IATF 16949 is not a stand alone quality management standard, but is implemented as a supplement to, and in conjunction with, ISO 9001:2015. This means that an organization in the automotive sector seeking IATF 16949 certification must also comply with ISO 9001:2015. IATF 16949 is a technical specification standard aimed at the development of a Quality Management System that provides for continual improvement, emphasizing defect prevention and the reduction of variation and waste in the automotive industry supply chain.

IATF 16949 applies to the design development, production and, when relevant, installation and servicing of automotive related products. The requirements are intended to be applied throughout the supply chain.

The benefits of IATF 16949 Certification include increased customer satisfaction, delivering products that consistently meet customer requirements, a reduction in operating costs, proven business credentials, and open doors to win new business. Procurement specifications often require certification as a prerequisite for suppliers, particularly in a highly regulated sector.

How the PDCA cycle is represented in the standard:

  • Sections 4, 5, and 6 - The "planning" sections
  • Sections 7 and 8 - The "doing" sections
  • Section 9 - The "checking" section
  • Section 10 - The "acting" section

You can break the standard down into the following 4 levels: 

  • Level 1 - Quality Manual, Policy, Objectives, and QMS Processes (Why we do what we do)
  • Level 2 - QMS Procedures (When we do what we do and who does it)
  • Level 3 - QMS Work Instructions, Forms, Matrices (How we do what we do)
  • Level 4 - QMS Records (Proof that we did what we said we would do)

Examples of IATF 16949 elements include:

  • Document & Record Control                      
  • Risk Management
  • Training & Awareness
  • Infrastructure & Work Environment
  • Leadership Commitment
  • Management of Change
  • Counterfeit Prevention
  • Customer Specific Requirements
  • Corporate Responsibility/Ethics
  • Laboratory Scope/Requirements
  • Customer Feedback/Satisfaction
  • Controlling Engineering Specifications
  • Maintaining Auditor Competence
  • Layered Process Audits
  • Total Productive Maintenance
  • Statutory/Regulatory Compliance
  • Start-up/Shutdown Verification
  • Visual Operator Instructions
  • Field Failure Analysis
  • Rework/Repair Control
  • RFQ & Order Review                     
  • Production/Service Control
  • Inspection & Calibration
  • Purchasing & Receiving
  • Lot Traceability/Containment
  • Design Validation Test Plans
  • Configuration Management
  • Scrap Mutilation
  • Product Accountability
  • Supply Chain Right of Access
  • Acceptance Authority Media
  • Controlling Embedded Software 
  • Control Plans
  • Manufacturing Feasibility
  • Cost of Poor Quality
  • Statistical Process Control
  • Measurement Systems Analysis
  • Warranty Management 
  • Preventive Action
  • Contingency Planning

  • Controlling Nonconforming Product
  • Supplier Approval & Evaluation
  • Data Analysis & Evaluation
  • Corrective Actions
  • Internal Audits
  • Management Reviews
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Product Safety
  • Controlling Design & Development
  • Equipment/Tooling/Software Control 
  • Work Transfer Controls 
  • Advanced Product Quality Planning
  • Production Part Approval Process
  • Supplier auditing & Development
  • Error Proofing 
  • DFMEA's / PFMEA's
  • Appearance Standards
  • Layout Inspection/Functional Testing
  • Problem Solving
  • Employee Motivation/Empowerment