An Introduction to Nadcap Certification – What is Nadcap and does your organization need it?

Home 9 Nadcap 9 An Introduction to Nadcap Certification – What is Nadcap and does your organization need it?

what is nadcap certification and is it right for my organizationThe aerospace industry has stringent standards when it comes to quality, safety, and reliability. Nadcap certification has become an essential benchmark that aerospace manufacturers and their suppliers must meet. This article will provide an introduction to Nadcap – what it is, the different certifications available, and why companies pursue accreditation.

What is Nadcap?

Nadcap, short for National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program, is a global quality certification system for aerospace engineering and manufacturing. Administered by the Performance Review Institute (PRI), Nadcap establishes industry-wide standards that go above and beyond those required by regulatory bodies. It applies to special processes such as heat treating, coatings, welding, chemical processing, and materials testing. Companies that gain Nadcap accreditation demonstrate their commitment to precision, safety, and continuous improvement.

There are numerous certification types under the Nadcap program including:

Non-Destructive Testing Certification – Covers liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, radiographic, ultrasonic, and eddy current testing methods. Certification ensures proper techniques, equipment calibration, personnel qualification, etc.

Chemical Processing Certification – Applies to surface treatment processes like anodizing, cleaning, etching, plating, etc. Verifies chemicals, procedures, effluent management, and personnel meet requirements.

Coatings Certification – Covers techniques like painting, dry film coatings, etc. Certifies consistent processes and staff qualifications.

Heat Treating Certification – For processes like annealing, stress relieving and other thermal treatments. Ensures proper heating methods, temperatures, times, equipment calibration, and more.

Materials Testing Laboratories Certification – Covers labs that test materials like metals, polymers, ceramics, etc. Verifies consistent, reliable test procedures and results.

There are over 20 specialized Nadcap certifications available in total. Aerospace companies can pursue certification in any processes relevant to their operations and products.

Why Pursue Nadcap Certification?

There are many benefits for manufacturers and suppliers that gain Nadcap accreditation:

  • Meet Customer and Regulatory Requirements – Major aircraft OEMs now require Nadcap certification for their supply chains. Regulatory bodies like the FAA also recognize Nadcap to ensure safety and quality.
  • Qualify for New Business – Many contracts require Nadcap certification even to bid on work. Accreditation opens doors to new revenue opportunities.
  • Ensure Product Quality and Consistency – Certification requires rigorous process control and personnel training that lead to reliable, repeatable results.
  • Validate Processes and Capabilities – Nadcap audits verify that facilities, equipment, techniques, etc. meet demanding industry standards.
  • Access Global Network of Certified Suppliers – Thousands of aerospace companies worldwide are Nadcap accredited, simplifying sourcing.
  • Enhance Reputation and Competitive Advantage – Nadcap certification highlights a commitment to excellence that impresses customers.

The Nadcap accreditation process involves a thorough audit of the company’s procedures, staff qualifications, equipment calibration and maintenance, facilities, quality control methods, and more. While preparing for Nadcap certification takes time and resources, it pays dividends through higher quality, new business opportunities, and meeting the evolving demands of the aerospace industry. Many leading manufacturers and suppliers now consider Nadcap a baseline qualification to participate in the aerospace sector.

Is Nadcap Certification Right for Your Organization?

As aerospace manufacturing and sourcing becomes more globalized, Nadcap provides an invaluable standardized certification system. Companies that gain Nadcap accreditation position themselves as premium suppliers that exceed normal quality requirements. Though an investment, certification ultimately reduces risk, improves processes, and opens doors across the industry. With such clear benefits, Nadcap is rapidly becoming an essential certification for aerospace suppliers looking to grow and partner with major manufacturers.

To learn more about how Nadcap could be a fit for your organization, contact American Quality Management to speak with a professional and experienced Nadcap consultant.