Q: My organization is getting ready for our registration audit to AS9100 C– Requirements for Aviation, Space and Defense Organizations. There is a debate regarding procedures and the document references with those procedures. If the procedure does not mentioned a document within the body of the document we normally do not include it in the reference section of the procedure. Our internal auditor says that we should reference all documents that show linkage in the process approach.
For example, the auditing procedure references corrective action, preventive action, etc., but does not have any of the document mentioned in the body of the procedure.
Can you settle this matter? Our auditor says that we will get a finding if this is not done.
A: The process approach is more than including references to documents, especially with AS9100 C requirements to identify your product realization processes. I would encourage you to examine some guidance materials available on the ISO website:
Introduction and support package: Guidance on the concept and use of the process approach for management systems action procedures, but the narrative of the procedure does not include how these procedures tie into the auditing practice? It would seem that the auditing procedures body should support the referenced procedures and explain how they are applicable within the auditing process. If I was your auditor, I would issue an observation or opportunity for improvement for that condition.
Your first paragraph seems to indicate the reverse scenario. If a document is not referenced within the body of the document, then it is not a referenced procedure. Yes, that appears reasonable.
It is a good practice to show the interrelationship of documents to include parent-child relationships and referenced documents when appropriate.
International Aerospace Quality Group Americas AS9100 Lead
Voting member of the U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 176
For more on this topic, please visit ASQ’s website.