Blog posts tagged in QA

Steven Bentley MD of Sofema Aviation Services believes it is time to recognise QAS as a component of our organisations' SMS.

Where Should an EASA Compliant Quality Assurance System “Sit” in relation to the Organisations SMS?

Introduction

Historically (and growing up in the workplace through the 1970’s I can attest to the fact) there was no formal Quality Assurance within European Aviation Operations.

Of course we had Quality Control and the Role of Flight Operations Director and within Maintenance the Role of “Chief Inspector”.

As the Joint Airworthiness Authority’s influence grew the concept of an independent assessment of conformity became the acceptable way of demonstrating compliance.

Tagged in: QA QC Quality Safety SMS
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A discussion paper by Steve Bentley MD of SAS (www.sassofia.com)

So what is the Fundamental Mistake?

Essentially it is to "believe" that there is a similarity between ISO & EASA – there is not! Sure, Quality is Quality but make no mistake – EASA is all about compliance.

Even the Quality Assurance Manager has received a name change "makeover" He or She, is now called the Compliance Manager (CM).

What Does EASA Expect?

There are actually two expectations:

Tagged in: CM EASA ISO QA QAM
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Considering the Fundamental EASA QA/ QC Relationship

The Quality Manager (Compliance Manager) is responsible for the independent assessment of compliance – not to loose sight that this process is additional and should be considered as a Safety Net rather than a primary method of ensuring compliance.

The Continuing Airworthiness Manager (CAM) is responsible for the QC Activities related to the compliances which are validated during the ACAM process.

Building on this understanding means that an effective oversight of an effective process will focus on the physical management, delivery and maintenance of competence within the system of control.

The Regulatory Point of View

Tagged in: ACAM KREs QA QC QMS
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SofemaOnline is developing a portfolio of online training courses written by professionals with many years of experience.

Here we look at techniques to support an effective Aviation Quality Assurance Audit and the way we ask questions during an audit, to enable us to take the maximum benefit from the responses we receive.

For the most effective outcome the Auditor should remain in control of the process from start to finish. The auditor has (or should have) the full attention of the Auditee and must ensure that you understand the responsibility to obtain the information necessary to make the correct determinations.

So how are we going to ask questions, in such a way that we quickly get to the substance of what we are trying to audit?
Although we ask questions of each other all day long we seldom consider which technique works best and how we may improve our questioning skills.

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There can be two reasons to implement a Quality Assurance System. The first is that it is a required mandatory process to ensure compliance with all regulatory and organisational requirements. The second is that we have an opportunity to use the QA process to support the companies objectives to effectively manage the business in the most efficient way.

A commitment to Quality can become intrinsic within the organization whereby Quality becomes the driver rather than allowing Compliance to become the driver – Compliance should be assumed as a given rather than a target.

If a regulatory audit throws up a non compliance then it is also an indication of a Quality Assurance system shortfall as this is where the non compliance should have been identified. To move to a higher level requires the company to develop effective and compliant business processes which are acceptable to the post holders and business area managers and can at the same time be supported by all employees.

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