What Are IATF 16949 Audit Types

What Are IATF 16949 Audit Types

IATF 16949 stresses a great way on getting full compliance to all legal national and international requirement along with customer centric requirements too. Keeping in view the complexity of automotive sector, internal audits have been divided into three segments having unique requirements and specific scopes with some specific competencies to execute the practice.

Step wise Approach for IATF 16949 Internal Audit

Internal audit should be carried on by following the below steps sequence wise:

  1. Planning and Communicating the Audit Schedule: Before executing any audit exercise, it is important to plan and communicate the audit plan first to all stakeholders. All QMS subjected to get audited against IATF 16949 has to be one during a three year period of time and during such period everyone involved in the practice should get time to prepare for the audit. The team leader of the audit practice needs to design an internal audit program and should make sure that it is being communicated to every team member.
  2. Planning the Audit Process: Having done with the basic outline of audit planning, the team leader has to sit with the rest of the team especially the process owners to add audit plan in their schedule no matter how hectic their schedules are. Previous audit reports can also be discussed during that meeting and process owners should take active part about last audit’s findings related to their audit areas. Being an audit team leader, you can highlight improvement areas so that process owners can take corrective actions proactively before the actual audit.
  3. Audit Execution: After confirming audit plan feasibility from every process owner, the auditor can start executing the audit. Auditor should have relevant documents before the audit which includes interviews of employees, observation, past audit report, opportunities of improvements and areas of concerns.
  4. Audit Report: Once the audit has been done and checklist of IATF 16949 has been filled up, it is time to conduct closing meeting of all stakeholders and process owners. Here, the auditor can also discuss any improvement points that has been observed and suggestions can be taken on spot. It is mandatory to take all the observation on documented basis in order to follow up for future references.
  5. Discussion and Follow up about Non-conformities: After highlighting non-conformities and areas of improvement in the audit report, one need to share the audit report with process owners and relevant stakeholders. Without proper follow up, it is nearly impossible to get things right at the first place. Set timelines with the team and assign responsible persons to take appropriate corrective actions where necessary. Appreciate the team where they get right things on right time on their way to making system better.

 Categories of Internal Audit of IATF 16949

The process of internal audit for IATF 16949 has been divided into following types:

  1. Quality Management System Audit
  2. Manufacturing Process Audit
  3. Product Audit

Quality Management System Audit

In order to gauge the level of compliance of the implemented QMS with the standard and customer centric quality management system, Quality Management System Audit is considered as the epitome of internal audit practice where the mandatory tool used to check compliance of QMS with the standard is Process Approach.  

Manufacturing Process Audit

In order to measure the level of effectiveness and efficiency of the process used for manufacturing comes under Manufacturing Process Audit. It has to be done in three year calendar period. To execute a manufacturing process audit, the organization needs to define process based audit approach that should consist of:

  • A consolidated audit plan that refers to key processes of manufacturing.
  • Performance evaluation to check metrics for the organization and suppliers or vendors.
  • A check list having all the important details about the manufacturing process.
  • A check to ensure effective implementation of process risk analysis tools such as FMEA and associated documents.

Product Audit

The final result of any manufacturing process should be high quality products. The manufacturing process should be capable to deliver final products that are fully compliant with the requirements of customers and organization.

Key Deliverables of IATF 16949 Audit Types

Many organizations tend to consider the exercise of audit as an additional expense and burden. However, IATF 16949 audit when done correctly delivers various advantages for the organizations in the longer run. One of the main key deliverable of IATF 16949 audit is Process Improvements be it in the form of innovation or any cost cutting solutions or in any other form. Internal audits provides an opportunity for the reality check to focus on hidden or neglected issues that sometimes vanish away in day to day routine. In this way, non-conformities can be addressed effectively before certification audit. Moreover, internal audits are ways to save you from major non-conformities and strengthens you to solve before time.

Difference between Customer Requirements and Customer Specific Requirements

The automobile sector needs to be compliant with two requirements named as Customer Requirements and Customer Specific Requirements which are not the same.

Here are point of difference between the two requirements which are:

  1. Customer Requirements

Customer requirements are those requirements that are product specific and differs from product to product. For example, specific tolerance based on OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer) specification.

  1. Customer Specific Requirements

Customer Specific Requirements are those requirements that comes from original manufacturer of equipment (OEMs) and is also added as a supplement to IATF 16949.  

Other Types of Audits

Some other generic types of audits are:

  1. Combined Audit
  2. Compliance Audit
  3. Desktop Audit
  4. External Audit
  5. First Party Audit
  6. Financial Audit
  7. Integrated Audit
  8. Joint Audit
  9. On Site Audit
  10. Outsourced Audit
  11. Pre-assessment Audit
  12. Process Audit
  13.  Product Audit
  14. Recertification Audit
  15. Remote Audit
  16. Second Party Audit
  17. Special Audit
  18. Stage 1 Audit
  19. Stage 2 Audit
  20. Supplier Audit
  21. Surveillance Audit
  22. System Audit
  23. Third Party Audit
  24. Transfer Audit

Meta Description:

IATF 16949 is one of the globally recognized standard made especially for automotive sector and based on rock solid notions of process based approach of auditing that includes risk based thinking also. IATF 16949 has three audit categories namely QMS audit, Manufacturing Audit and Product audit.    

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About Author

Sunita Verma, Founder and President of Sync Resource started the company in 2009 with a vision to provide management consulting to small & medium size businesses around the country.
Sunita holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering(India) with prestigious gold medal by then President of India and renowned Scientist Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
As an active philanthropist she believes in pay it forward and is a contributing member of charitable organizations like St. Jude’s Foundation and North Fulton Charities.


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