Industry Forum

Launch of new AS standards

AS StandardsA series of new AS standards have been launched over recent months focused around New Product Introduction and the associated core tools.

There is increasing mandate expected in 2018 for suppliers to align to these standards, alongside existing customer specific requirements.

Aerospace companies now have several options

  • Do nothing, wait and see what happens
  • Do enough to try and tick the boxes in future audits by ‘bolting on’ to existing quality management systems
  • Take the initiative, understand what the standards are seeking to achieve and use them to drive competitive advantage

As a leading aerospace management systems training organisation, Industry Forum has developed a range of courses to up-skill your team in the overall APQP approach and the elements of PPAP.

These courses will enable delegates to apply the tools and maximise the benefit to your business. Open course places are available in our Birmingham Learning Centre and will become available in other global locations. Closed courses and implementation support can also be provided at your organisation in a format that best suits your specific needs.

AS9145 APQP and PPAP Practitioner (5 day course)

Our first course in 2018 is the 5 day AS9145 APQP and PPAP Practitioner (12th – 16th March). This course will provide delegates with an in-depth understanding of the standard which aims to embed APQP and PPAP best practice within aerospace and defence organisations New Product Introduction processes.

Aerospace Management Systems Training

As a leading Aerospace management systems training organisation, Industry Forum has developed a full range of courses to up-skill your team in the overall APQP approach and the elements of PPAP aligned to the new AS standards.

Course name Days Pricing More information
AS9145 – APQP and PPAP Essentials for Aerospace 2 days £625 (ex. VAT) Find out more
AS9145 – APQP and PPAP Practitioner for Aerospace 5 days £980 (ex. VAT) Find out more
AS13004 – Design and Process FMEA Essentials for Aerospace 1 day £350 (ex. VAT) Find out more
AS13004 – PFMEA and Control Plan Essentials for Aerospace 1 day £350 (ex. VAT) Find out more
AS13003 – MSA Essentials for Aerospace 1 day £350 (ex. VAT) Find out more
AS9103 – SPC Essentials for Aerospace 1 day £350 (ex. VAT) Find out more
AS13000 – 8D Problem Solving 2 days £415 (ex. VAT) Find out more


Contact us for more information

If you would like to talk to us about one of the above courses please contact us at +44 (0)121 717 6600 or email [email protected] and we will arrange for one of our expert team to discuss your needs in more detail. 

Industry Forum were proud to participate in the SMMT’s inaugural Regional Forum, which took place at the Bolton Whites Hotel, The Macron Stadium (Bolton Wanderers Football Club) on Thursday 23rd November 2017.

The Forum was organised as part of SMMT’s commitment to support all of its member’s right across the UK and was opened by SMMT’s Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, who spoke of both the opportunities and challenges facing the UK’s Automotive industry.

The featured topic on the agenda for the morning session focussed on the opportunities for the automotive supply chain within the north of the UK.  This saw Phillip Cox, Chief Executive of Chester and Warrington LEP, talk about opportunities that exist within the second largest cluster group in the UK, the skills challenges facing colleges and universities as well as improvement programmes such as NPLX and NMCL aimed at increasing the operational competitiveness of UK manufacturing.

David Hall, Purchasing Manager at Bentley Motors then spoke of the activities taking place at Bentley’s plant in Crewe that will continue to provide further growth opportunities to the automotive supply chain in and around the region.

Ian Henry gave a fascinating outlook on the UK’s vehicle production numbers before the secondary theme of the day, that of Brexit, became the featured subject matter.

Nathan McArdle, Manager of Advanced Development Programs at BorgWarner and Helen Foord, Head of Government Relations & Public Policy at Vauxhall shared their insights into some of the work that they have been doing in order to prepare for Brexit.

As well as exhibiting, Industry Forum then spoke about the transition from ISO/TS 16949 to IATF 16949:2016 alongside the SMMT IATF Oversight Office in afternoon.

Industry Forum’s Automotive General Manager, Mike Dickinson, showcased the support that Industry Forum has to offer manufacturers in relation to the transition to the IATF16949:2016 standard.


SMMT Oversight’s Niall Kealey was able to provide an update on the transition to the new IATF 16949:2016 Quality Standard, which needs to be completed by 4th September 2018 with all new audits now being made to the new standard.

Niall was also able to provide some insight into the findings from the initial and transition audits that have been conducted to date by providing further information around the most common non-conformities identified during audits.


The Regional Forum was the first of its kind to take place in the north of the UK and the first to take place under the stewardship of SMMT’s new regional engagement Manager for the north, John McLennan-Grant.

