NADCAP Accreditation

NADCAP Accreditation

What is NADCAP ?

Nadcap (Formerly known as National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) is an industry managed approach to conformity assessment of ‘special processes’ that brings together technical experts from prime contractors, suppliers and representatives from government to work together and establish requirements for approval of suppliers using a standardized approach. Unlike traditional third party programs, Nadcap approval is granted based upon industry consensus.

NADCAP Overview

NADCAP history

Prior to Nadcap, aerospace companies audited their own Suppliers to their own process requirements to verify compliance. As the processes the Suppliers were providing to their customers were often similar or identical, the customer requirements were comparable.

Consequently, these duplicate audits were redundant and simply added to everyone’s workload, without adding value. For the aerospace Prime contractors, conducting their own audits similarly meant duplication of effort, redundant audits, unnecessary administration and, ultimately, higher cost for no added value.

Then, in November 1989, a US Government/Industry Equal Partners Conference recommended a consensus solution to the duplication of Supplier process control system audits and in July 1990, the Performance Review Institute was incorporated to administer the Nadcap program.

How does the Nadcap process work?

The Performance Review Institute (PRI) administers the Nadcap program. PRI will schedule an audit and assign an approved auditor who will conduct the audit against an industry agreed standard using an industry agreed checklist. At the end of the audit, any non-conformity issues will be raised and non-conformance reports issued. PRI will administer closeout of the nonconformance reports and upon completion will present the completed audit package to a ‘special process’ task group made up of members from industry that will review it and vote on its acceptability for approval. Accreditation is granted when all nonconformances are closed.
Only the best companies in the global aerospace supply chain achieve Nadcap accreditation. Nadcap audits are a rigorous technical assessment of compliance to customer requirements and industry standards, conducted by industry experts.

The Nadcap audit and accreditation process has been designed to benefit from industry input at critical points, while minimizing customer workload where possible. Ultimately, industry representatives make all the key decisions regarding which processes require audits and which Suppliers receive Nadcap accreditation.

History of the AS Family of Standards

In 1999, AS9100 A replaced AS9000, the previous aerospace specific quality management system. The replacement of AS9000 came about because of the review and development of the ISO 9000 family of standards, where ISO 9001:2015 replaced ISO 9001:2008.

As with ISO 9001:2015, the major additions and alterations to AS9100 are based on the move from a procedural to a process approach.

AS9100 was developed by representatives from the Aerospace industry in Europe, Asia, USA and the Americas. Registration to AS9100 is encouraged for suppliers to organizations such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Rolls Royce, GEAE, and NASA.

AS9110 and AS9120 focus upon the specific quality requirements of the maintenance and stockist distributor segments of the aerospace industry.

What will Nadcap do for me, what added value does it serve?

The Nadcap program offers the opportunity for suppliers to gain tighter controls within their special processes, provides the forum for a voice in the establishment of audit requirements, networking, and market recognition.

The Nadcap program provides accreditation for special processes in the aerospace and defense industry. These include :

• Aerospace Quality Systems (AQS)
• Chemical Processing (CP)
• Coatings (CT)
• Composites (COMP)
• Conventional Machining as a Special Process (CMSP)
• Elastomer Seals (SEAL)
• Electronics (ETG)
• Fluids Distribution (FLU)
• Heat Treating (HT)
• Materials Testing Laboratories (MTL)
• Measurement & Inspection (M&I)
• Metallic Materials Manufacturing (MMM)
• Nonconventional Machining and Surface Enhancement (NMSE)
• Non-destructive Testing (NDT)
• Non Metallic Materials Manufacturing (NMMM)
• Non Metallic Materials Testing (NMMT)
• Sealants (SLT)
• Welding (WLD)


Based on your business strategy and customer contractual requirements, you need to select and choose the applicable audit criteria and implement the requirements.

Steps involved in NADCAP Accreditation

1. Visit, register and obtain the applicable audit check lists
2. Conduct the GAP analysis and prepare an action plan for the GAP’s
3. Review the existing process, documents and update inline with NADCAP Audit Criteria
4. Conduct the Job Audit and Take necessary corrective action
5. Get the quote for NADCAP Audit
6. Schedule the NADCAP Audit
7. Pay the Audit fees
8. NADCAP Audit
9. Closure of NC’s (In case of any NC)
10. Grant of Accreditation

For Manufacturer, they shall have a valid AS 9100 Rev D Quality System or need get AQS  accreditation from PRI.

For the Testing Labs, they shall have a valid ISO/IEC 17025:2017 Accreditation or need to get AC 7006 accreditation from PRI.


We at Nucleus Consultants, provide consulting, training and pre auditing services for NADCAP accreditation. We did 15+ NADCAP consulting projects for 8+ commodities. To know more about NADCAP, AS 9100 / AS 9110 / AS 9120 / AS 13100 / AS 9145 and Aerospace and Defence Industry Specific Training and Consultancy Services please contact us on +91 9600001996 and mail to

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