Quality management systems must be designed to assure that all aspects of the design, manufacture and support of aerospace products meet their intended functions. In parallel with the aerospace industry's development of quality management systems as means of ensuring that products comply with exacting requirements, equal importance has been attached to the role of quality management assessment systems.
The Aerospace and Defense Industries Association of Europe (ASD), in co-operation with European aerospace companies and airlines and the other aerospace industry communities, members of the International Aerospace Industry Group (IAQG), has developed specific requirements for quality management systems that are to be implemented and maintained throughout the supply chain in the design, manufacture and maintenance of products and supply of services used in aviation and space applications.
The Swiss Aerospace Sector Certification Scheme has been developed in response to the move made by the aerospace industry to standardize quality management system requirements. The scheme provides for continued integrity and credibility for the certification of quality management systems. It is meant to authorize independent certification bodies to audit and certify quality management systems in the aerospace industry.
The Swiss ASCS procedure provides for the controlled acceptance and use of audit and certification results. It is based on the following fundamentals:
- Involvement of certification bodies accredited according to EN 9104 requirements;
- Involvement of authenticated auditors;
- Application of procedures and rules specified by the Swiss ASCS.
The procedure hereafter addresses the following issues:
a) Qualification and accreditation of certification bodies according to the EN 9104
b) Re-accreditation of certification bodies
c) Minimum standards of qualification and professional experience for auditor
d) Authentication of aerospace experienced auditors
e) Assessment of quality systems of aerospace suppliers by certification bodies according to the EN 9100 series
f) Reporting of audit results and control of non-conformities
This procedure is similarly implemented in other European countries. The uniform application in is controlled by the European Aerospace Quality Group (EAQG) of the ASD. On an international level, the procedure is controlled by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG).