What is a process audit?

A process audit is carried out to verify that the processes within a company are followed in the way they have been documented and are governed by the valid standards.

What is a process audit according to VDA 6.3?

VDA is the german abbreviation for the "Association of the Automotive Industry" (Verband der Automobilindustrie e.V.). This association publishes guidelines for the automotive industry for the implementation of standards and the realization of OEM requirements. During a process audit according to VDA 6.3, the development processes, series production processes and service provision of suppliers are evaluated.

What may trigger a process audit?

Triggers for a process audit may be two-fold, either for internal reasons or for external reasons. Internal reasons trigger internal process audits and may include, for example, regular self-assessments, process changes, failure analysis and complaints. External reasons trigger supplier audits and may include, for example, regular supplier evaluations, process changes, process relocation and complaints.

Where are VDA 6.3 audits applied?

The VDA 6.3 has established itself as a worldwide standard due to making results comparable. This audit is typically carried out in the automotive supplier industry such as for manufacturing processes of the classical Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. An example of service provision is the logistics industry. The audit supports the standardization and qualification of suppliers, aswell as the evaluation and qualification of a company's own planning, series and service provision processes.

What is the difference between an IATF 16949 audit and a VDA 6.3 process audit?

An IATF 16949 audit is an audit of the QM system, which audits a company's documented processes constituting the QM system. A VDA 6.3 process audit specifically considers the processes involved in product and process development, realization of series production and service provision for a specific product. The IATF 16949 requires process audits to be carried out, for which the methodology of the VDA 6.3 is beneficial.

What benefits are there for a company, if it audits itself or its suppliers to VDA 6.3?

From long-term experience it is evident that customers benefit from VDA 6.3 process audits. Besides being compliant with IATF 16949, suppliers are able to gain access to the automotive market. By strongly promoting the continuous improvement process, series processes are stabilized and a negative development of costs prevented.