SAI Global, which was recently purchased by Intertek, has voluntarily exited the AS9100 certification market in Australia.
The company struggled to find sufficient auditors within the region, which is largely dominated by a handful of competing aerospace certification bodies. All references to AS9100 have been removed from the company’s Australian website, and current customers have received notices alerting them of the change.
It is not clear what will happen to companies currently certified by SAI/Intertek to AS9100 by the Australian branch. ISO 17021 rules require that they assist in transitioning clients to a new CB.
No other industry certification programs appear to be affected, and the Australian office has only stopped issuing AS9100, AS9110, and AS9120 certificates. It continues to offer ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and other certifications.
SAI has struggled for over ten years with auditor staffing problems and scheduling issues, resulting in many cases where SAI auditors simply never showed up to conduct audits. Multiple clients lost their ISO 9001 and AS9100 certifications as a result, through no fault of their own, and SAI risked lawsuits as a result. The problem grew so significant that in 2018, SAI Global had all of its accreditations suspended for over six months. SAI’s accreditation was eventually restored, but clients continued to report that their certifications had lapsed due to SAI auditors failing to appear.
SAI Global was purchased by Intertek in 2021, and it was expected that Intertek would rein in some of the systemic problems facing SAI. The decision to abandon an entire continent over what appears to be the same problem suggests that Intertek is struggling in this regard.
Prior to the Intertek merger, SAI Global had faced a raft of other complaints and concerns related to its activities. Its head of aerospace certification, Deann Minamino, took official positions that openly violated established auditing rules. Minamino insisted that auditors need not record objective evidence in audit reports, and once appeared to suggest that time travel be used to resolve a nonconformity, after an SAI auditor wrote a finding based on evidence that pre-dated the procedures he claimed were being violated.
SAI Lead Auditor Scott Morrison sent unprovoked hate mail to Oxebridge, including homophobic insults.
In 2015, the US Dept. of Defense conducted an AS9100 audit of a Pratt Whitney facility that held certification by SAI Global. That audit found over forty major AS910 nonconformities, none of which appear to have been raised by SAI. Despite the publication of the DoD’s report, the Pratt Whitney site remained certified by SAI. It is not clear if any actions were ever taken on the nonconformities identified by DoD.
There have been no recent complaints or reports filed against Intertek, however, and it is expected the merger will eventually result in Intertek improving the performance of the former SAI staff.