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by Karen Whitmore and Carla Kalogeridis

At an Automotive Industry Action Group-sponsored seminar on April 24, the Big Three automakers stood before their leading suppliers and stated the direction that their joint quality system capability assessment initiatives would take: ISO/TS 16949:2002 has been released, and QS-9000 is no longer in the long-term picture.

“We have no plans to revise QS-9000 based on ISO 9001:2000 because we believe ISO/TS 16949 comprehends QS-9000 and includes strengthening major areas,” said Joe Bransky of General Motors Corp. “ISO/TS 16949 contains 90 percent of QS-9000 already, and it’s an improved standard.”

“DaimlerChrysler has already registered some of its own sites to ISO/TS 16949,” added Hank Gryn of DaimlerChrysler. “That’s a big signal which way we’re going.”


“Ford will be going to ISO/TS 16949 by 2006 at the latest,” said Ford Motor Co.’s Russ Hopkins. “We’re working on an announcement that will be forthcoming very soon.”

These statements were made at the AIAG’s ISO/TS 16949:2002 Rollout Workshop in Detroit. Speakers included members of the International Automotive Task Force: Gryn, Hopkins and Bransky, along with Harold Hodder, executive director of the International Automotive Oversight Bureau.

Certification Bodies Under Contract by the IATF to Certify Suppliers to ISO/TS 16949

ABS QE (ABS Quality Evaluations Inc.)--www.abs-qe.com

AENOR (Asociación Española de Normalización)--www.aenor.es

AFAQ (Association Française pour l'Assurance de la Qualité)--www.afaq.fr

AIB Vinçotte--www.aib-vincotte.com

AQA (American Quality Assessors)--www.aqausa.com

AQSR International Inc.--www.aqsr.com

BSI (British Standards Institution)--www.bsi-global.com

BVQI (Bureau Veritas Quality International)--www.bvqi.com

CERTO S.R.L.--www.certo.it

CISQ Automotive (including CERTIQUALITY, ICIM, IGQ, IIP, IMQ, and RINA)--www.cisq.com

Dekra-ITS Certification Services GmbH--www.dekra-its.de

DNV (Det Norske Veritas Certification)--www.dnv.com

DQS (Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Zertifizierung)--www.dqs.de

Eagle Registrations Inc.--www.eagleregistrations.com

Entela Inc. QSRD--www.entela.com

Excalibur Registrations Inc.--www.excaliburregistrations.com

InterCert (International Cert Zertifizierung GmbH)--www.international-cert.de

ITS Intertek Testing Services--www.itsglobal.com

JQA (Japan Quality Assurance)--www.jqa.or.jp

KFQ (Korean Foundation for Quality)--www.kfq.or.kr


LGAI Technological Center--www.lgai.es

LRQA (Lloyds Register Quality Assurance)--www.lrqa.com

MQZ (Moody International)--www.moody-group.com

NIS ZERT (NIS Zertifizierungs-und Umweltgutachter GmbH)--www.nis-zert.de

NQA (National Quality Assurance Ltd.)--www.nqa.com

NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland)--www.nsai.ie

NSF International Strategic Registrations--www.nsf-isr.org

ÖQS (Österreichische Zertifizierungs und Begutachtungs GmbH)--www.oeqs.com

PSB Certification Pte Ltd.--www.psbcert.com

QAS (Quality Assurance Services Pty. Ltd.)--www.qas.com.au

QCB (Quality Certification Bureau)--www.qcbinc.com

QMI (Quality Management Institute)--www.qmi.com

RW-TÜV e.V.--www.rwtuv.de

SABS (South African Bureau of Standards)--www.sabs.co.za

SGS (SGS-ICS Gesellschaft für Zertifizierungen GmbH und Umweltgutachter)--www.sgs.com

Smithers Quality Assessments Inc.--www.smithersregistrar.com

SQS (Schweiz Vereinigung für Qualtäts-und Management-Systeme)--www.sqs.ch

SRI Quality System Registrar--www.sriregistrar.com

TAT (TÜV Rhineland AnlagenTechnik GmbH)--www.tuev-rheinland.de

TMS (TÜV Management Service GmbH)--www.tuvam.com

TUV Hessen (TÜV Cert--Zertifizierungsstelle des TÜV)--www.tuev-hessen.de

TÜV Nord Cert GmbH--www.tuev-nord.de

TÜV Saarland e.V.--www.tuev-saar.de

UL (Underwriters Laboratories)--www.ul.com

UTAC (Union Technique de l'Automobile et du Cycle)--www.utac.com

VCA (Vehicle Certification Agency)--www.vca.gov.uk

ZSQ (ZertifizierungsStelle für Qualitätmanagementsysteme)--www.kba.de


Benefits of ISO/TS 16949

Global harmonization with other automotive manufacturers to provide improved quality products to automotive customers worldwide

Common IATF third-party registration scheme to ensure consistency worldwide

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 third-party registrations, thereby reducing cost

Reduction of variation and increased efficiency

Reduction in second-party system audits

Common language to improve understanding of quality requirements

For suppliers with multiple international automotive customers, ISO/TS 16949 may represent substantial efficiencies by allowing one audit to satisfy the quality system requirements of QS-9000, VDA 6.1, AVSQ, EAQF (when coupled with individual company-specific quality requirements and the common automotive registration scheme).


