The ISO/TS 16949 is the global technical specification and quality management standard for the automotive industry. It’s officially known as ISO/TS 16949 Quality management systems — Particular requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2008 for automotive production and relevant service part organizations. It applies to the design, development, production, and, when relevant, installation and servicing of automotive-related products
ISO/TS 16949 was first released in March 2002 as a combined effort of the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) and the “Technical Committee” of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This Technical Specification was developed with the intention to avoid multiple certification audits and provide a common approach to the system of quality management for serial production and spare parts in the automotive industry. It is based on ISO 9001 and it includes requirements of the standards from across Europe and the US in the automotive sector such as QS-9000, VDA6.1, EAQF 94 and AVSQ.
The aim of the standard is to improve a system and process to ensure quality, to increase customer satisfaction, to identify problems and risks in the production process and supply chain, to eliminate their causes, and to examine and take corrective and preventive measures for their effectiveness. The focus is not on the discovery, but on the avoidance of errors. It’s based on these eight quality management principles:
- Customer focus
- Involvement of people
- Process approach
- System approach to management
- Continual improvement
- Fact based decision-making
- Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
ISO/TS 16949 is the only standard recognized worldwide related to quality management that applies to any organization in the automotive & motorcycle supply chain. The standard can be applied to specific sites where customer-specified parts are manufactured for production and/or service or it can be applied throughout the supply chain in the automotive sector.
ISO/TS 16949 outlines everything an organization needs to know about achieving best practice when designing, developing, manufacturing, installing, or servicing automotive products. This standard provides a framework to manage business processes in order to meet and exceed customers’ requirements. Organizations that achieve ISO/TS 16949 compliance can also benefit from:
- Optimizing time and money by reducing the number of audits
- Reducing risk by ensuring compliance with the requirements of international automotive standard
- Earning recognition and brand reputation in the global automotive industry. (Most of the big car and motorcycle manufacturers contract only suppliers that are certified for ISO/TS 16949.)
The latest revision of the standard is the ISO/TS 16949:2009 and as mentioned above, ISO/TS 16949 specifies the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 and includes all requirements of national automotive quality standards previously published such as QS-9000, VDA 6.1, EAQF 94 and AVSQ.
Certification to this technical specification takes place on the basis of the certification rules issued by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF). If an organization successfully obtains a certificate, it will be valid for three years and must be confirmed annually by an IATF certified auditor (3rd Party Auditor) of an IATF recognized certification body.
To the novice quality manager, ISO jargon can be extremely overwhelming. What is an NCR? What do you mean by OFI? Are we certified or accredited? But before you go and pull out your hair, let’s take a moment to go over some of the most frequently used terms and their definitions with regards to ISO and Management System Certification.