The event was well supported by SMMT members at what proved to be an excellent venue. The day included some fantastic speakers providing valuable insights into subjects at the very heart of the UK’s automotive industry.

If you’re interested in finding out more about any of the topics contained in the above article or in SMMT membership please get in touch with either Industry Forum or SMMT.




The UK’s automotive industry is ready to deliver a new supply chain competitiveness and productivity solution following Government’s Industrial Strategy white paper.

Automotive industry has co-developed a new programme that will boost the competitiveness and productivity of the UKs advanced manufacturing supply chain.

In response to the launch of the Industrial Strategy white paper by the business secretary, Greg Clark, yesterday, SMMT Industry Forum – the organisation set up by the UK government, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and vehicle manufacturers to improve the competitiveness of the UK’s automotive supply chain – welcomes the announcement of a new Supply Chain Competitiveness programme as part of the Automotive Sector Deal.

Over the last 18 months, the aerospace and automotive industries have been working closely together to develop a cross-sector approach to boosting the competitiveness and productivity of the advanced manufacturing sector supply chains in the UK. The result is a new programme, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Levels (NMCL), created by the Government-sponsored Automotive Council and Aerospace Growth Partnership bodies as well as the SMMT and Aerospace, Defence, Securities and Space (ADS) trade associations. It is backed by 25 of the UK’s largest manufacturers and early stage discussions and pilots are already underway with the rail and nuclear sectors.

NMCL builds on the experience gained in previous national programmes. Notably, it takes a more holistic view of manufacturer performance improvement, with a focus on competitiveness in addition to productivity: achieving customer impact and winning new business.

“We welcome yesterday’s Industrial Strategy white paper which commits to launching a new cross-sector supply chain competitiveness programme to encourage industry leaders and the best performing sectors to improve further by adopting best practice as exemplified by the automotive sector. Our Automotive Sector Deal also commits to rolling out an industry-led supplier improvement programme to boost the competitiveness of supply chain companies needed to manufacture current and future generations of vehicles at volume, and increase UK content from 44% to 50% by 2022.  We stand ready to work with Government to deliver much needed competitiveness and productivity improvements. NMCL captures the best of manufacturing know-how and provides the practical means for driving industry best practice across hundreds of advanced manufacturing supply chain companies to genuinely move the needle on the UK’s productivity dial,” says SMMT Industry Forum CEO, Dr. Chris Owen.

SMMT Industry Forum has more than 20 years’ experience helping advanced manufacturing companies become more competitive. Over the last four years, the Automotive Council has run its Long-Term Automotive Supply Chain Competitiveness (LTASC) programme through SMMT Industry Forum where it has worked with over 70 automotive supply chain companies, large and small, to upskill hundreds of employees, boost productivity, deliver new products to market, leverage more than £75m of private investment in CAPEX, skills and R&D, and is set to create and safeguard more than 3,800 jobs. SMMT Industry Forum has also been the largest provider of knowledge and expertise to deliver the aerospace industry’s Sharing in Growth (SiG) programme.

How does NMCL work?

The NMCL programme provides manufacturers with an in-depth assessment of their competitiveness, based on their company capabilities and the views of their key customers. This data is used to aid investment decisions, according to the needs of each manufacturer, across six competitiveness areas of quality, cost, delivery, flexibility, products and/or technology and customer experience.

Programmes are tailor-made for each manufacturer and are focussed exclusively on boosting the competitiveness of the company, increasing their ‘value add’ and winning more orders.

Company projects will typically last from six months for smaller improvement projects, and up to three years for entire business transformations and will use practical resources and share best practices which have been developed by aerospace and automotive industries working together in partnership.

For more information, or expressions of interest on the NMCL programme, visit




The Northern Automotive Alliance (NAA) Awards, which showcase the successes of vehicle manufacturers, supply chain companies and service providers in the region, took place in Cheshire on 9th November 2017. Ian Constance, CEO, Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC UK), gave a keynote speech to the audience of over 270 members of the northern and national automotive communities.

As a leading provider of skills training who actively support organisations to identify and embed the skills and strategy they need to succeed, SMMT Industry Forum were proud to sponsor the NAA People & Skills award. This Award acknowledges and celebrates investment in skills by a small to medium sized enterprise in the engineering and advanced manufacturing sector. The award recognises a business that invests in the training and development of its workforce and demonstrates that they are a leading light in this area through clear evidence of how investment in skills can bring benefits to people and businesses alike.

Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) was the winner of the NAA 2017 People & Skills Award. BAC is the British manufacturer of Mono, the lightweight, ultra-high performance, road-legal supercar designed and manufactured using the latest racing technology. The company demonstrated impressive levels of growth based on recruiting, developing and maintaining its highly skilled and engaged workforce, with every individual having a development plan linked to the business requirements.


