7 Steps To Prepare Your Organization for an IATF 16949 Certification

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IATF 16949 is the international quality management system standard for the automotive industry. Based on ISO 9001, it was developed by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) to address the specific needs of the automotive industry. If your organization is involved in the automotive sector, then it is likely that you will need to comply with IATF 16949 at some point.

What is IATF 16949?

IATF 16949 was created to harmonize the numerous regional and national automotive quality standards that had been developed over the years. It is now the international quality standard for the automotive industry and is required by most major automakers.
IATF 16949 has four main objectives:

  1. To promote a common understanding of the requirements for an effective automotive quality management system
  2. To facilitate compatibility of automotive quality management systems worldwide
  3. To enhance customer satisfaction with products and services from the automotive industry
  4. To contribute to the improved overall performance of the automotive industry globally

The IATF 16949 standard is structured around eight key Quality Management Principles:

  1. Customer focus
  2. Leadership
  3. Involvement of people
  4. Process approach
  5. System approach to management
  6. Continual improvement
  7. Fact-based decision making
  8. Mutually beneficial supplier relationships

The benefits of IATF 16949 certification

Certification to IATF 16949 demonstrates an organization’s commitment to quality and customer satisfaction in the automotive sector. There are many benefits of being certified to IATF 16949, including:

  • Improved product quality
  • Reduced scrap and rework costs
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Enhanced marketability of products and services
  • Improved employee morale and motivation

The 7 Steps to Prepare for an IATF 16949 Audit

  1. Understand the IATF 16949 requirements: The first step is to understand the requirements of the IATF 16949 standard. This includes reviewing the standard itself as well as any guidance documents provided by the IATF.
  2. Identify your current status: Once you understand the requirements, you need to determine your organization’s current level of compliance. This can be done through a self-assessment or by hiring an external consultant to conduct an audit.
  3. Create a plan: Once you know where you stand, you need to create a plan for how to achieve compliance with the IATF 16949 standard. This should include timelines, resources needed, and responsibility assignments.
  4. Implementation: The next step is to put your plan into action. This will involve making changes to your processes and procedures as well as training employees on the new requirements.
  5. Monitor and improve: Even after you have achieved compliance, it is important to monitor your process and look for ways to improve. This can help prevent problems in the future and ensure that you continue to meet the changing needs of your customers. Third-party audit companies can help by conducting a gap analysis to identify noncompliance and develop a corrective action plan to reach full compliance.
  6. Prepare for the certification audit: As part of complying with IATF 16949, you need to be prepared for audits from both internal and external sources. This includes having all required documentation readily available and knowing how to respond to questions from auditors.
  7. Apply for the IATF 16949 certification

The IATF 16949 Certification Process

The IATF 16949 certification process can be broken down into a few simple steps:

  1. The first step is to contact a certification body that is accredited by the IATF.
  2. Once you have selected a certification body, you will need to apply for certification.
  3. The next step is to undergo an on-site audit by the certification body. This audit will ensure that your organization meets all of the requirements for IATF 16949 certification.
  4. If the certification body determines that your organization complies with IATF 16949, you will be awarded your certificate of conformity.

Maintaining the IATF 16949 Certification

To maintain IATF certification, organizations must continue to meet the requirements of the IATF 16949 standard. Additionally, they must maintain an up-to-date and effective quality management system that meets the needs of their customers and other stakeholders.

To maintain your certification by periodically undergoing gap analysis and making any necessary changes to your process. This will ensure that you can continue to use the IATF 16949 standard in your organization.


If you are preparing for an IATF 16949 audit, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your organization is ready. First, make sure you have all the required documentation in order. Second, train your staff on the requirements of the standard and how to best comply with them. Finally, conduct a mock audit to identify any areas where your organization might need improvement. By taking these steps, you can help your organization be as prepared as possible for an IATF 16949 audit.

About Us

As a leading quality assurance company for over 40 years, Pro QC International offers a variety of services. We work with global suppliers on IATF 16949 audits and preparation for certification among other things. If you have any questions or would like to request a quote, please contact us at info@proqc.com

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