What credentials do you need to see when sourcing new aerospace fastener suppliers?
When supplying parts for the Aerospace and Defence industry having trusted quality assurance is essential. This is especially true when supplying fasteners for spacecraft. These particular parts need to withstand extreme conditions and pressures and even an apparently insignificant fault in a single bolt or nut could prove fatal.
When millions of pounds and potentially lives are on the line there is very little room for error. Parts must be manufactured to the highest possible standards and undergo rigorous testing to ensure these industry standards are met.
We are part of JOSCAR, SC21, and the Government’s Cyber Essentials programme. In this article, we take a look at each of these accreditations and why they are important for establishing quality assurance and trust between buyers and suppliers.
JOSCAR (the Joint Supply Chain Accreditation Register) is the compliance system for the defence aerospace sector. The key aims of JOSCAR are to ensure that the information that suppliers and third parties provide to their clients is proportionate to the types of goods and services being supplied. This allows transparency of security and operational risks helping to ensure business continuity while simultaneously minimising risks associated with new suppliers.
The JOSCAR accreditation programme works with a two-stage process which profiles the potential risk of dealing between suppliers and buyers and then ensures both parties are compliant in a time-efficient and industry regulated manner.
The system was established following an initiative led by ADS Group and includes a growing number of prime contractors as registered buyers.
The SC21 programme (Supply Chain for the 21st Century) was launched 13 years ago with the key aim to improve supply chain performance across the Aerospace and Defence industries.
It is now the largest supply chain improvement programme in the UK and has been endorsed by all major UK Aerospace and Defence companies. It is managed by ADS Group and has also been endorsed as part of the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP)’s Competitiveness Charter.
The programme has defined goals and standardized tools within an improvement framework to assist members of the program to achieve sustainable and continuous improvement. The standards upheld by the SC21 programme are reflective of the exacting industry standards for suppliers and manufacturers. Participants in the programme must achieve and maintain agreed criteria around delivery, quality, and sustainable improvement. Those organisations that do so receive industry recognition and buyers can be assured of the supplier’s excellence across the aforementioned categories.
Cyber attacks come in many shapes and sizes. From complex attacks involving autonomous ransomware exploiting Remote Desktop Protocols (RDP), to simpler attacks which take advantage of unprotected data on cloud servers. The purpose of the government’s Cyber Essentials Scheme is to ensure that all suppliers who handle potentially sensitive and personal information are defended against common cyberattacks and equipped with the knowledge and tools to ensure cybersecurity best practices across their organisation.
We currently hold a UK Government Cyber Essentials Certification. This required us to submit to a strict audit of our cybersecurity systems to ensure all our technical controls were sufficient to protect from new and evolving online security threats.
Quality assurances and security accreditations
As a long-established supplier we understand the importance of ensuring the highest quality in everything we do and each sector we service, from production to operations and logistics from medical to space.
With these quality assurances and security accreditations, we are hopeful that our new and existing customers will feel safe and secure when working with us.
Additionally, we are proud of the internal progress and improvements that being a part of these programmes has helped us achieve over the years and look forward to maintaining continuous organisational growth along these lines.
Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash