ISO/TS 16949 is replaced by the new IATF 16949 Quality Management System standard that is specific for automotive manufacturing and service organizations.   It is a technical specification for Quality Assurance to validate the ability of an organization to consistently produce and deliver automotive products and value add services to organizations in the automotive supply chain.   The IATF 16949 has to be implemented as a supplementary standard to the ISO9001:2015.   The IATF adds on the focus on defect prevention, supply chain waste reduction and process variation reduction.

The IATF 16949 (first version) is not an International Organization of Standardization (ISO) specification.

The International Automotive Task Force (IATF) is the governing body for the 16949 standard.  It is a group of automotive organizations that work together to establish and decide on common automotive standards and provide support to the automotive industry organizations.   The main members of IATF are Ford Motors, General Motors, Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen, FCA, PSA, Renault, AIAG, VDA, SMMT, ANFIA, FIEV.

Unlike ISO/TS 16949, the IATF 16949 is not a standalone certification standard.   The IATF 16949 is to be used as a supplementary standard with the ISO9001:2015 for certification.   Automotive organizations wanting to be certified to IATF 16949 will require to comply with at least three standards which are ISO9001:2015, IATF 16949 and Customer Specific Requirements (CSRs).   The AIAG Core Tools will also be part of the compliance.

Automotive suppliers who are producers in the automotive supply chain and are Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers will need to be certified to an automotive quality management system standard.   The IATF 16949 is the automotive management system standard that automotive parts supplies are to be certified to; especially for those suppliers who are supplying to the above mentioned automotive parts manufacturers and assemblers who are members of the IATF.

To get certified to this standard your organization will have to establish a documented system with information on how work are done and records on evidence of the quality of the product/services that are stated in the ISO9001:2015 following clauses along with the IATF 16949 supplementary clauses.

4.0   Context of the Organization

5.0   Leadership   

6.0   Planning     

7.0   Support     

8.0   Operation     

9.0   Performance Evaluation     

10.0  Improvement

Clauses 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 are not certifiable clauses.

Organizations that were certified to ISO/TS 16949:2009 have until 14 September 2018 to upgrade their Automotive QMS to comply with IATF 16949.  All  ISO/TS 16949 certification audits ends on 30 September 2017.  Organization that are seeking new certification will be certified to IATF 16949 from 1 October 2017 onwards.

The key benefit of having your organization certified to IATF 16949 are:

  • Qualifies organization to supply automotive products and services to the automotive assemblers and manufacturers.
  • Improve processes to focus on value add processes and the implementation of Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma type processes.
  • All the benefits mentioned for ISO9001 certification.

As an IATF certified organization you gain credibility as an organization that is serious about Quality Assurance and is focused at continually improving your value adding processes to be lean and with less process variation to a target of zero defects.

We recommend the following 5 steps you could take towards getting your organization IATF 16949 certified,

  1. Do some background reading and research into the benefits of ISO9001 and IATF 16949 for your type of business.   If your organization does not supply the automotive industry then it is best to just focus on only ISO9001.
  2. Discuss with your management and staff about getting your organization certified and informing them the benefits of ISO9001:2015 with IATF 16949 certification.
  3. Decide if you need to engage a consultant or you can do-it-yourself.   Speak to a couple of QMS consultants who are experienced in both ISO9001 and 16949 standards to obtain information on what type of support can they provide to getting your organization certified.
  4. Contact your local certification bodies, who are able to do both ISO9001 and IATF 16949 certifications, to obtain further information on the steps you will required to get your organization prepared and through the initial certification audits and the cost of both the certifications.
  5. Plan to succeed in getting your organization certified.    Appoint a working team and plan milestones to establish the required processes and documentations for the certifications.   It is vital that you plan to have your employees trained for the AIAG Core Tools.