In response to the need for a uniform quality management standard for automotive suppliers around the world, the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) originally developed ISO/TS 16949:2002 in 1999. The standard embraced ISO 9000 – the international benchmark for quality. In 2002, it was revised to align with ISO 9001:2000. Certification to this technical specification provides global recognition for suppliers sourcing across the automotive industry.
October 2016 saw the release of IATF 16949, a sweeping update to the quintessential automotive quality standard, ISO/TS 16949:2009. With this update, the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) aligned the standard with the most recent version of ISO’s quality management systems standard, ISO 9001:2015. IATF 16949 is not simply a one-off standard, but must be implemented in conjunction with ISO 9001. However, this does not mean that IATF 16949 contains the ISO 9001:2015 text – rather, the standard contains only the automotive-specific requirements and shares the same section headings.
At center stage in IATF 16949 is risk mitigation. This focus on risk-based thinking requires top management to be wholly engaged in the organization, with responsibilities such as contingency planning review and implementation of anti-bribery and ethics escalation policies. Since the automotive industry is an ever-evolving environment, IATF 16949 also includes requirements to ensure that changes are matched by adjustments to quality management systems.