AS 9100C Upgrade Resources Tight – Make sure you have your audit booked

AS auditors are currently in great demand.  Its about to get much more so.

IAQG has stipulated that to upgrade an existing AS9100B management system to AS9100C can be conducted during a normal surveillance or reassessment audit.  Upgrades during surveillance will require an audit at reassessment levels (twice as long as a surveillance audit) and upgrade during reassessment will require an audit at initial assessment levels (33% more).

Further, while the audit duration tables for AS9100C remain basically the same as they are currently, the rules have been changed to state that the table only covers ON-SITE time.  In other words each audit is likely to grow by a day or so as certification bodies used to include off-site time in this calculation.

What this means is that as soon as AS9100C starts to become audited, AS auditors are going to have twice their normal workload.  It is extremely unlikely that certification bodies will have the capacity to take on any new AS audits as their customers push to upgrade as soon as they can so they can distinguish themselves to their customers.

If you are trying to obtain AS certification during 2010 you need to go for the B version and book your audit for no later than June/July.  If you can convince a Certification Body you will be ready for the C version then book your audit later in the year (more auditors will be qualified and it will be more likely) and get a very firm commitment from the Certification Body.  Good luck with that.

If you are currently AS9100B then make sure you contact your Certification Body and confirm your surveillance/reassessment audit.  Make sure you confirm this very strongly with your certification body.  Perhaps contact your auditor directly and confirm it.  Get their personal buy-in (making it more difficult for them to change it).  Maybe pay in advance.

Customers rarely inform you about their plans and Certification customers are no different.  If you were a Certification Body and a large, important customer phoned requesting an upgrade with a month or two notice you are unlikely to turn them down.  Auditors will be pulled off of other jobs to be able to get that job done.  Smaller organizations might be made to suffer – it is even possible that the Certification Body might simply drop smaller customers if they don”t have resources.

All of this will start about July/August/September time frame as auditors and Certification Bodies become qualified to conduct audits to AS9100C and its going to last a couple of years  (More on timing…).  Auditors might be tempted to switch Certification Bodies with promises of bigger fees.  Audit costs to clients will rise.

Of course there is really no way of telling how this will play out in the end.   The Certification Bodies don”t really know because nobody knows when everyone will want to upgrade and who else will want AS9100C audits.  The IAQG has allowed a couple of years to upgrade but that only reduces the increased workload to one and a half times as busy rather than twice as busy.

We can all hope that there are no scheduling problems but there is no downside to taking charge of this situation, informing your Certification Body of your upgrade plans, your expected upgrade audit date and firming up your audit for this year.

Cavendish Scott, Inc. is providing a standard upgrade consulting package including all modifications to all documents, integration of new requirements, new procedures and importantly a thorough pre-assessment/internal audit to make sure you will pass.  Guaranteed Success for a fixed price!  And your audits for 2010 are taken care of! Click here to find out more: AS9100C upgrade