Quality Q&A : What differentiates ISO/TS 16949 audits, who needs them and why?
What is ISO/TS 16949?
ISO/TS 16949 is an ISO 9001 standard in which technical specifications were added related to the automotive industry. The technical specifications were strongly required by members of the International Automotive Task Force (IATF), such as BMW Group, Chrysler Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, PSA Peugeot Citroen, and others. It has been identified that there are 1,039 separate and specific requirements in the basic ISO/TS 16949 standard.
Who needs TS 16949 audits and why?
Organizations that implement ISO/TS 16949 do so because key customers strongly urge or require it. Tier 1 automotive suppliers (direct suppliers to OEMs) must be registered. And, they often urge key suppliers to do likewise or at minimum implement ISO 9001.
The audit is a method to assess compliance to the ISO/TS 16949 standard of manufacturing automotive components and parts. The purpose of ISO 9001 and ISO/TS 16949 audits is aimed at the development of a quality management system that provides for continual improvement, emphasizes defect prevention, and facilitates the reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain.
Unlike other management systems audits, ISO/TS 16949 audits must be planned and conducted to cover all working shifts. The internal audit must be conducted on an annual basis, and take into consideration the importance of the processes to be audited as well as results from previous audits.
In addition, the internal audit itself is divided into three distinct types of audit – Quality Management System (QMS) Audit, Manufacturing Process Audit and Product Audit. QMS audits focus on the conformance of ISO/TS 16949 and other related QMS, including CSR requirements. Manufacturing Process Audits focus on verifying the effectiveness of each manufacturing process. Lastly, the Product Audit is focused on auditing the product requirements at the appropriate stages from production to delivery to ensure product requirements are met.
Internal audits, such as ISO/TS 16949 evaluations, are allowed to be outsourced to third parties such Pro QC. It is often considered more cost-effective than using in-house staff and also offers valuable objectivity and skills/experience. Prior to registration, it is recommended that organizations conduct a pre-audit assessment. Pro QC assists with this process, in addition to providing solutions to resolve corrective actions identified and increase the likelihood of a first-pass registration audit.
Contact us for additional information regarding ISO/TS 16949 and the many other supplier audits that we offer, including ISO 9001, ISO 13485, ISO 14000, SA8000 (Social Accountability) and more.