Remember when I posted how the IAQG just will not, ever, ever, ever extend their self-imposed “transition deadline” of 2018 for AS9100 clients? Remember, how I said it was already a disaster because there weren’t enough auditors in the pool, and then they revealed that only 50% of the auditors who even tried to take the upgrade exam failed? Remember that?

Well the IAQG just made it much, much worse, because they’ve effectively shut off the pool entirely, so no new auditors can join the ranks, assuming they could even find anyone stupid enough to want the job. Read this recent IAQG update which fell onto my desk:

Training Providers: This communication is intended to serve as a reminder that Supplemental Rule 003 paragraph 8c. identifies that the “TP’s shall not deliver SMS approved training that includes previous versions of the AQMS standards after June 15, 2017.” In accordance with this supplemental rule it has been confirmed that the existing Aerospace Auditor Transition Training (AATT) will not be offered after June 15, 2017. All training providers should cancel any scheduled sessions in the AATT, and inform any scheduled participants that sessions will be rescheduled in the future.

The IAQG Strategy Working Group has authorized an update the existing AATT to the 9100:2016 and 9101:2016 standards. While the specific timeline for the AATT update is still being determined, it will likely be available in third quarter 2017. Effective June 7, 2017, it will not be possible for prospective auditors to purchase the online 9100:2009, 9110:2012 or 9120:2009 Online Training Courses/Final Examinations and Bundles.

Additionally, it will not be possible for Training Providers to schedule any new 4-day 9100 AATT sessions on the IAQG AATT Admin Site until the re-launch occurs. Prospective auditors currently in the Retake Examination process will have approximately one (1) year to complete the necessary examinations. It will not be possible to complete examinations or retakes for the current programs after June 15, 2018. Prospective auditors who successfully complete retake examinations under the old AATT process will still be required to complete the appropriate 2016 Delta Training to be fully authenticated. Prospective auditors who have not successfully completed the associated course requirements by the deadline, or who exceed the maximum number of permitted retakes, will be required to follow the revised training process as a new participant.

The IAQG OPMT apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Allow me to translate. The IAQG is saying the current training can’t be provided anymore because it was based on the older AS9100 rev C standard, and they haven’t updated the training yet. And they won’t be offering the updated training until … well, they don’t know yet.

(Please, someone — anyone — tell me I am misinterpreting that release. Please!)

Meanwhile, they are sticking the their guns — presumably the same guns they use to keep shooting themselves in the foot — and not moving the Sept. 2018 transition deadline for AS9100 clients. But they “apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.” I feel better already, don’t you?

Well I’m about to make you feel worse. OASIS reports that there are only 876 auditors for AS9100 on the entire planet, and only a few hundred of those working in the US. There are over 7,700 companies certified to AS9100 in the US alone, so that means each auditor will have to audit somewhere around 30 companies between now and Sept 2018 to ensure everyone gets transitioned, and that would assume each company is so small, they’d only need a single auditor. Obviously, there are a lot of large aerospace companies in that mix that would require multiple auditors over multiple days. Now consider this: not all of those 876 auditors are actually working for registrars, as many simply get the auditor status to enhance their resume or for internal audit use. So the actual number of working CB auditors is much smaller.

In short, the math proves it’s impossible. There is no way for current AS9100 companies to upgrade to the new revision in time, because not only don’t they have enough time, there are no auditors to do it. This means that thanks to Susie Neal of UTC Aerospace and literally less than five self-promoted “experts” at the IAQG’s Other Party Management Team, the aerospace industry is about to experience an industry-wide bloodbath, an unprecedented and totally unforced purge, which is likely to destroy huge swaths of the AS9100 certification scheme.

I’m starting to think maybe that’s not a bad idea.

So to recap: For AS9100, the IAQG arbitrarily opted to adopt the Sept. 2018 transition deadline originally dreamed up ANAB’s Randy Dougherty and ISO’s Kevin McKinley, which itself was arbitrarily dreamed up to enforce companies to buy the latest ISO 9001:2015 standard. Then, IAQG told AS9100 companies that they’d have to undergo an audit to the new standard about a year prior to that, in September 2017, in order to be on track with the final deadline.

Then, they delayed the release of the AS9101 auditing rules, leaving registrars without a rule book, and unable to even get accredited to offer audits until April of 2017. Then they rolled out a crap-laden training program created by Plexus which 50% of those auditors taking it — the ones who didn’t just retire or quit the profession entirely — can’t pass.

Then they didn’t release the updated training programs … at all. But they apologize for the inconvenience.

So if your company loses that multi-million dollar Lockheed, Boeing or UTC contract, I suggest you send an invoice to the IAQG Other Party Management Team, and let them pay it. See how well that goes over.

The fix is simple. All they have to do is listen to the advice I gave them in my Public Call document, and extend the transition deadline two years until September 2020. Registrars have more time to transition clients, auditors have more time to get training and replenish the pool, and clients have more time to transition. Everyone wins.

At this point, it’s clear that the only thing driving this insane rush to ruin is ego. Neal and her counterparts in the IAQG are simply trying to save face, and pretend that nothing is going wrong, while they remain isolated in their closed-door meetings, refusing all input from anyone speaking sense. Clearly UTC needs to take action and fire her, get her off the OPMT, and save the industry. Likewise for the corporate offices of Raytheon, Boeing and Lockheed, who need to recall their IAQG reps and regain control. These companies are as much victims of this egotistical insanity as everyone else, but they have the power to pull the plug.

Someone needs to be fired. You don’t get to cause wholesale havoc in the entire international aerospace industry and keep your job.



    About Christopher Paris

    Christopher Paris is the founder and VP Operations of Oxebridge. He has over 25 years' experience implementing ISO 9001 and AS9100 systems, and is a vocal advocate for the development and use of standards from the point of view of actual users. He is the author of Surviving ISO 9001:2015. He reviews wines for the irreverent wine blog, Winepisser.