IATF 16949 Certification & Auditing

Adopt an automotive quality management system

Adopt an automotive quality management system

IATF 16949 specifies the requirements of a quality management system (QMS) for automotive production

Born from the need for a globally harmonized QMS requirements document, IATF 16949 was published in October 2016. It supersedes ISO/TS 16949, which is no longer valid.

IATF 16949 requirements include the following key aspects:

  • Product safety
  • Risk management and contingency planning
  • Requirements for embedded software
  • Change and warranty management
  • Management of sub-tier suppliers

The IATF 16949 standard comprises 10 clauses:

  • Clauses 1 to 3 address the scope, normative references and terms and definitions.
  • Clauses 4 to 10 form the P-D-C-A cycle (Plant-Do-Check-Act)

Principles in the Standard

IATF 16949 breaks up the principles governing the standard into 9 categories:

  1. Continuous Improvement
  2. Defect Prevention
  3. Reducing Waste
  4. Product Safety
  5. Risk Management
  6. Contingency Planning
  7. Requirements for Embedded Software
  8. Change and Warranty Management
  9. Management of Sub-Tier Suppliers

Why IATF 16949 Certification is Important

IATF 16949 certification demonstrates that your company has met extensive requirements to create a process of continuous improvement with an emphasis on defect prevention and reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain. The technical specification is implemented for all branches of manufacturers and suppliers of products or production materials, services such as heat treatment or galvanizing, and other products specified by automotive customers such as the constituent parts of vehicles.

Certification is recognized by leading automotive manufacturers and OEMs. Most leading manufacturers will only work with companies that hold IATF 16949 certification, as they insist that suppliers adhere to the strict technical specifications laid out in the standard.

PREPARE FOR A SMOOTH CERTIFICATION PROCESS

Before a certification audit can take place, your organization will need to implement a quality management system, as well as document its effectiveness and compliance to the standard requirements through the following steps:

  • Upskilling - Become familiar with IATF 16949 objectives and requirements including laws and regulations relevant to your business.
  • Gap Analysis - Identify gaps against IATF 16949 requirements.
  • Implementation - Outline and implement measure so comply with IATF 16949 requirements.
  • Documentation - Record measures and key performance indicators (KPIs) to document effectiveness and compliance.

OBTAIN CERTIFICATION WITH TÜV SÜD

TÜV SÜD has over 100 years of experience in automotive solutions, working with top OEMs and suppliers across the entire value chain. Our highly qualified auditors are conveniently available in all key regions across the globe. We are an official IATF-contracted and registered Certification Body. By choosing TÜV SÜD, your IATF 16949 certification will be instantly recognized by automotive OEMs everywhere.

Our following services help your company to conform with the standard and to gain the confidence of major suppliers and manufacturers in the automotive industry:

  • Audits: As an official contracted IATF Certification Body, we conduct audits according to IATF 16949 certification rules. Our expert auditors are among the most experienced automotive assessors in the industry and can support you in gaining a competitive edge.
  • Certification: Once your company has achieved a positive result in an audit, we will provide an
    IATF-registered IATF 16949 certificate.
  • Entry into IATF Database: As a certified IATF 16949 client, TÜV SÜD will enter your company into the IATF Database. This process informs all automotive OEMs that your company has a valid IATF 16949 certification.

How to Get IATF 16949 Certification

Steps to IATF 16949 certification

FAQs

  • What organizations are eligible for compliance with IATF 16949?

    Manufacturing sites where production, service parts, or accessory parts are mechanically attached or electrically connected to the vehicle, prior to being supplied to their automotive customer, are the only organizations eligible for certification. This includes passenger vehicles, light commercial, heavy trucks, buses, motorcycles, and other user vehicles. 

    However, it does not include industrial, agricultural, or off-highway vehicles, or aftermarket parts manufacturers. Automotive design and service providers also do not qualify. 

    With the rise in autonomous and electric vehicles entering the market in recent years, there has been some confusion around whether or not these manufacturers are also eligible for the standard.

    In many cases, the software and hardware that is being outfitted on the vehicle in order to make it autonomous will be added after market, so those non-OEM approved manufacturers in these scenarios would not be eligible. 

    But in cases where light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology is added to the vehicle, depending on the OEM specifications, these production sites with design function will be eligible for IATF 16949. Electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturers will also be eligible.

    It’s likely that as more OEMs commit to moving the industry towards becoming fuel-free, this standard’s eligibility requirements may shift to include additional manufacturing entities.

  • What’s the difference between a due date and the certificate expiration date? Why are they different?

    It can be quite confusing to understand when the auditing process must be completed by, as many assume it must be done by the expiration date noted on the certificate. However, the audit due dates are directly linked to previous certification dates. 

    For example, if an organization’s previous certification or recertification occurred before the certificate’s expiration date, the company must complete its audit for recertification by its previous certification date — not the expiration date. Missing this date will result in a potential to enter the suspension process.

  • What’s the most difficult challenge that organizations face when looking to transfer for IATF 16949, 5th Edition?

    Primarily, TÜV SÜD has seen the above question regarding proper due dates to confuse organizations the most. This is especially scary as missing these dates can be detrimental to the entire auditing and certification process.

    Another area of confusion is around the 100% Resolved Rule. If there is a major finding during the auditing process and the Certified Body requires the manufacturer to resolve this issue completely, the transfer cannot be completed until there is an on-site activity performed to close that finding.

    Since a significant part of the transfer process is to request permission form the oversight office, the oversight office will be able to identify when the due date is and whether or not the organization is set to completely resolve the issue. There’s true no way to hide from this rule so the organization needs to allow enough time to address and fix this finding well ahead of the certification due date. 

  • How has COVID-19 affected IATF compliance?

    While there are some new rules from IATF COVID-19 Strategy Revision 5 and 6 such as remote auditing methodology due to restriction of the onsite accessibility, etc., there has not been an announced delay in the auditing process or extended due dates from January 1st, 2021.

  • What are the benefits of utilizing a corporate scheme standard versus a single site plus site extension standard versus a single site standard?

    First, it’s important to define each situation. A single site is defined as a standalone production site. A single site plus site extension has one main location for production but extended workshop occurs from a separate site. A corporate scheme is a group of several production sites that are centrally managed by one quality management system (QMS). 

    The primary benefits associated with using a corporate scheme standard as opposed to the other two options is that there are some allowances for a reduced auditing time and harmonized auditing process. The organization can run all of its production sites according to a multi-site certification plans as opposed to every production site having its own set of policies and procedures. This is reflected in the auditing process — the organization is reviewed centrally to maintain harmonization. 

  • How does working with a Certified Body help achieve IATF 16949 compliance?

    Partnering with a dedicated third-party testing and certification solutions provider can help your organization to seamlessly integrate your existing processes and adhere to the due dates and specific requirements laid out by IATF 16949, 5th Edition Rules. Don’t wait until it’s too late: it’s important to get ahead of due dates to ensure the auditing process is completed without delay.

    Since there are a limited number of Certified Bodies who are IATF accredited, it’s crucial to partner with one who is knowledgeable about every facet of the standard. TÜV SÜD possesses IATF 16949 accreditation, as well as a variety of other essential testing, auditing, and certification solutions for manufacturers located across the globe.

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