The AISC Certification Audit: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Obtaining AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction) certification is a significant milestone for steel fabricators, demonstrating their commitment to quality, safety, and industry best practices. However, the certification process can be challenging, particularly when it comes to the audit phase. In this post, we’ll discuss what fabricators can expect during an AISC certification audit and how to prepare effectively, with insights from Freer Consulting.

The AISC certification audit is a thorough evaluation of a fabricator’s Quality Management System (QMS) and its implementation. There are three types of audits: initial, surveillance, and renewal. Initial audits are conducted when a fabricator first applies for certification, while surveillance audits occur annually to ensure ongoing compliance. Renewal audits take place every three years to maintain certification.

During the audit, AISC-appointed auditors will closely examine various aspects of the fabricator’s operations, including:

  1. Quality control procedures
  2. Welding procedures and qualifications
  3. Material traceability and identification
  4. Equipment maintenance and calibration
  5. Personnel training and competency
  6. Contract review and project management
  7. Inspection and testing processes

To prepare for the audit, fabricators should start by conducting an internal review of their QMS and ensuring that all necessary documentation is up-to-date and readily available. This includes quality manuals, procedures, work instructions, and records. Freer Consulting can assist fabricators in developing and implementing a robust QMS that aligns with AISC requirements, streamlining the audit preparation process.

Another crucial aspect of audit preparation is employee training. All personnel involved in the fabrication process should be well-versed in the company’s QMS and their specific roles and responsibilities. Freer Consulting offers training programs tailored to AISC certification requirements, helping fabricators ensure their staff is adequately prepared for the audit.

Mock audits are also an effective tool for identifying potential gaps or nonconformances in the fabricator’s QMS before the actual AISC audit. Freer Consulting can conduct mock audits, providing valuable insights and recommendations for improvement, increasing the likelihood of a successful certification audit.

During the audit itself, fabricators should be transparent and cooperative with the auditors. Provide them with access to all necessary documents, records, and personnel, and be prepared to answer questions and demonstrate compliance with AISC standards. If nonconformances are identified, work with the auditors to develop corrective action plans and implement them promptly.

In conclusion, the AISC certification audit process can be challenging, but with proper preparation and support from experienced consultants like Freer Consulting, fabricators can navigate the process successfully. By developing a robust QMS, providing comprehensive employee training, and conducting mock audits, fabricators can approach the AISC audit with confidence and achieve their certification goals.

If you’re preparing for an AISC certification audit or looking to improve your fabrication processes, contact Freer Consulting today. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping steel fabricators achieve and maintain AISC certification, ensuring the highest standards of quality and safety in the industry.