ISO TS16949



About the ISO/TS (Technical Specification) 16949:2009

The ISO/TS 16949 was jointly developed by the IATF members and submitted to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for approval and publication. The document is a common automotive quality system requirements catalog based on ISO 9001:2015, and specific requirements from the automotive sector. This document, coupled with customer-specific requirements defines quality system requirements for use in the automotive supply chain.

The IATF has developed a common registration scheme for supplier 3rd party registration to the ISO/TS 16949. The registration scheme includes third party auditor qualifications and common rules for consistent global registration. Some of the benefits of the IATF registration scheme include:

·         improved product and process quality

·         additional confidence for global sourcing

·         reassignment of supplier resources to quality improvement

·         common quality system approach in the supply chain for supplier/subcontractor development and consistency

·         reduction in multiple 3rd party registrations

TS 16949 is the International Quality Management Standard specifically written by the Automotive Industry.

In a concerted effort to improve quality and  assure  the integrity of supplies to the industry. Subscribers to the standard include BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, PSA, Renault and Volkswagen.

The introduction of TS 16949 has resulted in substantial improvements in all aspects of quality, delivery and overall efficiency throughout the supply chain. It has also reduced the requirement for multiple audits of manufacturers.

The International Automotive Task Force (IATF), which members include nine major OEMs, is committed to ensuring that TS 16949 remains the automotive quality systems standard for the future.


Who is TS 16949 applicable to?

The standard is applicable to any organization within the automotive supply chain that manufactures and / or adds value to parts for supply to the automotive industry.


What are the benefits of certification to TS 16949?

o    Global recognition as a reputable supplier - certification is recognized and accepted throughout the automotive supply chain as an industry benchmark

o    Customer satisfaction - through delivery of products that consistently meet customer requirements

o    Reduced cost of compliance with customer specifications - through implementation of a single management system and reduced audit requirements

o    Reduced operating costs - through continual improvement of processes and resulting operational efficiencies

o    Improved stakeholder relationships - including staff, customers and suppliers

o    Legal compliance - by understanding how statutory and regulatory requirements impact the organization and its customers

o    Improved risk management - through greater consistency and traceability of products and services

o    Proven business credentials - through independent verification against recognized standards

o    Ability to win more business - particularly where procurement specifications require certification as a condition to supply


How to gain certification to TS 16949

The process of registration follows three simple steps:

o    Application for registration is made by completing the application questionnaire

o    The ICMC assessment is undertaken by qualified TS 16949 auditors. The assessment activity includes a Stage 1 and Stage 2 audit. The organization must be able to demonstrate that it has 12 months performance data for the manufacture of automotive products, has been subject of a full cycle of internal audits and full management review.  (Organizations who can demonstrate they are on an active bid list and / or do not yet have a full 12 months performance data may apply for a Letter of Conformance)

o    Registration is granted by ICMC and maintained by the organization. Maintenance is confirmed through a programmed of annual surveillance visits and a three yearly re-certification audit.


Initial Certification Audit (Assessment)


Stage 1 Readiness Review

 - the purpose of this visit is to confirm the readiness of the organization for full assessment. The assessor will:

o    Verify the scope of activity, operating locations and processes

o    Review records of internal audits for the past 12 months including one complete audit conforming to requirements of TS 16949

o    Audit management reviews for last 12 months (at least one review must comply with TS 16949 and include an evaluation of the results of a complete cycle of process, product and system audit)

o    Review KPI's for customer and operational performance trends for last 12 months (If the organization is applying for a letter of conformance then a full twelve months performance data may not be available)

If the fundamental requirements have been met, the assessor will confirm the company is 'ready' and produce an assessment plan and confirm a date for the Stage 2 assessment visit.

Stage 2 - this visit takes place within 90 days of the Stage 1 Readiness Review and its purpose is to confirm that the management system fully conforms to the requirements of TS 16949 in practice. The assessor will:

o    undertake sample audits activities defined in the scope of assessment including all the organization’s processes, operational shifts, supporting locations and any customer specific requirements

o    document how the system complies with the standard

o    report any non-compliances or potential for non-compliance

o    produce a surveillance plan and confirm a date for the first surveillance visit.

If the assessor identifies any non-conformance, the organization cannot be certified until corrective action is taken and verified. This must be undertaken within 90 days.


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