IATF 16949: A path to excellence in the automotive sector

In this post we explore the benefits of IATF 16949:2016 certification, a standard applicable and helpful to businesses operating within the automotive sector.

What is IATF 16949?

The International Automotive Task Force (IATF) is a group of organisations from the automotive sector, formed with the aim to improve manufacturing and provide quality products to automotive customers worldwide.

As the automotive industry evolves, there is a growing demand for greater product quality, continual improvement and competitiveness among manufacturers and stakeholders. Vehicle manufacturers are now insisting that suppliers to the automotive sector must be certified to the IATF 16949:2016 standard in order to qualify for contracts and business.

The IATF 16949:2016 standard defines the requirements for an automotive based QMS. The aim of the standard is to reduce risk throughout the automotive supply chain with a focus on continual improvement, prevention of defects and reduction of variation and waste. The standard uses ISO 9001:2015 as its foundation with added requirements specific to the automotive industry.

The standard helps with :

  • Continual improvement
  • Mitigation and prevention of defects
  • Reduction in variation and waste
  • Overall process efficiency
  • Customer satisfaction

Getting IATF 16949 certification ensures that you are a reliable supplier to the automotive industry.

Who is it applicable to?

The IATF 16949:2016 standard is applicable to any organisation involved in the manufacture of equipment, components, assemblies and parts which are supplied to the automotive industry.

In order to qualify for certification as an IATF 16949:2016 organization, manufacturers and suppliers must be involved in the manufacture of automotive production parts, services parts and/or accessory parts. This does not include the production of after-market parts.

Benefits of Certification

  • Ensures improved processes and quality of your products with a focus on defect prevention.
  • Focuses on continuous improvement, a system which allows improvement of products and processes overall.
  • Promotes operational efficiencies which helps reduce operating costs.
  • Provides independent verification against a globally recognized industry standard. Helps your organization gain license to trade and expand your business globally.
  • Removes the need for multiples certificates and allows for easy integration with other quality management systems.
  • Procurement specifications often require suppliers who are certified as a condition.
    Certification demonstrates compliance to win new business, investment and global recognition as a reputable supplier.
  • Improves overall customer satisfaction and ensures products consistently meet customer requirements and a service that is dependable and reliable.
  • Promotes a consistent quality approach in the suppy chain for suppliers, sub-contractors etc. thus driving consistency, competence and control.

How to Certify?

IATF 16949:2016 is applicable throughout the automotive industry supply chain. All certification is issued on the basis of International Automotive Task Force (IATF) issued certification rules.

IATF 16949:2016 is also fully aligned with the structure and requirements of the ISO 9001:2015 standard. Hence it must be implemented in conjunction with ISO 9001:2015 and not as a stand-alone.

When you achieve IATF certification, your certification body or registrar will provide your organisation with a three year certificate. This will also entail annual surveillance audits performed by the registrar to ensure you are in compliance and a three yearly re-certification audit.


IATF 16949:2016 certification and implementation can take a lot of effort and commitment by the organisation. However in doing so, it brings the organisation into a higher league of companies who are committed to striving for higher customer satisfaction and quality management.

We at URS Middle East have all the required expertise to help your organisation successfully implement and achieve this certification.

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