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ASME NQA-1 (Nuclear Quality Assurance-1) is a regulatory standard created and maintained by ASME[1] (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). The current version was released in 2015 (NQA-1-2015), however the most commonly used version is NQA-1-2008 with the NQA-1a-2009 addendum. This is the case because these are the versions endorsed by the NRC.[2]

ASME now offers an NQA-1 Certification Program. The ASME NQA-1 Certification program provides a means for an organization supplying items or services which provide a safety function for nuclear facilities to have its Quality Assurance Program recognized by ASME as having had its Quality Assurance Program audited and verified to be in conformance with the requirements of the ASME NQA-1 Standard. It provides a foot in the door to the industry; however, it does not relieve the buying organization from going through its vendor qualification process. The NQA-1 Certification Program is developed, maintained and administered by ASME and industry subject matter experts serving as volunteers on ASME’s committees. The NQA-1 Quality Program Certificate is available to organizations implementing the ASME NQA-1 Standard, Part I and Part II, or portions there of, however, An NQA-1 Quality Program Certificate is not available to an organization for activities pertaining to weaponry and for Owners of facilities handling and/or utilizing nuclear material. Starting with the 2008 edition, organization’s have the option to either update their QA Program to meet the latest published edition/addenda of the ASME NQA-1 Standard, or, freeze its program to a specific edition/addenda. The goal of NQA-1 Certification is to promote consistent application and understanding of the requirements of the NQA-1 Standard throughout the supply chain. By having ASME oversee the program, they ensures a fair and unbiased evaluation of a Supplier’s QA Program. Certification is based upon 1 Triennial Program Audit and 2 Interim Audits within a 3-year certification period An NQA-1 Quality Program Certificate does not apply to or replace the certification requirements to supply, manufacture, construction and fabrication of items falling under the scope of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section III, Rules for Construction of Nuclear Facility Components. An NQA-1 Quality Program Certificate does not pre-[3] qualify or exempt an organization from a qualification audit being performed by the Purchaser of the items or services provided by the organization

Part 1 of the NQA standard provides requirements that prescribe the extent of controls needed in specific areas of a nuclear quality program (an ASME NQA program). The 18 requirements are as follows:[4]

  • 1 Organization
  • 2 Quality Assurance Program
  • 3 Design Control
  • 4 Procurement Document Control
  • 5 Instructions, Procedures and Drawings
  • 6 Document Control
  • 7 Control of Purchased Material, Equipment and Services
  • 8 Identification and Control of Materials Parts and Services
  • 9 Control of Special Processes
  • 10 Inspection
  • 11 Test Control
  • 12 Control of Measuring and Test Equipment
  • 13 Handling, Storage and Shipping
  • 14 Inspection, Test and Operating Status
  • 15 Nonconforming Items
  • 16 Corrective Action
  • 17 Quality Assurance Records
  • 18 Audits

Additionally, Parts 2 to 4 of the Standard provide mandatory and non-mandatory subparts that contain further guidance and more in-depth discussion on certain aspects (e.g. commercial grade dedication).

The historical versions of ASME NQA-1 Quality Assurance Requirements for Nuclear Facility Applications are:

  • NQA-1-2015
  • NQA-1-2012
  • NQA-1b-2011 (no more addendum will be issued)
  • NQA-1a-2009
  • NQA-1-2008
  • NQA-1b-2007
  • NQA-1a-2005
  • NQA-1-2004
  • NQA-1-2000
  • NQA-1a-1995
  • NQA-1-1994
  • NQA-2a-1990
  • NQA-1-1989
  • NQA-1-1986

Other applicable standards and regulations pertaining to Quality Assurance in nuclear facilities are:


  1. ^ "ASME". 
  2. ^ U.S. NRC Regulatory Guide 1.28 Rev. 4, June 2010
  3. ^ go.asme.org/nqa
  4. ^ ASME NQA-1-2008