The Association of American Railroads' Quality Assurance Program is an
approach for the examination of contractors' quality management programs
and the effectiveness of their implementation. The examination is followed
by certification. Compliance audits and/or product audits are conducted to
maintain the certification. Its objective is to provide confidence that a
contractor meets the AAR Quality Assurance Program requirements.
L&S Electric - Appleton's AAR M-1003 Certificate:
L&S Electric - Minneapolis's AAR M-1003 Certificate:
L&S Electric - Wausau North's AAR M-1003 Certificate:
The steps necessary to receive certification under the AAR Quality Assurance Program
includes the following:
- Review of contractor's application.
- Request for contractor's quality assurance manual.
- Review of contractor's manual.
- Preparation for an audit.
- Conducting an audit.
- Granting of certification, if contractor conforms to requirements.
- Quality Assurance Program Requirements and Reciprocity
The AAR Quality Assurance Program requirements are specified in Chapter 2, Chapter 7, and Appendix B. The contractor's quality assurance manual and in-plant procedures must reflect these requirements to be eligible for certification.
The railroad industry is characterized by advancing technology and correspondingly increasing concerns about safety, interchangeability, and cost. In this environment, it is essential that the products and services be designed and processed so as to conform to the requirements of the AAR and that the processing be effected as economically as practicable.
In recent years, new concepts and disciplines have emerged to facilitate the achievement of these objectives. These concepts and techniques are collectively identified as quality assurance.
Modern quality assurance is based on the premise of the following two relatively simple concepts:
The quality of processed products depends on the contractor's control over the design, process, test, and inspection. Unless a product is properly designed and processed, it will not meet the requirements of the user. Accordingly, contractors must be prepared to institute such control of quality as is necessary to ensure that their products conform to AAR standards.
Contractors should be prepared not only to deliver products on schedule, but also to substantiate by objective evidence that they have maintained control over the design, development, and processing operations, and have performed test inspections that demonstrate the acceptability of the products.
To receive AAR quality assurance certification, a contractor is required to submit a copy of the con tractor's quality assurance manual, in English. The manual is reviewed for adequacy and the facil ity is audited by authorized AAR representatives. Upon approval of the quality assurance manual and after a demonstration to the auditors at the time of the audit that controls specified in the contractor's manual are effectively in place, certification is granted. This certification will be in effect for a period of up to three years. M-1003 is a continuing requirement; failure to meet requirements may result in withdrawal of the certification.
An AAR official representative shall have free entry at all times to all parts of the contractor's works that concern the processing, test, and inspection of materials for use in interchange service. This access is for the purpose of providing assurance that industry standards are being maintained. The contractor shall afford the AAR representative all reasonable facilities to ensure that materials are being furnished in accordance with the specification.
This specification establishes requirements for a contractor's quality assurance program. It identifies the elements of a system to be established and maintained by the contractor for the purpose of ensuring that materials, products, and services conform to specified requirements. This specification applies to new, reconditioned, repaired, requalified, and secondhand materials and products. It also describes the procedures that will be used by the AAR to audit and approve the contractor's quality assurance program.
The provisions of this specification are mandatory when referenced in the Field Manual of the AAR Interchange Rules or AAR Circular Letter or in the AAR standard describing the requirements of the product or service being supplied (see Appendix A for current listing).
The purpose of this comprehensive quality assurance program certification audit is to provide AAR members with the confidence and assurance that the contractor being audited and certified under the provisions of the AAR’s M-1003 Quality Assurance Program has established and maintains the process capability to produce and supply products/services that conform to AAR industry standards, specifications, rules, practices, and federal regulatory requirements.