What the Latest ISO/TS 16949 Changes Mean for TS-Certified Suppliers

The Rules for Achieving and Maintaining IATF Recognition fourth edition was released Oct. 1, 2013, with a full implementation required by April 1, 2014. At the time of release, the IATF also published Certification Body Communiqué #2013-006, which describes the removal of manufacturing site extensions from the ISO/TS 16949 certification scheme. Existing site extensions will need to transition into single-certified sites between April 1, 2014 and April 1, 2015.
The transition audit must occur at the first audit scheduled during the allowed time period. This may require additional audit days to convert a site extension to a site. Please contact your SQA representative for specifics.

Many of the latest ISO/TS 16949 changes require more stringent coverage and detail of audits, and the consequences for not performing to expectation have increased in severity.

Here is a summary of selected ISO/TS 16949 changes in the fourth edition and the effect on TS-certified suppliers. For specific details, contact SQA.

Clause 1.0 Eligibility

Manufacturing sites where production and/or service parts are manufactured and supplied to automotive customers are eligible for TS certification. The term “subscribing customer” has been removed, and eligible quality management systems must support all automotive customers (requiring TS or not).

TS-certified supplier expectation: This may result in additional workload to review supplier quality manuals, control plans, FMEAs, MSA and other core tools that may not have been required with term TS subscribing customer.

Clause 3.0 Certification Agreement with Client  

The certification body (CB) shall have a legally enforceable agreement with the client, which includes that consultants to the client cannot be physically present at the client’s site during audits or participate in audits in any way. The audit team shall be knowledgeable in the legally enforceable agreement with the client. Client failure to inform the CB of changes is considered a breach of the legally enforceable agreement and may result in certificate withdrawal and/or cancellation costs. New contracts were expected to be communicated to clients prior to April 1, 2014.  

TS-certified supplier expectation: A contract amendment or revision must be completed within the current certification cycle. Pay close attention to the notification requirements.

Clause 5.2 Audit Day Determination

Minimum audit time in manufacturing sites is to be a third of the total audit days. On-site verification of past corrective action reports (CARs) is required. That effort is in addition to the specified man-days and is not entered into the IATF database. Regarding headcount changes, if the minimum number of days increases or decreases, the change shall be applied to the current audit. Records shall be maintained.

TS-certified supplier expectation: Expect more audit time in manufacturing and production processes than with past practice.

Clause 5.7 Audit Planning

When complete information is not received prior to plan issuance, the audit plan shall include additional time to collect and review information on site prior to the opening meeting. The audit plan shall include a minimum of one hour on site, prior to the opening meeting, for verification of changes, performance and scorecard reviews. The plan can be adjusted as needed, and the extra hour is in addition to the specified days. The audit plan will contain much more detail than in the past.

TS-certified supplier expectation: Expect one auditor for this on-site audit planning one hour prior to the opening meeting. The CB may also expand and charge for up to four hours audit planning if key audit planning data required is not submitted.

Clause 5.8 Conducting On-Site Audit Activities

Each audit shall include implementation of requirements for new customers since the last audit. The on-site audit shall cover manufacturing on all shifts where it occurs, including sample of shift changeover. During stage 2, recertification and transfer audits, all manufacturing processes shall be audited on each shift. The surveillance cycle shall include auditing of all manufacturing processes during each shift.

TS-certified supplier expectation: Expect more audit time in production areas to cover all shifts and all manufacturing processes.

Clause 5.9 Audit Findings

If the surveillance audit is terminated, the certificate is suspended and a full repeat audit shall occur within 90 days of the closing meeting date (CMD). If a recertification audit is terminated, the audit shall be repeated. If the 90-day timing is exceeded, the client shall require stage 1 and 2 audits. If a transfer audit is terminated, the client shall start over with stage 1 and 2.
TS-certified supplier expectation: Expect certificate withdrawal for late or poor corrective-action replies. Starting over with an initial audit involves a significant cost and time investment.

Clause 5.10 Writing the Audit Report

The final audit report shall be acknowledged by a client representative. The list of required report contents has increased significantly. These changes shall require additional off-site reporting time.

TS-certified supplier expectation: Expect that the audit team will require your signature on the draft audit report and may request an accuracy check on contents prior to release.

Clause 5.11 Nonconformity Management

 The CB shall require client response to nonconformities within 60 days, including evidence of correction; root cause methodology, analysis and results; systemic corrective action; and verification of effectiveness. If a nonconformance is not closed in 90 days, the audit result is deemed failed and the IATF database is updated. This means that new clients are not certified (and existing clients have their certificate immediately withdrawn) and shall start over with stage 1 and 2. In exceptional cases where implementation of corrective actions cannot be completed within 90 days from the end of the audit, the CB shall consider the nonconformity “open but 100 percent resolved” if the issue has been contained, an acceptable action plan with implementation evidence has been submitted, an on-site follow-up visit prior to the next audit has been scheduled and records for the justification of the situation are maintained by the CB.  All nonconformances shall be reviewed at the subsequent visit. If not effectively implemented, the CB shall issue a major nonconformance against the corrective action process and reissue a major nonconformance against the repeat issue.

TS-certified supplier expectation: Expect more on-site audit time for major NC follow-up and withdrawn certificates for late and poor corrective action replies. This change anticipates that suppliers bolster their corrective action systems and prepare for shorter cycle time and additional scrutiny on their systemic corrective action replies.

Clause 8.3 Certificate Suspension Decision

Major nonconformances require certificate suspension. The CB shall request that the client provide a corrective action plan within a maximum of 20 calendar days of the notice to suspend. Major nonconformances require on-site verification, and these visits are considered special audits and shall be entered by the CB in the IATF database. Where corrective actions are not effectively implemented and verified within 90 days, the audit team shall recommend withdrawal of the certificate.

TS-certified supplier expectation: Suppliers can expect immediate suspension for major NCs and automatic notification to IATF OEMs. On-site corrective action for major NCs is a one-time event, and if a supplier cannot fully close the NC, the certificate is withdrawn.   

For more details on these ISO/TS 16949 changes or to better understand fourth edition updates, contact SQA.