The new revision of AS9100 was published in 2016 but it has been reported that many businesses have delayed getting the transition progressed. Accreditation Bodies are reporting that as few as 40% of their client base have gone through the transition and many are planning an initial transition assessment in March 2018. The fear is that there will not be enough time to rectify NCRs raised before the September deadline. Many are reporting that the assessor resource will also be stretched beyond capacity, leaving many clients without any Quality Accreditation in October 2018.
The new 9100 format is in line with the Annex SL structure common to ISO 9001:2015, ISO14001:2015 and all the new standards going to revision. This is a plus for those organisations with multiple accreditations but all have to go through the initial pain and resource hungry transition. The shift in approach is quite rightly asking leaders to consider their QMS as part of their strategic planning process and an integral part of all the business decisions. This is not an easy step for every company.
‘Leadership and Commitment’ (Clause 5.1) is put to the test, ‘Resources’ (Clause 7.1) are stretched and ultimately a business has to consider the ‘Risks and Opportunities’ (Clause 6.1) associated with keeping or dropping formal accreditation.
At Hone-All Precision we took the decision that the AS9100 accreditation is vital to our business. Its structured approach allows us to control, monitor and improve our performance and is key to meeting our customer requirements and our own goals for business excellence. The formal accreditation is a demonstration to our Interested Parties of our commitment to providing a quality product and service.
With the decision made we had to formulate a plan to progress through the transition, within the timescales defined by UKAS, but allowing us to continue ‘Business as Usual’. We took a step back and asked some searching questions of ourselves and came to an honest decision to go and find some help. There is no dishonour in this decision and we have benefitted from an outsider’s view of what we have been doing with our processes for many years.
MLP Management Systems Limited have been working with us to develop a system that meets the requirements of AS9100 rev D but is still our QMS. It does not sit on the wall gathering dust but is the heart of what we do. Mel Bray has brought her 27 years of experience of management systems and refreshed our system to meet the new standard and our ongoing business needs. By engaging with our staff we have refocused their attention and gained their support for the improving objectives of the Business.