ISO/TS 16949 revision

The launch of the 2015 version of the global quality management system standard, ISO 9001, led to extensive discussion within the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) which manages this international automotive quality standard.

In December 2014, the IATF agreed to set up a working group of IATF member organisations to develop a design specification for a revised ISO/TS automotive standard in line with the requirements of the new ISO 9001:2015 standard.

Currently ISO/TS 16949:2009 is based on ISO 9001:2008 and refers to its clauses. However, ISO 9001:2015 is significantly different to the 2008 version and is also built around the new ISO Annex SL specification that will form the basis for all future ISO standards, including ISO/TS 16949.

In July, the IATF sponsored a stakeholder survey in order to obtain information on the effectiveness of the existing technical specification and certification/audit process.

The approach utilised a standardised survey, distributed to all industry stakeholders through the IATF’s national associations (AIAG, ANFIA, FIEV, SMMT and VDA) to collect specific input on opportunities for improvement in the current ISO/TS 16949 requirements, and the associated certification/audit process, rules for achieving and maintaining IATF Recognition, 4th Edition.

The approach utilised a standardised survey, distributed to all industry stakeholders through the IATF’s national associations (AIAG, ANFIA, FIEV, SMMT and VDA) to collect specific input on opportunities for improvement in the current ISO/TS 16949 requirements, and the associated certification/audit process, rules for achieving and maintaining IATF Recognition, 4th Edition.

The survey has since closed and the ISO/TS 16949 working group is now working to analyse the responses and to develop a first working draft.

The anticipated release of the revised standard is late 2016, but obviously as soon as there are any developments, LRQA will communicate them to all interested parties, together with details of transition training courses, transition timetables, etc.

How do these changes affect you?

The changes are not to the standard itself, but ISO/TS 16949 approved organisations will be affected if:
  • Shift processes – All process on all shifts must be covered at recertification and progressively over the surveillance visit cycle.
  • Support sites – Most support sites no longer require standalone certification, but will still need to be referenced on the certificate schedules if they are a manufacturing site.  It is existing manufacturing site extensions that will require their own certification. 
  • Ringfencing – Ringfencing is now permissible, but with the new site, delineation requirements for manufacturing areas will essentially be of very limited application. 
  • Supplier of choice – it helps you to gain work with many of the world's largest automotive manufacturers which include certification to ISO/TS 16949:2009 as a contractual requirement.
  • Visits – Visits outside the permitted timescale tolerance will mean suspension of approval.

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