Terms and abbreviations
Frequently used terms and abbreviations

Special terms and abbreviations are frequently used in connection with the IATF, i.e., in the context of the IATF 16949 certification in particular or in the IATF certification scheme in general, and we would like to mention them in the list below and explain in brief.

Please also use the search function associated with this list or the search function of the VDA QMC website, which is displayed on the right side of this website.

Term / Abbreviation Explanation Further information
Nonconformity In the context of an audit, this designates that an IATF 16949 requirement is not fulfilled. Usually, a classification is made, that is, the deviation is classified as either Major or Minor Nonconformity. Also see “NC”.
Cancellation of a certificate The cancellation of a certificate is an action to declare a certificate as invalid. The cancellation of a certificate is not a sanction.
You can check whether an IATF 16949 certificate issued is still valid under the “IATF Certificate Validity Check” or the “IATF Customer Portal”.
IATF Customer Portal
Date of issue of a certificate The issue date of a certificate is identical with the date on which a positive certification decision was made by a so-called veto-person of the certification body.
Audit programme Planning a series of audits, which are planned for a specified time frame and a certain objective.
Continuation of the validity of a certificate The continued validity of a certificate is based of ongoing surveillance audits, recertification audits, and other agreements specified in the contract with the certification body.
Special customer status Notification of an company's ("Special Status" or "Special Status Condition”) as determined by the customer, when one or more customer requirements are not met due to significant quality or delivery problems.
Decertification / Decertification process The decertification process is a process that checks the validity of an IATF 16949 certificate in accordance with the prescribed requirements.

The completion of this process results in either a reinstatement or a irrevocable withdrawal of an IATF 16949 certificate after an interim suspension.
Withdrawal of a certificate The irrevocable termination of validity of the certificate as a sanction of the certification body owing to a client's breach of the certification contract. IATF Customer Portal
IATF Certification Body An IATF-recognized certification body (frequently abbreviated as “IATF CB”) is a certification body, which is contractually bound to one of the IATF Oversight Offices and primarily monitored by it for the adherence to the IATF requirements. IATF-recognized Certification Bodies are authorised to issue certificates in accordance with the IATF 16949 standard on behalf of IATF. IATF Certification Bodies
IATF CB Communiqué IATF Certification Body Communiqués (also: referred to as “IATF CB Communiqué” or “CB Communiqué” for short) serve the IATF in publishing important information, especially for IATF-recognized Certification Bodies.
FAQ A FAQ is a Frequently Asked Question on the IATF 16949 standard or the Certification Rules. FAQs and SIs of the IATF
IATF 16949 Quality management system standard of the automotive industry (abbreviated: “QMS Standard” or “QM System Standard”). Together with the requirements of ISO 9001 and the relevant customer-specific requirements, this standard defines the requirements for quality management systems of suppliers in the automotive industry. This standard should be understood as a supplement to and only in conjunction with ISO 9001:2015. Webshop of the VDA QMC
IATF ADP IATF ADP (Auditor Development Process) is an online qualification and advanced training platform primarily for qualified IATF 16949 3rd party auditors. IATF ADP-Login
IATF AMP IATF AMP (IATF Audit Management Platform) is the IATF-wide IT platform, with the help of which the audit programmes of IATF Global Oversight are managed.
IATF CARA IATF CARA (IATF Common Audit Report Application) is the globally uniform application, with which not only are all the IATF 16949 3rd party audits documented, but it also includes the application for deviation management of audited organisations. The application is mandatory for all audits in accordance with IATF CB Communiqué 2020-007 (REV 01) since 1st January 2021.
IATF OEM “OEM” is used in the automotive industry and thus also used in IATF synonymous to a vehicle manufacturer. IATF OEM Members
IATF Rules “IATF Rules” is the general term for the certification requirements of the IATF. The complete and correct designation is: “Rules for achieving and maintaining IATF Recognition”. These certification rules include the requirements according to which, the auditing and certification has to be conducted globally. Webshop of the VDA QMC
ISO International Organization for Standardization
Website of the ISO
Client The certification customer, i.e., the certified organisation is termed as client, namely, from the point of view of a certification body. These are organisations certified according to IATF 16949 with their corresponding locations.
LoC An “LoC” (letter of conformance) is a declaration of conformity. This provisionally confirms that the IATF requirements were fulfilled, but a certification was still not done.
NC “NC” usually stands for a deviation (“Nonconformity” or even “Noncompliance”). In the context of an audit, this designates the deviation from a requirement. Usually, a classification is made, that is, the deviation is classified as either Major or Minor nonconformity.
Nonconformity See „NC“
Quick Reference Guide The “Quick reference guides” contain notes for understanding IATF OEM scorecards, which are especially supplied to the certification bodies and their auditors’ explanations for understanding and correct interpretation of supplier performance data.
CSR Customer-specific requirements are interpretation or supplemental requirements linked to a specific clause(s) of the IATF 16949 Standard.
Suspension The temporary suspension of a certificate (suspension / suspended certificate) is a special certificate status, which was imposed because the client is in so-called decertification process. A suspended certificate continues to be considered as a valid certificate by IATF. Also see “Decertification”.

You can check whether an IATF 16949 certificate issued is still valid under the “IATF Certificate Validity Check” or the “IATF Customer Portal”.
IATF Customer Portal

You will also find more abbreviations and terms from the field of quality management under the following link:

Glossary of VDA QMC
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