AS9120:2016 sets out the criteria for a quality management system and is the only standard in the family that can be certified to (although this is not a requirement). It can be used by any organization, large or small, regardless of its field of activity. In fact AS9120:2016 is implemented by over one million companies and organizations in over 170 countries.
Quality Management Principles
The standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. These principles are explained in more detail in the pdf Quality Management Principles. Using AS9120:2016 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.
Checking that the system works is a vital part of quality management. An organization must perform internal audits to check how its quality management system is working. An organization may decide to invite an independent certification body to verify that it is in conformity to the standard, but there is no requirement for this. Alternatively, it might invite its clients to audit the quality system for themselves. Read more about certification to management system standards.
Compliant vs. Certified
Beware of suppliers who promote they are "AS9120 compliant" or even just "ISO 9001 compliant". According to whom? Anyone can buy a box of documents and put their company name on the binder.
If they are truly operating to the standard, why not simply schedule a certification audit?
Quality Certificates - What's Important
Ask your distributors for a copy of their most recent ISO9001, AS9120, AND CCAP-101 certificate.
Heres what you should check:
- Initial registration date
- Certificate expiration date
- Date of last surveillance audit