AS9100 Audit Preparation Costs and Hours


DCMA Disla

Hello All,
I'm working on a study of AS9100C audit hours and cost. I'm trying to figure out how much time and money is spend prepping for a third party audit and/or a government agency audit.

what I'm looking for is a cost and hour break down for a full audit (sections 4 thru 8) by clause and by function preferred.

How much engineer hours and dollars spent?
How much operations/production hours and dollars spent?
How much quality hours and dollars spent?

my objective is to quantify the duplication of effort going on in industry between the third parties and the DoD but I need a baseline of time and money spent prepping for a full audit. The end state is to remove the duplication and save both industry and the government lots of money.

Who's up to the challenge?

Coury Ferguson

Moderator here to help
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Good idea and questions. Maybe someone from a Registrar or Cost Estimation might be able to help with those numbers.

There is a standard published that provides amount of days, per size of an Organization. I haven't been in the 3rd Party (Registrar) Registration process for awhile, so I don't remember the exact standard that breaks down Audit Days, per Organization size. I can't help you on this, but there are some active 3rd Party Registrars and Auditors that use this site. They should be able to provide you with some direction/suggestions.


Trusted Information Resource
AS9104/1 is the document that specifies audit days. There is a table in the standard used to determine the minimum number of days for the audit based on number of employees.

In a perfect world, there would be minimal time used just preparing for an ICOP audit by the audited organization. If the QMS is effectively implemented it should always be ready for an audit. However, some time for audit scheduling, communication with the audit team, and other related activities would be added to the actual onsite audit time from AS9104/1.

Coury Ferguson

Moderator here to help
Trusted Information Resource
The AS9104/1 should give you a start on days spent/estimated based upon the size (headcount) of the Organization. The internal hours and costs would be based upon Government GS or GM level of the personnel performing the audit if you would be using DCMA/DoD Government Auditors.

The estimation using the recommended days (AS9104/1) maybe reduced upon the amount of the Auditors used to perform the audit.

Just some added information.


Fully vaccinated are you?
The original question, as posed, applies to internal costs. Not external costs.
Agreed - And I can say this... Companies would contact me with an RFQ for an implementation. I always gave a range, which many of them were not happy about. Many wanted a "firm fixed price", which is impossible if one is being honest. A company says it will do <whatever> and doesn't. So - My quote would be like US$X (bottom) to US$X + US$10K. I will say I always came in on the lower end because I usually only accepted what I considered "good personality" companies.

I would never even guess at their internal costs. Then again, I worked with companies with over 20,000 employees in multiple locations as well as companies with less than 15 employees.

I read the original post, and I understand it is for a study the OP is doing, but there simply isn't enough information to answer:
How much engineer hours and dollars spent?
How much operations/production hours and dollars spent?
How much quality hours and dollars spent?
I doubt you will find a company that would tell anyone that information (it would have to be an estimate to begin with). More so, I doubt many companies have the capability after an implementation to know what it "really" cost them. Too many variables and "what if..." scenarios. It's next to impossible to break out those costs with any accuracy.


Involved in HankyPanky
You can come up with a reasonable estimation of man hours using the table.
Assuming a perfect QMS, preptime is zero.
The auditor needs a full time escort. From the table.
The auditor will spend at least 50% of the time interviewing employees for each function. (+ 1/2 table).
To break it up by function: What percentage of the audit questions are related to each function?
Not perfect, but pretty good.
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