FAQs on the IATF Certification Scheme
General questions and answers on the Certification Scheme of the IATF

On this page you will find answers to frequently asked questions about the IATF or IATF certification scheme in general. We will continue to update and build on this list as time goes on.

The IATF publications (i.e. the IATF 16949 Standard, the IATF Rules and the IATF Auditor Guide) are available in 13 different languages. The IATF publications in German can be purchased from the VDA QMC webshop.

For more information on where to purchase other language editions, please visit the IATF website.

For the English version of IATF 16949, please contact our partner associations AIAG (USA) or SMMT (UK).

The IATF 16949 certification can only be obtained by production sites that produce customer-specified serial or production parts, spare parts and/or accessories that are permanently installed in the vehicle or electronically connected and supplied to customers in the automotive industry.

“Customer-specified production parts” are defined as parts that are an integral part of a vehicle, i.e. permanently installed in a vehicle. Although they do not meet this exact specification, fire extinguishers, jacks, floor mats, owner’s manuals, triangular warning symbols, and high-visibility waistcoats are also considered “customer-specified production parts” (see also Sanctioned Interpretation No. 7 of the IATF Rules).

For more information, see chapter 1.0 “Eligibility for Certification to IATF 16949” in the IATF Rules. You can purchase a copy of the IATF Rules in the VDA QMC webshop.

A total of 39 certification bodies are currently recognized by the IATF. The majority of these certification bodies have  global footprint and can offer certification in accordance with IATF 16949 in almost every country.

The IATF Oversight Office at the VDA QMC is responsible for 10 of these 39 IATF-recognized certification bodies. For an overview of the certification bodies managed by the VDA QMC please click here. A link is provided to all IATF-recognized certification bodies,

The International Automotive Task Force (IATF) issues so-called Sanctioned Interpretations (SIs) and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the QM System Standard IATF 16949 and the IATF Rules from time to time.

A Sanctioned Interpretation (SI) changes the interpretation of a rule or requirement, which itself then becomes the basis for a potential nonconformity.

A Frequently Asked Question (“FAQ”) is an explanation or a clarification of an existing rule or requirement.

For the currently published SIs and FAQs, please click here.

The IATF has launched an online portal to check the validity of an IATF 16949 certificate. In this “Customer Portal” or “Certificate Validity Check”, the corresponding site and the validity of the certificate in question can be determined by entering an IATF number or the IATF USI (IATF “Unique Site Identifier”).

Go to the IATF Customer Portal

Please contact one of the IATF-recognized certification bodies. Upon successful registration, the qualification to become an IATF 16949 3rd party auditor is issued in accordance with the IATF Auditor Qualification Process.

In principle, auditor candidates must fulfil the following basic requirements:

a) Qualification in accordance with ISO/IEC 17021 and the relevant requirements of the accreditation body for ISO 9001 audits,

b) Performance of at least six (6) audits as ISO 9001 certification auditor in manufacturing companies, at least three (3) of which should be performed as the lead auditor,

Remark: Prior experience with internal system audits or supplier system audits in manufacturing companies in the automotive industry may be counted.

c) demonstrable knowledge of automotive specific quality techniques; and

d) four (4) years of relevant practical experience (full time) within the last ten (10) years in an organisation within the scope of IATF 16949, (see section 1.0) – of which two (2) years must have been in the field of quality assurance and/or quality management.

Remark: Experience in similar industries, such as the chemical, electrical or metal industries, may be counted.

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