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AAR/M-1003 for Railroads

Fast Tracking to ISO 9001:2000 with AAR/M-1003 (2003)

Over the Years, The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has Updated the AAR M-1003 Specification for Quality Assurance to Reflect Similar Requirements of The ISO 9000 Standards. The M-1003 Specification for Quality Assurance began aligning with the ISO 9000 standards at the 1995 issue. The Railroad Quality Assurance Committee continued to evaluate revisions of the M-1003 (2003) to ensure further alignment with the ISO 9001:2000 standard (ISO 9001).

The 2003 Edition of Specification M-1003, Section J for Quality Assurance, covers the requirements for Association of American Railroads (AAR) approval of products, services, and materials. These include “new and reconditioned components.” The specification was developed to ensure safety, interchangeability, and cost effectiveness of manufactured materials, products, and services. Quality requirements and continued reduction of variation and waste are essential to the final customer, supply base, and certified organization.

SRI and IQC’s Combined Resources Provide ISO 9001 Registration to Railroads

Combining the resources of SRI Quality System Registrar and IQC to service ISO 9001 registrations has provided the most knowledgeable and effective ISO 9001 registration service available to railroads and suppliers to the railroad industry.

Working together in an exclusive and unique combination, the SRI-IQC teams will include dually-certified auditors, having both ISO 9001 and M-1003 expertise and meeting the demanding requirements of both SRI and IQC. The term “reciprocity” will take on new and improved meaning with the SRI-IQC auditors’ dual credentials. Customers will benefit from a real gain in capability, credibility, and efficiency. The two companies have been working together for the past seven years, providing these benefits to our auditing processes, and most importantly, to our customers.

SRI is a leading ANSI-RAB NAP accredited registrar in the foundry, steel, forging, manufacturing/fabrication and distribution industries. With over 30 certified ISO 9001 auditors, located throughout the United States and Canada, SRI brings many years of industrial experience related to the railroad industry through their collaboration with IQC.

Ernie Yockey, an SRI Lead Assessor, and VP of IQC, has years of experience in conducting both AAR M-1003 and ISO 9001 registration audits. Mr. Yockey and SRI’s Joseph Falcsik, VP of Certification, have been coordinating the SRI-IQC efforts which are already bringing cost-effective, value-added results to many railroads and railroad suppliers.

IQC, as a second party auditing firm, has provided inspection, testing and AAR M-1003 auditing services to the railroad industry for more than 17 years, utilizing their own AAR M-1003 accredited auditors. IQC, as a contract agent of the AAR, has conducted more that 3,000 M-1003 audits at more than 400 different railroad facilities.

Is ISO 9001 Registration or M-1003 Certification Required?

Currently, if you supply a commodity or service to the AAR that is on their register, the certification under M-1003 is required. Reciprocal certification and registration based on the ISO 9001 standard is an option.

Remember, if you seek reciprocity for certification based on the ISO 9001 standard, you must address all of the AAR M-1003 criteria.

Each customer and contractor may have different requirements. Be sure to contact your customers for their expectations and current information.

What Should I Do?

If you seek reciprocal certification for M-1003 through ISO 9001 registration, you should develop and document a quality system that is based on the ISO 9001 standard and the 24 elements of the M-1003 specification for Quality Assurance. The documented quality system should include policy, procedures, inspection and test plans, work instructions, and quality records. Prior to certification you must be able to demonstrate that a documented quality system is in place and the requirements are effectively implemented.

Customer Specific and the Technical Specification/Standards and Recommended Practices requirements must be applied and met. Don’t forget to conduct in-depth internal audits of the M-1003 (2003) criteria, as well as ISO 9001:2000 clauses and specific quality system requirements to prove conformance. Also, make sure you document a review of your quality assurance manual and system.

Once your system is fully functional and conforms to the M-1003 (2003) criteria and ISO 9001:2000 clauses, you can apply for reciprocal certification via the AAR Quality Assurance Committee and SRI Quality System Registrar.

During this final process step, you will need to submit to the AAR, the items required by the AAR M-1003 (2003)/ISO 9001 Reciprocity Application Checklist.

ISO 9001/M-1003 Reciprocity: SRI Has Fully Accredited IQC and Qualified SRI Auditors

SRI’s scope of accreditation includes “Transportation, Railroads and Machinery and Equipment” as well as other industrial codes. This enables SRI to register the railroad suppliers and railroads, whether their focus is locomotives, rolling stock, track, car repairs, wheels, axles, bearings, air brakes, equipment, parts, machinery, services or transportation. SRI and IQC uses auditors who are certificated to ISO 9001 and accredited or qualified for M-1003 audits. Our auditors have spent most of their quality careers working with the railroad industry, principally for M-1003 certifications and ISO 9001 registration of rail industry suppliers.

M-1003 and ISO 9001 Reciprocal Certification Registration: Information on Criteria and The Registration Process

Whatever your need or question, don’t hesitate to call SRI or IQC. An information package outlining SRI’s M-1003/ISO 9001, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, AS9100, QS-9000 and ISO/TS 16949 registration services is available on request. Our sales representatives, or a an SRI-IQC auditor located near you, are ready to assist.