AS9120 Requirements for Aviation, Space, and Defense Distributors

Course Summary

Through training, participants will obtain detailed knowledge of the key terms, definitions, and requirements of AS9120B:2016 and how the standard can help their organizations better meet customer needs.

Event Details

8 hours
Combination lecture and classroom exercises
Available at QSG’s training facilities, on-site at your organization, and virtually


What is AS9120:2016/AS9120B?
What is AS9120 and who is it for?

AS9120 standardizes quality management system requirements and is used at all levels of the supply chain by organizations around the world. The use of AS9120 results in improved quality, cost, and delivery performance through the reduction or elimination of organization-unique requirements, effective implementation of the quality management system, and wider application of good practice. While primarily developed for the aviation, space, and defense industry, this standard can also be used in other industry sectors when a quality management system with additional requirements over an ISO 9001 system is needed.

The AS9120 Standard is the requirements for a Quality Management System based on AS9100 which adds 100+ additional requirements that are specific to distributors who carry aircraft components like fasteners, electronics, gaskets, etc. It helps ensure that they handle the materials properly and track the part from OEM to customer. AS9120 was developed for pass-through distributors of aerospace items and addresses chain of custody, traceability, control and availability of records.

AS9120:2016 is intended for use by organizations that procure parts, materials, and assemblies and resell these products to customers in the aviation, space, and defense industries. This includes organizations that procure products and split them into smaller quantities, including those that coordinate a customer or regulatory controlled process on the product. This standard is not intended for organizations that maintain or repair products, or for organizations that perform work that affect or could affect product characteristics or conformity.

This standard includes ISO 9001:2015 quality management system requirements and specifies additional aviation, space, and defense industry requirements, definitions and notes.

Benefits to your organization:

  • Understanding and consistency in meeting requirements
  • Consideration of processes in terms of added value
  • Effective process performance
  • Improvement of processes based on evaluation of data and information
  • Efficient handling of documentation and records
  • Detecting opportunities for operational improvements and reduction of costs
  • Eliminate and mitigate business risks

Below is a listing of the core requirements:

  • Risk Based Thinking – The concept of risk has always been implicit in ISO 9001 but AS9120:2016 makes it more explicit and builds it into the whole management system. It ensures that risk is considered from the beginning and throughout and makes “prevention” part of strategic and operational planning.
  • Clause 6.1 – is related to risks in the quality management system such as new customers, new markets, company partnerships, business localizations etc.
  • Concept of Change – Provides a framework which evolves to enable organizations to adapt to their changing environments or circumstances. The benefits of a robust process to control change are that business continuity is maintained and potential consequences of change are appropriately considered.
  • Organizational Knowledge – Knowledge specific to the organization is gained by experience and conveyed through lessons, identification of experts and the implementation of succession planning. AS9120:2016 can help you safeguard the organization from loss of knowledge, (e.g., through staff turnover; failure to capture and share information) and encourages your organization to acquire (e.g., learning from experience, benchmarking) and share knowledge (e.g., mentoring of newcomers).
  • Product Safety – including requirements to address product safety considerations throughout the product lifecycle.
  • Counterfeit Parts Prevention – Provides requirements to mitigate the effects of the growing threat of counterfeit / fraudulent product while recognizing the emerging counterfeit/fraudulent statutory/regulatory requirements on AQMS processes.
  • Awareness – AS9120:2016 now requires employees to be aware of their contribution to product or service conformity, to product safety and the importance of ethical behavior.
  • Human Factors – Requires the consideration of human factors in the root cause analysis for nonconformities. To do that you must understand the interactions between people, machines and each other and their impact on human performance. Human factors could include physical fitness, physiological characteristics, personality, stress and fatigue to name just a few.
  • Obsolescence – In the planning process, you must consider the consequences of product obsolescence.
  • Project Management – Requires that you must plan and manage product and service provision in a structured and controlled manner including scheduled events performed in a planned sequence.
  • Design and Development of Products and Services – AS9120:2016 now includes a requirement that an organization is to establish, implement, and maintain a design and development process that is appropriate to ensure the subsequent provision of products and services. An organization can determine that this (and any other requirement) is not applicable if its decision will not result in failure to achieve conformity of products and services (see AS9120 4.3 and annex A A.5).

How do we implement AS9120 rev B?
The implementation process is very similar to AS9120 or other ISO 9001 based QMS:

  1. Perform a Gap Analysis to determine what your existing QMS needs.
  2. Document your system with a Quality Manual and Procedures.
  3. Implement the new procedures
  4. Audit your system to make sure your procedures are being followed
  5. Have a registrar audit your company for certification to ISO 9120

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for anyone involved in the planning, implementing, maintaining, supervising, or auditing AS9120:2016.

Learning Objectives

Through training, participants will obtain detailed knowledge of the key terms, definitions, and requirements of AS9120B:2016 and how the standard can help their organizations better meet customer needs.

Course Outline

  • Importance and benefits of an AS9120:2016 AQMS for stockist/distribution organizations
  • History of AS9120:2016, the role of IAQG and the standards that support the program
  • Relationship between AS9120:2016, ISO 9001:2015 and the Annex SL High Level Structure
  • Terms and definitions of AS9120:2016
  • Key concepts of AS9120:2016 (including aerospace process effectiveness)
  • Requirements of AS9120:2016


There are no formal prerequisites; however it will be useful for the attendees to read the standard before attending the course and have a broad understanding of quality management systems.


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