How can ISO 9001 help aerospace and defense companies?

When implementing a Quality Management System (QMS) in the aerospace industry, you may find conflicting information about which standard to choose as the requirements for your QMS: ISO 9001:2015 or AS9100 is written specifically for the aerospace industry, while ISO 9001:2015 is intended for use by any organization in any industry.

So, which should you choose? If there is not a specific customer requirement for AS9100, then you may want to choose ISO 9001, which includes fewer processes to implement while still fulfilling customer needs.

What is the difference between AS9100 and ISO 9001? ISO 9001:2015 provides the Quality Management System requirements for any organization, and it is released and maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Meanwhile, AS9100 Rev D is issued by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) and provides QMS requirements for aviation, space, and defense organizations.

The two standards are related by the fact that AS9100 Rev D includes all requirements of ISO 9001:2015, including the structure of the document, and adds in additional requirements for aviation, space, and defense. These additional aerospace requirements are highlighted within the document so that you can see what originally comes from ISO 9001, and what was added. This means that, in order to comply with the requirements of AS9100, you need to meet all requirements within ISO 9001.

So, if you do not have a need to implement the additional aerospace requirements that are including in AS9100, then you can still get the benefits of implementing a QMS that is based on globally recognized best practices using the requirements of ISO 9001. Additionally, if AS9100 becomes a requirement for your QMS in the future, it is easy to add in the additional processes needed to comply with that standard. For more on the benefits of ISO 9001, see the article: Six Key Benefits of ISO 9001 Implementation.