This standard defines requirements for the preparation and execution of the audit process. Previous Versions AS was originally published in The purpose of this procedure was to define the content and the presentation of the Assessment Report. It was based off of AS ASD defined requirements for the preparation and execution of the audit process. In addition, it defines the content and composition for the audit reporting of conformity and process effectiveness to the series standards, the QMS documentation, and customer and regulatory requirements.
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It is important to note that although these supporting standards include requirements, they are not the same as AS Rev D; you cannot be certified to any of these three standards.
Instead, they are intended to give guidance on different topics related to AS Rev D. Here is a bit more about what these standards are and how they are used: What is AS?
This procedure includes a checklist of all the AS 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.
What is AS? Clause 8. 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.
AS, 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 AS 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, AS represents best practices for the aerospace industry and many companies use this process as-is, rather than creating one for themselves.
The concept of key characteristics appears many times throughout AS 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 AS, Variation Management of Key Characteristics, comes in.
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, AS is designed to improve the manufacturing processes. If you need to improve the confidence in these part features, then turning to AS for guidance is beneficial.
The latest revision is Rev A. 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 AS or AS will guide you on the best practices for each of these processes within your QMS. Understanding AS 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 AS demands it.
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