How Does AS9101, AS9102 & AS9103 Relate to AS9100 Rev D?

Like many management system standards, AS9100 Rev D has some supporting standards that are written to support an aerospace quality management system (QMS) that is created using the requirements of the AS9100 Rev D standard. While many of these exist, there are three that are of key interest to the organization that is implementing AS9100 Rev D; AS9101, AS9102 & AS9103.

It is important to note that although these supporting standards include requirements, they are not the same as AS9100 Rev D; you cannot be certified to any of these three standards. Instead, they are intended to give guidance on different topics related to AS9100 Rev D. Here is a bit more about what these standards are and how they are used:

What is AS9101?

AS9101, Quality Management Systems – Audit Requirements for Aviation, Space, and Defense Organizations, is a procedure used by the certification body to define the assessment report that is to be presented once any certification, surveillance or re-certification audit is completed. This procedure includes a checklist of all the AS9100 clauses that are assessed as part of the audit, and a scoring mechanism to help determine the effectiveness of the QMS systems and processes during the audit. The current revision is AS9101 Rev F (against AS9100 Rev D), however, AS9101 Rev E is still in use for audits of QMS systems that have not yet transitioned (until the deadline on September 15, 2018).

This standard is important to you, because every company that is certified against AS9100 is listed on the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQC) Online Aerospace Supplier Information System (OASIS) database. The score, determined from an AS9101 checklist assessment, is included in this database, and allows customers to assess the differences in effectiveness of their supplier’s AS9100 implementation.

For more about the transition of AS9100-compliant quality management systems see this article: 12 Steps to transition from AS9100 Rev C to Rev D.

What is AS9102?

Clause of AS9100 Rev D, Production Process Verification, states the requirements to implement activities to verify production processes to ensure that each process is able to produce products that meet requirements. This clause further requires that a representative item from a first production run of a new part or assembly (repeated when significant changes occur) be verified against requirements to show that the production process, documentation and tooling can produce parts that meet requirements; this activity is referred to as First Article Inspection (FAI).

AS9102, Aerospace First Article Inspection Requirement, is a standard that outlines a best practice process for performing this first article inspection, including necessary checklists and forms. The intent of this standard is to act as a standardized process for companies who need to perform FAI on their products or assemblies, providing all of the records needed when the forms are completed. The latest revision is Rev B.

It is important to note that unless the use of AS9102 is mandated in your contract, you are not required to use this standard in your QMS. However, if you intend to implement an FAI process where you have previously not had one, AS9101 represents best practices for the aerospace industry and many companies use this process as-is, rather than creating one for themselves.

What is AS9103?

The concept of key characteristics appears many times throughout AS9100 Rev D, first appearing in the terms and definitions section of the standard (Clause 3). This concept of an attribute or feature where the variation has significant effects on the performance of the product or service is used throughout the design, provision and delivery of products and services. It requires special attention to control variation and is where the standard AS9103, Variation Management of Key Characteristics, comes in.

Like AS9102 the use of this standard is not required in your QMS, unless mandated by a contract.  It does, however provide a best practice process for implementing variation management. Throughout your processes that influence the variation of key characteristics of parts or services, AS9103 is designed to improve the manufacturing processes. If you need to improve the confidence in these part features, then turning to AS9103 for guidance is beneficial. The latest revision is Rev A.

For more information on the terms and definitions specific to AS9100 Rev D see this article: Five special aerospace terms in AS9100 Rev D.

How understanding these three standards can help with your QMS?

As you can see above, these three standards can directly help you with implementing your QMS. If you need a new process for either first article inspection or variation management, then AS9102 or AS9103 will guide you on the best practices for each of these processes within your QMS. Understanding AS9101 will give you additional information on what your certification body is required to review in order to assess the effectiveness of your QMS systems and processes.  This information can give guidance on which areas might be of interest for you to gauge effectiveness as well.  If it is the aerospace industry standard for effectiveness, you can benefit from this too.

The main thing to remember is this: for many companies, these standards are voluntary. Unless mandated by your contracts, using these standards should only be done for the benefit of your organization, not because someone thinks that AS9100 demands it. Use what you need for better QMS effectiveness and improvement—which is what your QMS is for in the first place.

Use this free: AS9100D List of mandatory documents whitepaper to see which documents can be added with the use of AS9101, AS9102 and AS9103.

Advisera Mark Hammar
Mark Hammar
Mark Hammar is a Certified Manager of Quality / Organizational Excellence through the American Society for Quality and has been a Quality Professional since 1994. Mark has experience in auditing, improving processes, and writing procedures for Quality, Environmental, and Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems, and is certified as a Lead Auditor for ISO 9001, AS9100, and ISO 14001.