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IATF 16949 Certification

Certification according to IATF 16949

Remote auditing and certification

Remote auditing and certification

Remote audits offer a flexible alternative to traditional audit methods. Our remote audits offer the same level of quality you’ve come to expect from TUV Rheinland. We are committed to being a strong and reliable partner. Learn more!

IATF rules during the COVID-19 pandemic

IATF has arranged to respond to the changed conditions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
In light of the pandemic, a different set of rules than normal currently apply to companies with an IATF 16949 certificate to ensure that they can maintain their certification irrespective of any potential COVID-19 restrictions. IATF 16949 standard is increasingly prescribing extended deadlines and risk assessments based on monitoring.

Established quality management in the automotive industry with IATF 16949 certification

Success in the international automotive industry relies on high standards, technical innovation and premium quality throughout the entire supply chain. A management system certified according to IATF 16949 can help you access customers in new markets. Regarded as the world's leading quality standard in the automotive industry, IATF 16949 combines a number of car manufacturer and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) requirements into one certification.

Standards prevailing prior to 1999 such as QS 9000 or VDA 6.x were largely replaced by ISO/TS 16949 and subsequently by IATF 16949. Our certification according to IATF 16949 supports you in continuously improving your system and process quality and focusing on customer-specific requirements.

Our experts will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with further information on IATF 16949 certification.

The IATF Audit is changing.

CARA, the Common Audit Report Application, was developed and is provided by IATF/ VDA. All IATF-recognized certification bodies and their sponsored auditors are required to use only the CARA for audit reporting starting January 2021.

Below we answer the most important questions about that change and what it means for the audits. More information can be found on the official website.

Basic information about CARA

Below we answer the most important questions about that change and what it means for the audits. More information can be found on the official website.

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What is CARA?

  • CARA stands for Common Audit Report Application
  • It is developed and provided by IATF/ VDA.
  • Starting January 2021, all IATF-recognized certification bodies and their sponsored auditors are required to use only the CARA application for audit reporting. The general structure and content of the application is however still based on the previously provided Excel-based templates.
  • Supporting documents are available in the CARA user manual and dedicated CARA wiki. The wiki will be updated on a regularly basis including a FAQ area and How-to articles.

What are the major features?

  • The main purpose of CARA is to create, edit, save, and share common audit documents in a standardized manner.
  • It is a browser-based solution – no installation of additional software is required on personal computers other than the requirements published by IATF (see CARA wiki).
  • After the initial access to CARA, no continuous online connection is required.
  • Audit data handling with standardized state-of-the-art technology
  • User interface supports most common languages.
  • Easy and user-friendly data entry
  • Offers nonconformity management application as collaboration between auditors and clients
  • The nonconformity management application allows the client to respond to open nonconformities within CARA.
  • Also, no additional installation is needed for using the nonconformity management just like with CARA.

How does CARA make the job of a Quality Manager easier?

  • A common audit report reduces variation and complexity and therefore lowers efforts and costs in the IATF 16949 certification scheme.
  • It is easier for stakeholders (incl. OEMs, suppliers, certification bodies and auditors) to understand and analyze the information an audit report contains.
  • OEMs who sample audit reports are able to navigate to the areas they are interested in more easily and will find a common information structure.
  • Suppliers being certified by several certification bodies can exchange information more easily (e.g. nonconformity management) and will be able to provide other involved Certification Bodies more quickly with the needed information.
  • CARA will increase the efficiency of the IATF audit process.
  • Simplification in terms of IATF audit documentation

How does TÜV Rheinland manage the implementation and supports the customer?

  • In general, technical customer support is globally covered by IATF/VDA. But of course, as your reliable partner, we will support you with regard to questions with CARA, too.
  • The new nonconformity management will standardize the communication with the customer and hence supports the overall clarification process.

What are the changes to the present audit process?

  • The audit process itself is not affected.
  • CARA will introduce a technical base and hence process to collaborate on nonconformities between the customer and the auditor – which works in the following way (CARA for customers):
    • The auditor captures all relevant data in CARA, exports that data set and provides it via email to the customer
    • The customer then downloads these data, imports them into their own CARA application, updates the information and exports it to provide it back to the auditor via email
    • The collaboration in such a way will continue until the auditor accepts the corrective measures taken
  • All information within the CARA reports is stored in a predefined data structure.
  • The application has a built-in import and export function utilizing this standardized file format (XML/JSON).
  • To guarantee a seamless data exchange to any external interface, the information that is being imported/exported must be in the same format.
  • The description of the data structure can be downloaded here: CARA Data Description (XML/JSON)

What are the technical requirements?

  • CARA is a browser-based application.
  • The application is not linked to any server / central database nor does it require an internet connection to work.
  • All audit data created and imported are solely stored in the browser’s internal database of the individual user.
  • The user shall be careful to not empty the browser cache as any exported and unsaved data will be lost.
  • Data security is generally ensured by IATF/VDA.

Your benefits of an IATF 16949 certification

Focus on prevention and planning with IATF 16949 certification

With an IATF 16949 certification, you can establish an internationally recognized set of rules and avoid the cost of multiple certifications. The consistent tracking of errors helps you enhance security to increase trust among your customers and business partners. Certification enables you to optimize product and process quality, and credibly document worldwide performance to increase your international market opportunities. IATF 16949 certification lays the foundation for combination certification with other standards such as ISO 14001.

Focused on prevention and planning, IATF 16949 certification reduces unexpected costs and frees up resources to be used for other quality tasks.

ISO/TS 16949 became IATF 16949

The first edition of IATF 16949 replaced and repealed ISO/TS 16949:2009. The new IATF 16949:2016 standard was published in October 2016. Alignment to the latest version of the quality management standard included ISO 9001:2015 requirements.

The IATF 16949 standard aims to effectively improve system and process quality of companies in the automotive industry. The continuous improvement process is intended to increase customer satisfaction, identify and eliminate errors and risks in the production process and the supply chain, and check the effectiveness of implemented corrective and preventive measures.

The International Automotive Task Force (IATF) also published the "Certification Requirements" in its November 2016 5th edition. Read more about this in our "Revision of the certification rules" information sheet.

Before coming into force, adjustments applying to extended production sites and other issues were made to the current certification. Since April 2016 it is again possible to certify multiple related sites by means of one certification. You can read more about this in our FAQs.

pdf Current certification rules for IATF 16949 283 KB Download
pdf Questions and Answers on the IATF 16949 357 KB Download

IATF 16949 certification process

We are your experienced partner for IATF 16949 certification. Our experts carefully analyze and evaluate your processes and systems in five steps:

  1. Pre-audit (optional)
    Optimal preparation for subsequent certification audit
  2. Certification audit
    Readiness assessment (Stage 1) by the audit team and demonstration of practical application (Stage 2)
  3. Certificate issuance
    Entry in our online Certipedia certificate database
  4. Annual surveillance audits
  5. Re-certification after three years

IATF 16949 certification in 5 steps

From pre-audit to re-certification - IATF 16949 certification at a glance

Your neutral partner for increased international market opportunities

Our experienced and independent experts accompany you through the certification process and help you set up an efficient quality management system. Benefit from our know-how and internationally recognized certificates and take advantage of a combined certification. Contact us for further information!

More information to download

pdf Current certification rules for IATF 16949 283 KB Download
pdf Useful information on IATF 16949 357 KB Download
pdf Questions and Answers on the IATF 16949 287 KB Download

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