What is the purpose of the IATF16949 Standard?

The IATF 16949 standard provides additional requirements for the automotive industry, over and above those contained in ISO 9001. These additional requirements are based on the 10 main sections of ISO 9001.

What is the IATF?

The IATF (International Automotive Task Force) is an association of automobile manufacturers (OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer) and their national trade bodies. The IATF was founded to offer customers worldwide improved quality standards. The national bodies include:

  • VDA (Germany)
  • AIAG (USA & Canada)
  • AVSQ (Italy)
  • FIEV (France)
  • SMMT (United Kingdom)

All major western automotive manufacturers are members, including:

  • BMW Group (Germany)
  • FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (USA)
  • Daimler AG (Germany)
  • FIAT SpA (Italy)
  • Ford Motor Company (USA)
  • General Motors (USA)
  • PSA Group (France)
  • Renault Nissan (France
  • Volkswagen Group AG (Germany)

Who is the publisher of the IATF 16949 Standard?

The IATF 16949 standard was developed jointly by the OEMs and their national bodies (see Q1) based on the basic elements of the ISO 9001 standard.

What goals does the IATF follow?

Development of a uniform international quality management standard, primarily for direct suppliers of production materials, original or replacement parts and external services (e.g. heat treatment, plating or coating) of the participating organisations. These requirements are also available for other interested parties in the automotive industry. Development of guidelines and processes for the uniform IATF registration process for third parties to ensure worldwide acceptance. Provision of suitable training to support the requirements of IATF 16949 and the IATF registration process. Establishing formal links with industry bodies to support the goals of IATF.

What are the main differences between IATF 16949 and ISO 9001?

Both standards relate to quality management systems (QMS). ISO 9001 is a process-oriented non-specific quality management system. IATF is in contrast an automotive-specific standard.

What are the key contents of IATF16949?

The ten chapters of the IATF 16949 standard (high-level structure) are

Ch 0-3:       Introduction, Area of Application, Normative References, Glossary of Terms
Ch 4:          Context of the Organisation
Ch 5:          Management
Ch 6:          Planning
Ch 7:          Support Processes
Ch 8:          Operations
Ch 9:          Performance Assessment
Ch 10:        Improvement

Who can be certified to IATF 16949?

Only manufacturers of production materials, physical products (individual components, sub-assemblies and systems, services (for example heat treatment, plating, etc.) as well as replacement parts can be certified to IATF 16949. For a certification to take place, series manufacture of a product for the automotive must be underway or be planned. Manufacturers of aftermarket parts are also able to be certified, however only in the case of the parts being directly manufactured on behalf of an OEM (original replacement parts).

Who cannot be certified to IATF 16949?

An IATF certification is not permitted if an organisation manufactures components for the following areas:

  • Mining, construction or forestry
  • Agricultural vehicles
  • Off-road sports vehicles
  • Vehicles not registered for public roads
  • Special vehicles (racing cars, trailers, refuse collection vehicles, ambulances, etc.)

What are original replacement parts in the context of IATF 16949?

Original replacement parts are parts which are ordered by an OEM and are produced according to a released specification. These parts are only considered as original replacement parts if they are directly assembled on the vehicle and/or have an electrical connection.

What are original accessories in the context of IATF 16949?

Original accessories are replacement parts, which are not procured or authorised for the automobile industry by an OEM.

Can spare part or accessory manufacturers be certified to IATF 16949?

Manufacturers of accessories cannot be certified to IATF 16949, even if these parts are produced according to an original production specification.

What is the difference between IATF 16949 and customer-specific requirements?

Customer-specific requirements are supplementary to the current IATF 16949 requirements. In IATF 16949 so-called “Customer-Specific Requirements” in the supply chain are explicitly denoted and must be documented in writing. In most cases a CSR matrix for all customers is created to show how these are implemented. CSRs are always superior to the requirements of IATF 16949 insofar these are agreed in writing between customer and supplier.

What are relevant customer-specific requirements in IATF 16949?

These are individual supplementary requirements from customers which are published on the homepage of the IATF Global Oversight Office: www.iatfglobaloversight.org
Customer requirements are derived from the relevant quality assurance agreements, supplier contracts, product specifications, etc.

Examples of CSRs:

  • BMW Group International Conditions of Purchase for Production Material and Vehicle Parts (IPC)
  • Mercedes-Benz Special Terms
  • FCA USA LLC Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CSR
  • FCA Italy SpA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CSR
  • Ford Motor Company SCR
  • General Motors Supplier Quality Performance
  • Group PSA Opel/Vauxhall CSR
  • Group PSA Peugeot Citroen CSR
  • Renault Group CSR
  • Volkswagen Group Formel-Q konkret
  • ...

What is the IATF Global Oversight Office?

The Global Oversight Office is the worldwide supervisory board of the International Automotive Task Force which is represented by each individual country’s national body (e.g. Germany is represented by the VDA in Berlin).

What are the responsibilities of the IATF Global Oversight Office?

The Global Oversight office:

  • Organises the stakeholder meetings
  • Is responsible for the IATF Standard and its certification regulations
  • Published the OEM CSRs and other clarifications as well as FAQs and the SIs
  • Administers the approval and monitoring of certification bodies as well as their auditors

What are Sanctioned Interpretations (SIs) in IATF 16949?

The sanctioned interpretations from IATF are clarifications to and changes of the text in the IATF 16949 standard with respect to the experiences of the certification bodies and their auditors, as well as applications for clarifications by the certified organisations themselves.

Sanctioned Interpretations are published on the IATF Global Oversight Office homepage and are a valid part of the IATF 16949 Standard www.iatfglobaloversight.org

What does “relevant for product safety” mean in the context of IATF 16949?

Product safety is defined in section 4.4.1.2 of IATF Many organisations understand product safety only to be legal and statutory requirements and assume that none of their products are included. Here the organisation must be aware that the product characteristics which affect the safety requirements at final assembly or in use are also classified as “product safety relevant”. The different types of “significant characteristics” from the customer give the organisation an idea of this relevance alongside the legal and statutory characteristics.

Does IATF 16949 require a measurement system analysis (MSA) to be carried out for every gauge or measurement device?

IATF 16949 permits gauges and other measurement devices to be grouped in to families for the purposes of a measurement system analysis where suitable.

Does IATF 16949 require that only ISO 17025-accredited external laboratories are used?

IATF 16949 generally requires all external laboratories to be accredited to ISO 17025 for their area of application. However, there are exceptions which permit the use of a non-accredited laboratory:

  • No accredited laboratory exists for the required area of application
  • There is a documented agreement with the customer permitting the use of a non-accredited laboratory.

Does IATF 16949 require that all non-conforming products be made unusable?

In chapter 8.7.1.7 we find the requirement “non-conforming products are to be made unusable before being scrapped”. This requirement should ensure that no non-conforming products are able to get onto the aftermarket and therefore not be assembled into vehicles.
This does not mean that all non-conforming products must be destroyed before being put into the scrap bin. A distinction must be made between the following situations:

  • “Are the products able to be used in the aftermarket?” This relates to those products, which have undergone a release process (PPAP or PPF) and have been sent to the customer.
  • “Was a risk analysis (FMEA) carried out?”
  • To what extent is the risk that these parts could get onto the aftermarket? This affects products which, for example, cannot be directly assembled into a vehicle or products with such a low inherent value where a sale via the manufacturer would not be economical.