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Overview of IATF 16949 Certification

The Automotive Quality Management System Standard is commonly known as IATF 16949. The title for this Automotive QMS Standard, "IATF 16949", is a registered trademark of the International Task Force (IATF). It aims at defining the fundamental quality management system requirements for automotive production and relevant service parts organisations. IATF created this in 1999 to harmonise the different assessment and certification systems globally in the supply chain for the automotive sector. Later it introduced a common set of techniques and methods for a common product and process development for automotive manufacturing globally. It aims the development of a quality management system that provides for continual improvement, emphasising defect prevention as well as reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain. IATF 16949 Certification is required to achieve and maintain IATF recognition.

IATF 16949 defines the quality management system requirements for design and development, production and relevant assembly, installation and services of all automotive-related products, including products with embedded software. This standard is applicable to sites of the organisation where customer-specified production parts, service parts and accessory parts are manufactured. This standard is applicable throughout the supply chain of an automotive.

Benefits of IATF 16949 Certification 

Following are the benefits of the Automotive Quality Management System, IATF 16949 Certification:

  • worldwide recognition as an automotive supplier
  • enhanced customer satisfaction 
  • improved manufacturing efficiency 
  • defining methods to meet the requirements of customers and other stakeholders
  • emphasised defect prevention 
  • promotes the idea of continual improvement 
  • Require organisations to define objectives and continually improve their processes in order to reach the same
  • Specific requirements and core tools are included. 
  • promotes the reduction of variation and waste in any supply chain or organisation
  • Implement corporate responsibility policies
  • Demonstrate the organisation's ability to consistently provide various products that meet customer & applicable statutory, regulatory and product safety requirements
  • Implement processes for improvement of this system
  • Clearly state all objectives and identify new business opportunities for the organisation. 
  • Define the overall context, including who is affected and what they expect
  • Making sure customers' needs are consistently met and enhancing their satisfaction.
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Expand into new markets, as some sectors & clients require IATF 16949 before doing business
  • Identify & address the risks associated with the organisation.
  • Work in a more efficient way to increase productivity & efficiency, bringing internal costs down.
  • Become more socially responsible 

Prerequisites for IATF 16949 Certification  

The following are the prerequisites for obtaining the IATF 16949 Certification:

  • ISO 9001:2015 requirements- Understanding organisation and its context, understanding the needs & expectations of interested parties and determining the scope of the quality management system (QMS).
  • Leadership and Commitment- Corporate responsibility, process effectiveness and efficiency and process owners. 
  • Policy- establishing quality policy, communicating the quality policy and organisational roles, responsibilities and authorities. 
  • Planning- actions to address risks and opportunities, risk analysis, preventive action, contingency plan, quality objectives and planning of changes. 
  • Resources- facility, environment for operation of processes, plant and equipment planning, people and infrastructure. Measurement system analysis, measuring and monitoring resources and measurement traceability. 
  • Clarification or verification records
  • Laboratory requirements – internal and external laboratory
  • Organisation knowledge
  • Competence- supplemental, on-the-job training, internal auditor and second-party auditor competency.
  • Awareness- supplemental and employee motivation and empowerment.
  • Communication 
  • Documents and information 
  • Record retention
  • Engineering specification 
  • Operational planning and control- supplemental and confidentiality
  • Requirements for products and services
  • Customer communication and customer-designed special characteristics 
  • Organisation manufacturing feasibility 
  • Design and development of products and services 
  • Product design skills 
  • Design and development planning 
  • Development of a product with embedded software
  • Monitoring
  • Design and development validation
  • Prototype programme 
  • Product approval 
  • Directed-buy or customer-directed sources
  • Statutory and regulatory requirements 
  • supplier monitoring 
  • second party audits 
  • supplier development 
  • information for external providers 
  • control plan 
  • standardised work- operator instructions and visual standard
  • verification- of job set-ups and after shutdown
  • total productive maintenance 
  • production schedule 
  • identification and traceability 
  • property belonging to customers or external providers
  • preservation 
  • control of changes
  • temporary change of process control 
  • release of products and services 
  • appearance items 
  • verification and acceptance of conformity of externally provided products and services 
  • performance evaluation 
  • improvement 

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Documents Required for IATF 16949 Certification

The following are the Documents required for IATF 16949 Certification:

  • ISO 9001:2015 requirements 
  • Quality Management System paper works 
  • Scope of the quality management system, including details of and justification for any exclusion
  • Documented processes established for quality management system
  • Organisation's processes and their sequence and interactions, including type & extent of control of any outsourced processes.
  • A Document indicates where the customer-specific requirements within the organisation's quality management system are and addressed. 
  • Creating and updating 
  • Control of Documented information 
  • Record retention 
  • Engineering specifications 

Procedure required for IATF 16949 Certification 

Following are four essential steps to be followed while obtaining IATF 16949 Certification under the Automotive Quality Management System:

Optional Preliminary Audit

A voluntary Site inspection is done, and then Automotive Quality Management System Documents are reviewed, assessing the organisation's readiness for the scale I and II Auditing Phase.

Audit: Stage I

Assessment of the eligibility for IATF 16949 Certification is understood and determined by results of on-site Auditing and Automotive Quality Management System Documents analysis.

Audit: Stage II

On-site evaluation of the Automotive Quality Management System standard for excellence in areas where practice and efficiency are applied. 


An official confirmation grants Automotive Quality Management System integrity and compliance with the Standards, and thus finally grants the IATF 16949 Certification.

Frequently Asked Questions

IATF is a group of automotive manufacturers and also their respective trade associations, which are established to provide quality products to automotive customers at the global level.

Only manufacturing sites on which products, service parts or other accessory parts are mechanically attached or electronically connected to the vehicles are eligible for the IATF certification under the Automotive Quality Management System standard. Fire extinguishers, car jacks and floor mats, owner manuals, warning triangles and reflective vests are also eligible for this certification.

The organisation can implement the IATF 16949 at any time, but it is mainly used in the following situation:
  • Customers specify the requirement of this standard as part of the contract 
  • Organisations need to improve their products and customer satisfaction 

The following are five key tools in Automotive Quality Management System:
  • Advanced Product Quality Planning 
  • Production Part Approval Process 
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis 
  • Measurement System Analysis 
  • Statistical Process Control 

Advance Product Quality Planning (APQP) is a product development process that aims at providing a framework for specifying the inputs of each stage of product development and mapping such products into the required outputs.

ISO 9001:2015 is a standard to maintain, create and implement a Quality Management System (QMS) in an organisation.

QMS or Quality Management System is a set of interrelated or interacting elements to create policies, objectives and processes to achieve the objectives regarding quality by an organisation.

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