The sold-out conference—attended by OEMs, suppliers, registrars and consultants—addressed several key quality issues, including:

Past, present and future perspectives of automotive quality requirements

Differences between QS-9000, ISO/TS 16949:1999 and ISO/TS 16949:2002

The OEM position regarding implementation of ISO/TS 16949:2002

The future of QS-9000

Since the April 24 rollout, DaimlerChrysler has released a letter dated July 2002, which stated that effective July 1, 2004, all product and service part suppliers to DaimlerChrysler are required to be registered to ISO/TS 16949. In early August, DaimlerChrysler, Ford and GM released a joint letter announcing that the third edition of QS-9000 will expire on Dec. 14, 2006, after which ISO/TS 16949:2002 will replace QS-9000. (Both letters can be downloaded from the AIAG Web site at www.aiag.org.)

A little background

Formed in 1996 as an ad hoc action group to harmonize automotive quality system standards catalogs, the IATF members include BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Ford, GM, Renault, PSA (Peugeot-Citroën), Volkswagen and several industry trade associations including AIAG (North America), ANFIA (Italy), FIEV (France), SMMT (UK) and VDA (Germany). A common goal was established: implementing a single, global automotive quality system standard and registration process.

The IATF took on the challenge of developing a standard to harmonize three European catalogs—VDA 6.1 (Germany), AVSQ (Italy), EAQF (France)—and the North American QS-9000 standard.

With the release of ISO/TS 16949:2002:Quality management system—Particular requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2000 for automotive production and relevant service part organizations, IATF says that reaching its goal of implementing a global common standard is on track.

This revised version of ISO/TS 16949 aligns with ISO 9001:2000 and was developed and released under the sanction of ISO/TC 176, the ISO technical committee with the responsibility for oversight of the project.

In keeping with the IATF’s goal, a supplier’s certification to ISO/TS 16949:2002—in accordance with the IATF registration scheme and customer-specific requirements—will satisfy IATF vehicle manufacturers’ current quality system requirements for compliance or certification. In addition to harmonizing the current quality system requirements into one standard, the IATF developed a certification scheme that includes common registration rules, common certification body contracts, common auditor qualifications, suppliers certified through third-party registration and five regional oversight offices.

IATF oversight

These five regional oversight offices have operations management and implementation responsibility for ISO/TS 16949 through a common process approach. Each office’s functions include:

Implementation and management of the ISO/TS 16949 registration oversight activities on behalf of the IATF via a common process of witness audits, auditor qualification training and exam, and monitoring the certification body and auditor performance

Management and coordination with all IATF oversight offices to ensure global consistency of the ISO/TS 16949 registration scheme

Application and implementation of IATF policies and decisions

Support of the IATF in its pursuit of standard harmonization with global automotive manufacturers

Development and maintenance of a central IATF strategic information database to assist in the management of the registration scheme

The IAOB is an IATF oversight office located in Southfield, Michigan. Additional oversight offices are ANFIA, IATF-France, SMMT and VDA-QMC. Only certification bodies contracted with an IATF oversight office can issue IATF-recognized ISO/TS 16949 certificates. To date, the oversight offices have approved and contracted with 48 certification bodies worldwide. IATF certification bodies have issued approximately 1,700 ISO/TS 16949 certificates, mostly in Europe. By comparison, more than 22,000 QS-9000 certificates have been issued globally.

What’s new in ISO/TS 16949:2002?

To be sure the release of ISO/TS 16949:2002 will have a direct impact on manufacturing suppliers to DaimlerChrysler, Ford and GM, several key changes have been made in the latest ISO/TS 16949 version.

For example, the document states it’s an automotive requirements technical specification and is “applicable to sites of the organization where customer-specified parts for production and/or service are manufactured.” A site is defined as a location at which value-added manufacturing processes occur. It’s important to note the document’s definition of manufacturing, which is “the process of making or fabricating production materials, production or service parts, assemblies, or heat treating, welding, painting, plating or other finishing services.” Simply put, this means that not all supplier organizations may qualify for ISO/TS 16949:2002 certification—even if they were certified to QS-9000. In many cases QS-9000 certificates were issued to nonautomotive suppliers or suppliers not fitting the applicability requirements.

Supplier applicability means the company is a direct supplier to a subscribing customer (a manufacturing site of parts or materials) and adds manufacturing value. Sites that offer supporting functions such as design centers, corporate headquarters and distribution centers cannot obtain stand-alone certification to ISO/TS 16949:2002. In addition, there are no planned supplements to ISO/TS 16949 for tooling and equipment and semiconductor suppliers.

On the other hand, OEM assembly centers can be registered to ISO/TS 16949, just like a supplier. “OEMs will be doing the same thing they’re asking suppliers to do regarding ISO/TS 16949 registration,” says IAOB’s Harold Hodder. “And that’s good news.”

