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80 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2019 Based on my experience with audits over the last 20 years—reviewing compliance to various standards and regulations, such as Nadcap (for- merly known as the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program), AS9100, ISO 13485, ISO 9001, Defense Logis- tics Agency (DLA), and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspections—I can con- fidently say that Nadcap audits are the most rigorous. Suppliers that offer services or prod- ucts to the aerospace industry are familiar with Nadcap accreditation; it's the gold standard for best-in-class process compliance assess- ment. However, obtaining Nadcap certification can be an overwhelming endeavor for suppli- ers that don't have proper guidance. This col- umn provides guidelines that companies have used in the past to successfully achieve Nad- cap accreditation. Accreditation Fundamentals Before I outline these strategies, it's impor- tant to understand the fundamentals of the accreditation. Nadcap accreditation is an aero- space-driven program where highly qualified professionals, having experience in the aero- space industry, conduct the actual process audits, using criteria specifically developed by industry experts. The official Nadcap guidance is found in the Performance Review Institute (PRI) website. The PRI auditor will use a product-specific checklist to evaluate compliance to processes being evaluated. Before attempting Nadcap special process accreditation, the organization must have an approved quality management system (QMS) to the following standards: aerospace quality systems (AQS) standard AS/ EN/JISQ9100, AS/EN9110, or ISO 17025 recognized by the National Cooperation for Labo - ratory Accreditation (NACLA) and the International Labo- ratory Accreditation Coop- eration (ILAC) accreditation body for testing laboratories, including nondestructive test- ing laboratories. If the organi- zation doesn't already have an approved QMS, Nadcap can conduct an AQS audit. Transform Your Operations With Nadcap Operational Excellence by Alfred Macha, AMT PARTNERS

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