Quality systems ensure that the processes of a company satisfy all the requirements and expectations of customers, in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Especially in the aerospace industry, a certified QMS is often an essential requirement, as most big players demand it from their suppliers. A Quality Management System can be certified under ISO 9001:2015 and, additionally for the aviation and aerospace sector, under ISO 9100:2018. For companies that design, manufacture and/or maintain airborne products, a QMS is a valuable first step to obtain a quality approval from EASA such as Design Organisation Approval (DOA), Production Organisation Approval (POA), or Maintenance Organisation Approval (MOA) which greatly facilitate the path to holding type certificates or issuing permits to fly.
Irrespective of the quality certificate pursued, there are some key principles to follow in order to obtain an agency approval when setting up a Quality Management System.
Even before building the structure of your quality system, work with your team to define the concrete and objective goals for every process you follow and keep a written track of working procedures and the strategies behind. If the company is aware of how and why things are done, the implementation of the QMS shapes naturally around the previous work done.
When designing the QMS structure, you’ll need to define a clear and concise goal. Having a clear picture of all the existing processes in your company will help redefine them if they do not organically respond to global scope. This is important to clearly identify and limit the applicability of the QMS to the company processes.
Giving our processes a customer focus is also a must.
There should be numerous key parameter indicators in order to measure the customer satisfaction also ensuring that the staff is aware of customer needs. Their direct feedback is invaluable to improve.
For a quality system to truly deliver results, it can’t remain as good intentions written in paper. It must truly speak to the company staff and most specially to the leadership figures, who with their example and involvement will engage the rest of the team. Quality means, first and foremost, a true engagement with the company values and goals as this is the only way to achieve the expected results.
This aspect has become even more important for final certification. The auditor should feel the involvement of the upper management in the Quality Management System. This is one of the most important changes of ISO 9001 version 2015.
The employees shall show enough awareness of the company goals and the relevant aspects of the QMS to their position, so that they can perform their daily activities bearing in mind the importance of quality for the organisation.
Never stop learning
A continuous effort must also be put into relationship management with relevant partners. It is paramount to evaluate your suppliers for performance and establish an honest and open relationship with them so that both ends benefit from it.
To follow the organization progress and history, gather records that are both useful for the company and that can demonstrate the tracking of each process to the corresponding auditor. Everything shall be documented and tracked.
Finally, implementing the proposed suggestions and improvements will be a great help, not only to achieve the final certificate, but most probably to allow the organisation to grow and perform in ways unexpected before the process of implementing a certified QMS.