IATF 16949 - AQMS

Automotive Quality Management System

What is IATF 16949?

A new version of ISO/TS 16949 was published in 2016, it is called IATF 16949.

IATF 16949 is an internationally recognized quality management standard for the automotive industry. It utilizes the process improvement techniques which significantly enhance the quality of the organization’s mechanism. It is built on the foundation of ISO 9001 which aims to be helpful in doing continuous improvement, avoid defects and help to minimize rework due to product flaws, waste reduction, high tech embedment of software, and ensure product safety.

It is designed to be used in conjunction with ISO 9001:2015 and contains supplemental requirements specific to the automotive industry rather than being a standalone quality management system. 

Why is IATF 16949 important?

IATF 16949 is highly relevant to all types of automotive industries whether it is small manufacturer or top notch multinational automotive manufacturer. Mitigation of potential risks and hazards along with development of risk-based thinking approach, better integration with other management systems and ISO Standards and exhibition of human and machine safety, results reliability and accuracy and top-notch trace-ability of results is ensured when one implements the updated version of ISO/TS standard.

Why is IATF 16949 important?

An automotive Quality Management System complying with the international standard IATF 16949 would increase your company’s worth manifolds. Some notable benefits of IATF 16949 certification are as follows:

  • Developing consistent and adequate processes
  • Building customer’s trust by delivering satisfying services
  • Clearing IATF 16949 certification process will prove to be positively beneficial and profitable in terms of the financial health of your organization.
  • Once the company gets IATF 16949 certified, it will not only ensure consistent performance but also lay the groundwork for rightful improvements along the way.
  • OEM in the automotive sector will be more inclined in offering their services once you get certified with the new version of IATF
  • IATF 16949 helps to facilitate continuous improvement and its embedment in the current management system of your organization. Moreover, the newer version of the standard makes monitoring and improvement of the process more visible to the management.
  • Getting internal processes more efficient makes employees’ engagement to the utmost levels making them feel more motivated with IATF 16949.

Adherence to appropriate automotive quality management principles will aid your organization in achieving business objectives and goals, whereas a poorly designed automotive quality management system might result in a huge overall deterioration of your company’s structure.

ISO 16949 is a Quality Management System for the Automotive industry to ensure quality of products/services throughout the supply chain. The latest version available is ISO 16949:2016. The baseline structure for ISO 16949/IATF is ISO 9001:2015 and all requirements for IATF are supplementary to existing ISO 9001.

Stage 1:  Discovery

  • GAP Analysis to identify the gaps as compared to standard requirements
  • Awareness Training


Stage 2: Documentation & Implementation

  • Documentation

Documenting  Management System procedures and WI based on document structure most suitable and value add to the Organization.


  • Implementation

Once documents are drafted, reviewed, and approved, process owners, will implement the documented processes.


Stage 3: Audit (Internal and External)

  • Internal Audit of the implemented QMS and Management Review is a mandatory requirement. Internal Audit program with Internal Audit schedule and plan is required. Internal audit needs to be conducted by Trained Internal Auditors or External Contracted Auditors. List of 1st and 2nd party auditors is necessary, who have the necessary competency and experience.
  • After Internal Audit, External Audit can be scheduled and conducted.


This entire process can take up to 6-8 months depending on the number of locations, employees, scope, the number of processes, and resource commitment by organization.

Customer requirements forms the input for any Product/Service Realization lifecycle. The review of requirements for accuracy, feasibility, risk, capacity needs to be performed and customer feedback solicited and evaluated.

IATF focuses on monitoring the defects rates, reject cost, warranty performance to ensure the feedback loop is converted to feedforward, and improvements are implemented on a consistent basis. The annual review is no longer sufficient for review and management system optimization.

A most important reason to get any certification is always for Business growth, Customer Requirement, Entry into Newmarket, build confidence, and consistent product/process/service delivery to the customer.

The automotive industry update requires all the vendors/suppliers in the Supply chain of OEM( Ford, GM, Toyota) to have a Quality Management system with a commitment of compliance to IATF.

Identify and assign a designated management representative (MR) in your team to coordinate with SME during the entire process and provide necessary information that SME requires to complete their task. Based on the Gap analysis, a timeline roadmap needs to be created with the end goal of the certification audit. This helps to maintain the appropriate timeframe as defined in the RoadMap.

Usually, the head of each department will get involved during the interview and implementation stage. They can choose to do their part of the process or delegate it to a member of their team. However, each department head will only be occupied only during their phase of work and should not take more than 40 hours spread during the entire process.

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