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TQCSI received a Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority (SICP) grant and became the first and only Australian company accredited to audit and certify companies against Aviation, Space and Defence Standards.

Program Director, Sean Moules said that their Australian-owned Adelaide-based audit and certification business identified a gap in the Australian market to audit companies against ISO 9001, AS 9100, and AS 9120 standards.

“There are around 100 Australian companies certified against these standards who were reliant on overseas certification bodies for audits as there were no Australian certification bodies accredited,” Mr Moules said.

“Aviation, Space and Defence (ASD) industries require ISO 9001 for Quality Management Systems to ensure customers can be confident they receive the same product or service, time and time again, without variation."

“However, because those sectors involve high cost products which are often mission critical, there are additional requirements for quality and safety to ensure the products and services satisfy exacting specifications, which is why the AS9100-series standards were developed by the aerospace industry.”

TQCSI kept hearing companies were having to wait months to receive their audits and, in some cases, couldn’t get their audits by their due dates due to the lack of Australian capability.

“We talked to the CDIC who advised us this was an area Defence were looking to develop sovereign capability and recommended we apply for a grant to assist with the substantial investment we needed to make to be accredited auditors,” he said.

Through the CDIC, small businesses can apply for a SICP grant for up to half the cost of a project that builds capabilities aligned with Defence’s Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities.

Project activities can include:

  • buying, leasing, constructing, installing or commissioning of capital equipment including specialist software to enhance cyber security
  • design, engineering and commissioning activities
  • workforce training and accreditations

TQCSI applied for, and received, a SICP grant in May 2019 and began work to gain accreditation.

“We sent five auditors to the US for accreditation training courses, modified our procedures and processes, and in April 2020 received full accreditation,” Mr Moules said.