IATF 16949 – Automotive – Quality Management System

What is IATF 16949

IATF 16949 has been written and adopted by the industry as the new international quality management system specification for automotive suppliers. It has been adopted to encourage improvement in both supply chain and the registration process. VDA6.1, IATF 16949 etc are all quality management system specifications, currently used within the industry and are based on an old quality management system standard that has now been superseded.  Vehicle manufacturers are either making IATF 16949 a mandatory requirement or encouraging their suppliers to upgrade to the new technical specification. Information on current vehicle manufacturer requirements is provided on our websites. IATF 16949 is here to stay. What are you going to do?

IATF 16949:2016 (1st edition) represents an innovative document, given the strong orientation to the customer, with inclusion of a number of consolidated previous customer specific requirements.

ISO/TS 16949 (1st edition) was originally created in 1999 by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) with the aim of harmonizing the different assessment and certification systems worldwide in the supply chain for the automotive sector. Other revisions were created (2nd edition in 2002, and 3rd edition in 2009) as necessary for either automotive sector enhancements or ISO 9001 revisions. ISO/TS 16949 (along with supporting technical publications developed by original equipment manufacturers [herein referred to as OEMs] and the national automotive trade associations) introduced a common set of techniques and methods for common product and process development for automotive manufacturing worldwide.

In preparation for migrating from ISO/TS 16949:2009 (3rd edition) to this Automotive QMS Standard, IATF 16949, feedback was solicited from certification bodies, auditors, suppliers, and OEMs to create IATF 16949:2016 (1st edition), which cancels and replaces ISO/TS 16949:2009 (3rd edition).

The IATF maintains strong cooperation with ISO by continuing liaison committee status ensuring continued alignment with ISO 9001

About IATF

The IATF is an “ad hoc” group of automotive manufacturers and their respective trade associations, formed to provide improved quality products to automotive customers worldwide. Specifically, the purposes for which the IATF was established are:

  • To develop a consensus regarding international fundamental quality system requirements, primarily for the participating companies’ direct suppliers of production materials, product or service parts or finishing services (e.g. heat treating, painting and plating). These requirements will also be available for other interested parties in the automotive industry.
  • To develop policies and procedures for the common IATF third party registration scheme to ensure consistency worldwide.
  • To provide appropriate training to support IATF 16949 requirements and the IATF registration scheme.
  • To establish formal liaisons with appropriate bodies to support IATF objectives.

IATF members include the following vehicle manufacturers: BMW Group, Daimler AG, FCA, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Limited, Groupe PSA, Groupe Renault, Volkswagen AG and the vehicle manufacturers respective trade associations – AIAG (U.S.), ANFIA (Italy), FIEV (France), SMMT (U.K.) and VDA (Germany).

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Implementing IATF 16949
Purchase the Standard

Before you can begin preparing for your application, you will require a copy of the standard. You should read this and make yourself familiar with it.

Review support literature and software

There are a wide range of quality publications and software tools designed to help you understand, implement and become registered to a quality management system.


Assemble a team and agree on your strategy

You should begin the entire implementation process by preparing your organizational strategy with top management. Responsibility for a QMS lies with Senior Management, therefore it is vital that Senior Management is involved from the beginning of the process

Consider Training

Whether you are the Quality Manager seeking to implement a quality management system or a Senior Manager who would like to increase your general awareness of IATF 16949, APQP, PPAP, MSA, FMEA, SPC etc there are a range of workshops, seminars and training courses available.

Review Consultancy Options

The consultancy is the 3rd party like NUCLEUS, You can receive advice from us on how best to implement your quality management system. We have the experience in implementing a QMS and can ensure you avoid costly mistakes.

Choose a registrar

The registrar is the 3rd party, like (Check IATF certification body) who come and assess the effectiveness of your quality management system, and issue a certificate if it meets the requirements of the standard. Choosing a registrar can be a complex issue as there are so many operating in the market. Factors to consider include industry experience, geographic coverage, price and service level offered. The key is to find the registrar who can best meet your requirements. A great place to start is by contacting us.


Develop a Quality manual

A Quality manual is a high level document that outlines your intention to operate in a quality manner. It outlines why you are in business, what your intentions are, how you are applying the standard and how your business operates.

Develop support documentation

This is typically a procedures manual that supports the Quality manual. Quite simply, it outlines what you do to complete a task. It describes who does what, in what order and to what standard


Implement your Quality Management System

The key to implementation is communication and training. During the implementation phase everyone operates to the procedures and collects records that demonstrate you are doing what you say you are doing.

Consider a pre-assessment (Optional)

A pre-assessment by your registrar normally takes place about 6 weeks into the implementation of the quality system. The purpose of the pre-assessment is to identify areas where you may not be operating to the standard. This allows you to correct any areas of concern you may have before the initial assessment.


Gain registration

You should arrange your initial assessment with your registrar. There will be two stage of audit. Stage -1 Adequacy audit and Stage – 2 Registration / Certification audit.  At this point the registrar will review your QMS and determine whether you should be recommended for registration.


Continual assessment

Once you have received registration and been awarded your certificate, you can begin to advertise your success and promote your business. To maintain your registration, all you need to do is continue to use your quality system. This will be periodically checked by your registrar to ensure that your Quality System continues to meet the requirements of the standard.

QMS Registration

Registration to IATF 16949 takes place when an accredited 3rd party visits an organization, assesses the management system and issues a certificate to show that the organization abides by to the principles set out in IATF 16949.

Your Quality Management Systems certificate is a sign of acceptability which saves you having to prove your quality standards to discriminating customers. IATF 16949 speaks an international language.


Why do I need registration?

Gaining registration to IATF 16949 through various certification bodies will help your organization flourish. Whether you are looking to operate internationally or to expand locally to accommodate new business, IATF 16949 will help you demonstrate to customers that you have a commitment to quality.

The regular assessment process will ensure you continually use, monitor and improve your processes.

Registration can improve overall performance, remove uncertainty and widen market opportunities.

To know more about IATF 16949 and IATF 16949 Consultancy Services please contact us on +91 9600001996 and mail to info@nucleus-india.com

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