» Industry Forum’s Mike Dickinson (left) presents Briggs Automotive Company with the NAA’s People & Skills Award


» NAA CEO Carol Holden (centre) with incoming NAA Chairman Wes Jacklin (left)




UK car manufacturers and Automotive Council endorse new national programme to upskill and improve competitiveness of UK automotive suppliers Birmingham, UK – A new national skills programme is being launched to the UK automotive supply chain later this month, aimed at improving its ability to support increasing numbers of new product launches in the car industry.

New Product Launch Excellence (NPLX) – ensuring the perfect conditions for launches that meet cost, quality and delivery targets – is one of the industry’s answers to making UK manufacturers more competitive on a global stage.
The programme has been designed in conjunction with UK manufacturers including Jaguar Land Rover, Caterpillar, Bentley, JCB and Toyota, who will encourage their suppliers to take part. It will be delivered by Birmingham-based Industry Forum, the consultancy and training provider for manufacturers that was set up by the government and Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). NPLX is endorsed by the Automotive Council.

“The only guaranteed way for manufacturers to cope with Brexit, whatever it means, is to become more globally competitive. OEMs and suppliers who get launches right will get their products to volume production and the market quicker, they will be able to reduce risk, grow their businesses and be more profitable. We want the UK supply chain to be seen by both domestic and international OEMs as the most competitive choice. Traditionally, the manufacturing function has seen new product introduction as a burden because it affects the smooth running of a factory, but we intend to demonstrate how it can be a positive lever for competitive growth for OEMs and the hundreds of supply chain companies that support them,” explains Industry Forum CEO, Dr. Chris Owen.

NPLX has a modular curriculum encompassing 24 learning topics, designed around specific operational roles and four distinct business environments: new suppliers, build to print, complex build to print and design & manufacture businesses. It adopts a blended learning approach incorporating classroom training and on-site coaching and mentoring. NPLX supports the IATF 16949:2016 quality management standard, which mandates effective new product introduction processes and competently-trained practitioners. The programme starts later this month, with the first few sessions already sold out. It will be delivered regionally at convenient local venues later in the year.

Through NPLX, Industry Forum will coach companies on the importance of the following in relation to a new product launch:

  • Nominating an NPLX project manager, and four key functional players in design (where the supplier designs its own component(s)), quality, manufacturing and logistics & supply chain
  • Designing a rigorous gated project management process and plan
  • Building senior leadership awareness to ensure the plan is prioritised within the organisation

The programme has been designed as a cost-effective solution, which has been made possible by leveraging national volume across OEMs and tier one suppliers. The SMMT is offering an initial subsidy to its members to reduce the cost to suppliers. To register interest in the NPLX programme, suppliers should visit our dedicated NPLX page: NPLX.

New Product Launch Excellence (NPLX) is a national programme aimed at improving the New Product Introduction (NPI) capabilities of the UK supply chain through the provision of essential skills training, coaching support and project management expertise.

The programme is sponsored by the Automotive Council, endorsed by OEMs and delivered by SMMT Industry Forum.

To find out more about the programme register for our free webinar or vist the NPLX homepage

Thursday 20th July 2017
10:00am – 10:30am


Time: 10:00am – 11:00am

Date: Tuesday 11th April 2017

AS9145 Webinar



This free webinar aims to provide all attendees with an overview of the AS9145 standard, which provides the framework for the introduction of new products across the Aerospace and Defence sectors. 

The standard aims to embed APQP and PPAP best practice within an organisation’s New Product Introduction process. 

The webinar will explore the fundamentals, advantages and expected benefits of the APQP and PPAP processes from planning, product design and development through to process design, validation and on-going production.


Who should attend?

Senior Managers, Management Representatives, Implementation Teams, Internal Auditors and others who are involved in the auditing or implementation of Advanced Quality Planning (AQP) activities including Control Plans.


Download flyer

AS9145 Webinar flyer (pdf)

AS9145 Webinar




What’s changing?

The automotive industry quality standard ISO/TS 16949 is being updated by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF). IATF 16949:2016 will be released 1st October 2016.

All organisations currently certified to ISO/TS 16949:2009 must transition to the new standard by 14th September 2018.  After 1st October 2017, no audits (initial, surveillance, recertification or transfer) shall be conducted to ISO/TS 16949:2009.

As the approved training provider to the UK IATF Oversight Office, SMMT Industry Forum is perfectly placed to help organisations understand and implement the requirements of the revised Standard.

We are offering an updated and expanded range of training courses together with consultancy and support services to help organisations manage the changes required by the new standard.

