Certification - Automotive
Automotive Quality Management System Standard
What is IATF 16949?
IATF 16949 is a standard that establishes the requirements for a Quality Management System (QMS), specifically for the automotive sector which includes the entire supply chain. Originally the management system for the automotive sector was established in 1999 with the incorporation of the ISO/TS 16949:1999 to harmonize different assessment and certification schemes worldwide in the supply chain for the automotive sector.
The IATF 16949 standard provides guidance and tools for companies and organizations who want to ensure that their products consistently meet customer requirements and that quality and customer satisfaction are consistently improved. Requirements for certification to IATF 16949 are defined in the Rules for Achieving and Maintaining IATF Recognition published by IATF.
The IATF 16949 standard is a supplemental standard and is used in conjunction with the ISO standards:
- IATF 16949 – establishes the Automotive supplemental requirements of a quality management system
- ISO 9001 – defines the base requirements of a quality management system
- ISO 9000 – covers the basic concepts and language
- ISO 9004 – focuses on how to make a quality management system more efficient and effective
- ISO 19011 – provides guidance on internal (1st party) and external (2nd party) audits of quality management systems
- ISO 31000 – outlines risk management principles and guidelines
The standard is based on seven Quality Management Principles, including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement.
These Quality Management Principles are defined as follows:
- Customer focus
- Engagement of people
- Process approach
- Evidence-based decision making
- Relationship management
A Quality Management System based on IATF 16949:
- Is a method of defining how an organization can meet the requirements of its customers and other stakeholders
- Promotes the idea of continual improvement
- Requires organizations to define objectives and continually improve their processes in order to reach them
- Emphasizes defect prevention
- Includes specific requirements and core tools from the automotive industry:
- Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP)
- Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
- Statistical Process Control (SPC)
- Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA)
- Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)
- Promotes reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain
- Requires documented and implemented corporate responsibility polices
- Who is IATF?
- Who uses IATF 16949?
- Benefits of IATF 16949
- Current version of IATF 16949
Who is IATF?
IATF or the International Automotive Task Force 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, FCA US LLC, Daimler AG, FCA Italy Spa, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, PSA Group, Renault, Volkswagen AG and the vehicle manufacturers respective trade associations – AIAG (U.S.), ANFIA (Italy), FIEV (France), SMMT (U.K.) and VDA QMC (Germany).
Who uses IATF 16949?
IATF 16949 defines the criteria for an automotive-based QMS with the goal to become 3rd party registered. It can be used by any supplier, large or small, and should be applied throughout the automotive supply chain. All requirements of IATF 16949 are applicable unless suppliers do not provide product design related functions. Requirements are generic and are intended to be applicable to any supplier providing design and development, production and, when relevant, assembly, installation and services of automotive related products, including products with embedded software. The IATF 16949 standard is applicable to sites of the organization where manufacturing of customer-specified production parts, service parts, and/or accessory parts occur.
- Improve your image and credibility – When customers see that you are certified by a recognized certification body, they will understand that you have implemented a system that is focused on meeting customer requirements and improvement. This improves their trust that you will deliver what you have promised.
- Qualify to supply the automotive industry – This is one of the main drives for companies to get certified against IATF 16949. In order to get big customers from the automotive industry, you have to demonstrate that you are able to provide high-quality products with no defects, and an IATF 16949 certificate will prove it.
- Improve customer satisfaction – One of the key principles of the IATF 16949 QMS is the focus on improving customer satisfaction by identifying and meeting customer requirements and needs. By improving satisfaction, you improve repeat customer business.
- Fully integrated processes – By using the process approach of IATF 16949, you not only look at the individual processes in your organization, but also at the interactions of those processes. By doing this, you can more easily find areas for improvement and resource savings within your organization.
- Use evidence-based decision making – Ensuring that you are making decisions based on good evidence is a key to the success of an IATF 16949 QMS. By ensuring that your decisions are based on good evidence, you can better target resources to the best effect to correct problems and improve your organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
- Create a culture of continual improvement – With continual improvement as the main output of the QMS, you can attain ever-increasing gains in savings of time, money, and other resources. By making this the culture of your company, you can focus your workforce on improving the processes they are directly responsible for.
- Engage your people – Who better than the people working within a process to help find the best solutions for improving that process? By focusing your workforce on not only managing, but also improving the processes, they will be more engaged in the outcome of the organization.
The current automotive management system standards is the IATF 16949:2016 published on 3rd October 2016. The incorporates the new clause structure and content of ISO 9001:2015 with additional requirements specific to IATF incorporated to the standard.
The IATF 16949 structure is split into 11 sections. The first three are introductory, with the last seven containing the requirements for the Quality Management System. Here is what the seven main sections are about:
Section 4: Context of the organization – This section requires the organization to determine its context in terms of the Quality Management System, including interested parties and their needs and expectations. It also defines the requirements for determining the scope of the QMS, as well as general QMS requirements.
Section 5: Leadership – This clause of the standard requires top management to demonstrate leadership and commitment to the QMS, along with defining corporate responsibility and the quality policy. The top management must also assign process owners along with other roles and responsibilities.
Section 6: Planning – The section on planning defines requirements for addressing risks and opportunities and the requirements for risk analysis. This clause also includes requirements for preventive actions, contingency plans, and quality objectives and plans to achieve them.
Section 7: Support – In this clause you can find requirements for the resources and supporting processes needed for an effective QMS. It defines requirements for people, infrastructure, work environment, monitoring and measuring resources, organizational knowledge, competence, awareness, communication, and documented information.
Section 8: Operation – The product requirements deal with all aspects of the planning and creation of the product or service. This section includes requirements on planning, product requirements review, design, purchasing, creating the product or service, and controlling the equipment used to monitor and measure the product or service. IATF 16949 allows for requirements in clause 8.3, regarding design and development of products, to be excluded if they are not applicable to the company.
Section 9: Performance evaluation – This section includes the requirements needed to make sure that you can monitor whether your QMS is functioning well. It includes assessing customer satisfaction, internal audits, monitoring products and processes, and management review.
Section 10: Improvement – The last section of the standard defines the requirements for continual improvement of the QMS, including requirements for nonconformities and corrective actions, problem solving, and error-proofing processes.
These sections are based on a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, which uses these elements to implement change within the processes of the organization in order to drive and maintain improvements within the processes.