stage two audit, a decision is made. If positive, your certification will be issued by NQA, with both a hard and soft copy of the certificate awarded. Certification is valid for three years and maintained through surveillance audits (years one and two) and a recertification audit in year three.

See more details

Aerospace Toolkit

Aerospace Quote Request Form

Aerospace Management Guide

Aerospace Transition Timeline

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