Important Dates

1st October 2016 – Release of standard

1st November 2016 – Release of rules

2nd January 2017 – Date from which the new standard will be in effect

30th September 2017 – Final date for ISO/TS16949 Audits

1st October 2017 – All Audits to be carried out to IATF16949:2016 standard

14th September 2018 – Date by which all organisations must transition to the new standard

How can I find out more about the changes?

Read the joint ISO and IATF press release regarding the changes:

Read the transition strategy and requirements document published by the IATF:

If you have any questions regarding the implementation of and transition to the revised standard, you can ask for further guidance using SMMT IATF Oversight’s dedicated mailbox:

How can Industry Forum help you make the transition?

For over 20 years, SMMT Industry Forum has provided consultancy and training to support companies to achieve and maintain Quality Management Standards, including ISO/TS16949:2009.

As the SMMT IATF Oversight’s approved training provider, we are perfectly placed to help you with advice, people development and implementation support.

Our expert practitioners all have hands-on industrial experience with a wealth of technical expertise providing on-site training and coaching.


IATF 16949:2016 Training Courses

IATF 16949:2016 – Management Awareness Training

IATF16949:2016 – Internal Auditor Training

IATF16949:2016 – Lead Auditor Training


IATF 16949:2016 Publications

IATF 16949:2016 – Technical Specification

Quality management system requirements for automotive production and relevant service parts organisations.
The goal of this Automotive QMS standard is the development of a quality management system that provides for continual improvement, emphasising defect prevention and the reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain.
This Automotive QMS Standard cannot be considered a stand-alone QMS Standard, but has to be comprehended as a supplement to and used in conjunction with ISO 9001:2015.
Format – English / A5 / Laminated / Spiral bound
Price – £30 + P&P

Purchase via our webshop.

Contact us via: [email protected]

or call: +44 (0)121 717 6600


Implementing Standardised Work – a Guide

This SMMT publication has been developed specifically to support organisations’ understanding of the implementation of Standardised Work, as required within the automotive industry’s international quality management standard IATF 16949:2016.

The document provides clear descriptions of various principles of Lean manufacturing and examples of relevant tools in practical application.
The guide has been developed with SMMT Industry Forum and is based on twenty years’ experience of the development, implementation, monitoring and improvement of Standardised Work throughout the automotive supply chain.

Anyone purchasing this guide will also be given the opportunity to download for free, copies of various templates that are pictured and referred to in detail throughout the guide. These tools for observing, recording and calculating aspects of operational performance, standard procedures etc. offer more practical implementation support as well as underpinning the methods explained.
Format – English / A5 / Laminated / Spiral bound
Price – £15.00 + P&P

Purchase via our webshop.

Contact us via: [email protected]

or call: +44 (0)121 717 6600

If you have any further enquiries regarding our training offerings or publications, please get in touch with us at [email protected] or call us on +44 (0)121 717 6600.

chequeIndustry Forum is delighted to have presented a cheque for £3,530, along with a selection of goods and gifts, to its chosen charity, Acorns Children’s Hospice. The funds and gifts were raised through activities of Industry Forum staff donating to events such as ‘Dress Down Friday’ and also donating their staff incentive scheme rewards.

Established in 1988, Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust is a registered charity offering a network of care for life limited and life threatened children and young people, and their families, across the heart of England. These children and young people are not expected to reach adulthood and require specialist care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the last year Acorns has supported over 700 children and more than 1,050 families, including those who are bereaved.

Acorns is the only organisation that provides this level of care to these vulnerable youngsters whilst offering a range of support services to the whole family to help them cope at every stage of their child’s life and beyond into bereavement.

Acorns relies on the community to fund the majority of its activities.

To learn more about Acorns, or how you can help support the charity, please visit the Acorn’s website.

Industry Forum has launched its 2 day AS13000 8D Problem Solving training course.

8D Problem Solving is a structured approach following the 8 disciplines of:

D0 – Implement Immediate Containment and Prepare for 8D
D1 – Form the Team
D2 – Define the Problem
D3 – Develop Containment Actions
D4 – Identify and Verify Root Causes
D5 – Identify Corrective Action
D6 – Implement Corrective Actions
D7 – Define and Plan Preventive Action
D8 – Recognize the Team

The course is primarily aimed at those who will lead supplier 8D problem solving activities. It will help delegates develop the relevant skills and knowledge required for using this highly effective problem solving tool within their organisation.

Following training delegates will be able to lead 8D problem solving activities, root causes of problems will be identified more easily and corrective and preventative actions implemented more quickly.

Visit the webpage to learn more about the 8D Problem Solving course.

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