AC7004 Rev F Changes

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AC7004 Rev F Changes

26 January 2018

In 2016, AS/EN/JISQ 9100 was published for Suppliers to begin the process of upgrading to the new revision of the standard and becoming certified in accordance. From the new revision of 9100, the Aerospace Quality Systems (AQS) Task Group developed the requirements to create AC7004 Revision F, which became effective on 31 December 2017.

The revised AC7004 reflects the new formatting of 9100 (10 clauses) and the introduction of new concepts and verbiage. A few of the new concepts that have been included into the AC7004 document are:

  • Context of the Organization
  • Documented Information
  • Risk-based Thinking

Context of the Organization

This is a starting point for the auditable sections of the AC7004 checklist, Section 4. The expectation is for the organization to understand itself, the internal and external issues that are relevant to the purpose, and the strategic direction of the business. Organizations need to understand who the interested parties (previously, stakeholders) are and their potential effect on the quality management system (QMS). Interested parties are no longer just customers and employees. They can now extend outside the organization’s walls to bankers, the community, statutory and regulatory agencies, and more. Information about these other interested parties needs to be monitored and reviewed as appropriate and relevant to the QMS.

Documented Information

The amount of documentation an organization utilizes has always been a business decision. The checklist now allows an organization the flexibility to determine how much documentation is maintained and/or retained. Nowhere will you find the term procedure or record. The term was replaced by ‘documented information’. It will be preceded with either maintain or retain.

  • Maintain – living document (procedure/work instruction/form)
  • Retain – record

An organization shall determine the amount of documented information that is necessary for the effective implementation of the QMS. Additionally, an organization is required to have the necessary documentation to show compliance to requirements, both internal and external. The AC7004 checklist uses the term ‘documented’ 54 times throughout sections 4-10, which are the auditable sections. This applies to both maintained and retained documented information. During your review of the new checklist, use this time to see if there is any old documentation that can be deleted, combined, or updated.

Risk-based Thinking

While risk-based thinking is not a new concept, the amount of times that ‘risk’ is used in the checklist has increased. Risk-based thinking ensures risk is considered from the beginning and throughout the QMS. Risk-based thinking makes “prevention” a part of strategic and operational planning. This is a positive change as the benefits of risk-based thinking can only help an organization focus on priorities and what adds value to the company. This approach ensures a greater knowledge of risk and improves preparedness, increases the probability of reaching objectives, and reduces the probability of negative results.

Don’t let the new look of the revised checklist intimidate you. Many of the old requirements are still there, they were just relocated and possibly reworded for better clarity. The AQS Task Group has created a useful Audit Handbook and comparison guide to help organizations transition to the new revision. Both documents can be found in eAuditNet, in the AQS Public Documents folder under Resources/ Documents/ Public Documents/ Aerospace Quality System/ Handbooks & Guides.

To help provide clarification for the AC7004 Checklist changes, eQuaLearn offers a new three- hour webinar training. This online course provides a review of the changes made to AC7004, Revision F (Nadcap Audit Criteria for Aerospace Quality Systems). The presentation will cover the major changes made to the audit criteria and expectations for compliance. Please visit the eQuaLearn website for upcoming training dates and a complete list of eQuaLearn webinar trainings. Contact an eQuaLearn team member at with any questions regarding training or for assistance with registration.


Written by Susan Frailey, Nadcap AQS Staff Engineer