VOL. 15 July ISSUE YEAR 2014
in Vol. 15 - July Issue - Year 2014
The Value of Nadcap
Approximately 85% of the global aerospace prime contractors require their special process suppliers to obtain Nadcap accreditation. As a result, nearly 5,000 Nadcap audits are conducted around the world each year.
Pre-audit preparation and post-audit non-conformance resolution are time-consuming so for those companies who work towards and achieve Nadcap accredited status, it can be difficult to take a step back and focus on the bigger picture.
It is important to remember, however, that there are many benefits to Nadcap participation beyond compliance to customer requirements. In order for companies to get the most from their involvement with Nadcap, these opportunities may be explored and utilized as appropriate to the individual organization's circumstances.
54% of Nadcap accredited companies report that Nadcap accreditation provides commercial benefits by improving their attractiveness within aerospace and other critical industries by evidencing their superior quality and ability to comply with customer requirements. All Nadcap accredited companies are listed on the online QML, which is used by purchasing and quality departments to identify the best suppliers available. This exposure is an obvious benefit from a commercial perspective.
To support this, PRI has published a press release template and a free paper describing "top ten" ways for companies to promote their Nadcap accreditation (both available on the PRI website in the Media Center).
Suppliers are not just audited by Nadcap; they have real input into the program, as it is an industry-managed program. They are able to become recognized voting members on the Nadcap Management Council and Task Groups. In these forums, quality and technical experts from Primes and Suppliers work together to develop and pilot audit checklists, as well as conduct regular reviews to ensure ongoing validity of checklist questions, identify common non-conformances and address auditor / supplier training needs. They also oversee the operation of Nadcap, inputting into procedures and monitoring the performance of the program.
As well as the management and technical aspects of Nadcap, there is also a body in the organization structure that is dedicated to supporting and representing the supplier base, ensuring that they have a collective voice in the process. The Supplier Support Committee comprises volunteers from Nadcap accredited companies and focuses on non-technical issues that may affect suppliers across the special process industry and around the world. (There is more information about the SSC on the PRI website under Nadcap - Supplier Support Committee)
With nearly 25 years' experience administering industry-managed programs, PRI has developed expertise in assuring a consensus approach to decision-making and facilitating global collaboration so that companies put competition aside to focus on quality. Both the FAA and EASA have formally recognized the approach of using other party supplier certification, meaning that Nadcap is acknowledged as satisfying the requirement for Primes to have effective oversight of their special process supply chain. This helps to reduce redundant auditing as the requirement is met through Nadcap.
Staff and auditors are recognized as experts in their fields, having typically spent their entire career in the aerospace industry working or consulting for Nadcap subscribers and suppliers. A rigorous initial training, annual conference and training by PRI and Task Groups maintains high auditor standards, as a complement to ongoing metrics used to verify consistently high performance. This gives the suppliers access to significant expertise to help them continually improve quality in their special processes. One Nadcap subscriber has tracked a 78% reduction in special process escapes, validating and evidencing the quality of processes and products through compliance to an industry-wide audit criteria.