Other changes to the document include mapping that’s based on and encompasses ISO 9001:2000. In the ISO/TS 16949:2002 document, the original ISO 9001:2000 text appears in boxes. The IATF automotive text is outside the boxes and includes added notes for guidance. The IATF strengthened the document by defining product realization, which it believes is the foundation of the process approach. Also new is the document’s treatment of supplier development, which now contains very specific requirements for performance development and measurement. Organization performance requirements were added as a measure of the output of an organization’s quality management system.


How will the audit change?

An audit to ISO/TS 16949:2002 will change from an element audit to a process audit. A process audit will focus on customer-oriented processes within the organization and evaluate the company’s performance against its customers’ requirements. Overall performance metrics will be based on common measurements, all aimed at the satisfaction of the customers’ needs.

“A process model approach is the mental model auditors and CBs need when they conduct an audit,” says GM’s Bransky. “The automotive business is about product realization and market distribution. ISO/TS 16949 is focused on quality system capability for achieving product realization goals with the customer—performance is critical.”

In fact, DaimlerChrysler, Ford and GM have written customer-specific requirements, which are also part of the audit along with the TS requirements. At the seminar, the IATF presenters emphasized that customer specifics are as important as TS requirements. A complete audit cannot be done without considering both. It was also noted that the reference manuals for PPAP, FMEA, MSA, APQP and SPC are viable documents and will be referenced in DaimlerChrysler’s, Ford’s and GM’s respective customer specifics for ISO/TS 16949:2002.

Bransky emphasized the role of the CB in the auditing process. “The CB’s role is crucial in making sure the certificates have value,” he told the group. “This process must have integrity, or we’ll be trying something else until we find something that does work. The Big Three OEMs source with suppliers who are certified, and that has to mean something.”

Why ISO/TS 16949?

The IATF’s goal to recognize a single, global automotive quality system standard and registration process is one of the major benefits of ISO/TS 16949:2002. Reciprocal recognition will result in a reduction of second- and third-party audits, which translates into enormous cost savings for organizations. Additional benefits include emphasis on process audit vs. documentation, global sourcing advantages and improvement of marginal suppliers. Since ISO/TS 16949:2002 contains the full text of ISO 9001:2000, certification to ISO/TS 16949:2002 also means compliance to ISO 9001:2000.

IATF OEM options

The current options for IATF OEMs and others who subscribe to ISO/TS 16949 are:

Compliance. Certification is not required but must conform to the requirements.

Optional with upgrade urged. The current policy of Ford and GM

Phase-in. Start with a lead, major-commodity supplier organizations, and the rest will follow.

Mandate. Establish a deadline for first-tier suppliers that fall under applicability.

It’s not necessary for QS-9000-certified organizations that are adding ISO/TS 16949 certification to retain their QS-9000 certification unless customer requirements dictate otherwise.

What happens to QS-9000?

At the ISO/TS 16949: 2002 rollout seminar, the members of the Daimler- Chrysler, Ford and GM Supplier Quality Requirements Task Force reiterated that it has no intention of revising QS-9000 to align with ISO 9001:2000 and clarified that the QS-9000 third edition (based on ISO 9001:1994) will remain in effect until Dec. 14, 2006. Because ISO/TS 16949 is a global standard, it’s important to note where key automakers stand.

The Big Three automakers and ISO have agreed that ISO 9001:1994 will live on in QS-9000 until Dec. 14, 2006. In fact, after Dec. 15, 2003, certification to QS-9000 will become a stand-alone certification; it will no longer include certification to ISO 9001. An International Automotive Sector Group-sanctioned interpretation was released July 1, 2002, and addresses the issue of QS-9000 certification after Dec. 15, 2003. (The IASG Sanctioned Interpretation is available at www.aiag.org.) Suppliers registered to QS-9000 are urged to determine if their organization falls within the scope of ISO/TS 16949 and ensure that their quality management team understands the ISO/TS 16949:

2002 requirements and the process approach. Suppliers are also encouraged to upgrade to ISO/TS 16949:2002 at the expiration of their current QS-9000 certification, and no later the Dec. 14, 2006, or earlier based on their customer requirements.

To help with the implementation, the IATF is publishing the following documents:

Quality System Assessment Checklist, Second Edition. This is based on the contents of ISO/TS 16949:2002. The checklist is used as a guide in auditing the requirements to ISO/TS 16949:2002.

IATF Guidance to ISO/TS 16949:2002. The guidance supplement is a reference document to assist in the application of ISO/TS16949:2002. It includes explanations, examples and industry practices related to particular automotive requirements of ISO/TS 16949:2002.

ISO/TS 16949:2002 Automotive Certification Scheme—Rules for Achieving IATF Recognition. This manual defines the IATF common registration scheme and rules for ISO/TS 16949:2002.

About the authors

Karen Whitmore is program manager for AIAG’s quality initiatives. Carla Kalogeridis is editor of AIAG’s ActionLINE magazine. Letters to the editor about this article can be sent to letters@qualitydigest.com.

This article first appeared in the May issue of AIAG’s ActionLINE magazine.