Qualification vs Certification in an Aerospace context

DuncanGibbons

Involved In Discussions
#1
What are your opinions and experience with the use of these two terms in the aerospace industry?

From my research, some use them interchangeably while others insist clearly differentiating between the two. How I see it is that certification relates more to the documentation that processes and products are of the required standard, whereas qualification is the process of getting processes and products up to this standard.

Any input would be appreciated.
 
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pziemlewicz

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#2
Qualification comes before certification. You qualify a special process to prove that it is capable of producing acceptable results. When you certify a lot from that process, you're saying that you ran within the already-qualified parameters.
 

John Predmore

Trusted Information Resource
#3
I was thinking of a everyday-language example. I may be qualified to make your aerospace parts, but you will only buy from me if I am certified as a AS9100 supplier. There are higher requirements to maintain certification, so that provides a higher level of assurance.
 

DuncanGibbons

Involved In Discussions
#4
Thanks for the clarification.

Am I correct in stating you as an aerospace manufacturer require certified materials from suppliers. Your facility/organization and the parts/products you manufacture need to be certified. Whereas the machines and processes require qualification?

As for operators do they require qualification or certification or both?
 

John Predmore

Trusted Information Resource
#6
One aspect of qualification versus certification is who makes the determination. I might qualify the parts, I might quality the machines, but when I use the word certify, that implies some sort of certificate. As a supplier, I might certify the parts, with a Certificate of Conformity for example, but all I am really saying is we have a definite process and I promise we followed the process (to my knowledge). But if I tell you I am a certified supplier, you should ask who certified my company, to what standard and when. The assurance of the certificate comes from the honor of the authority that issued the certificate.
 
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