What are you looking for?

IATF 16949 Certification – Automotive Quality Management Systems

Work with SGS to develop an automotive quality management system and become certified against the requirements of IATF 16949.


The International Automotive Task Force (IATF), which helps the global automotive industry to develop quality products, released the first edition of IATF 16949 in October 2016.

IATF 16949 focuses on QMS requirements for organizations involved with automotive production, services or accessories. This standard provides comprehensive and applicable customer-specific requirements and tools for the automotive industry. It is congruent with ISO 9001 in terms of framework, structure and requirements.

Corporate Audit Scheme

Organizations adapting to IATF 16949 could benefit from corporate audit scheme certification, which is allowed under this standard and can be applied where multiple manufacturing sites can be audited collectively.

A corporate audit scheme enables a QMS to be centrally structured and managed via regular internal audits at all sites. Moving to a corporate audit system will simplify the documentation and audit process, enable auditing to be conducted more efficiently and reduce the cost and amount of time spent auditing each site during the three-year audit cycle.

Car Plant Workers on Production Line

Benefits of IATF 16949 Certification

IATF 16949’s benefits include:

  • Simplified language and a common structure of terms
  • Emphasis on defect prevention
  • Support for continual improvement
  • Automotive industry-specific requirements and tools
  • Reduced supply chain variation and waste

By implementing IATF 16949, you will demonstrate that your organization meets the highest standards for quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness in automotive production and service. Certification will allow you to enable continual improvement while maintaining a competitive edge.

How can SGS help?

Our global network of expert quality management professionals can guide you through the IATF 16949 certification process with training, pre-audits and certification audits.

We offer a variety of training solutions to help you understand the requirements of IATF 16949, Annex SL, risk-based thinking and empowering leadership.

Contact us to learn more about IATF 16949 certification.

IATF Rules 6th Edition

IATF has published the 6th edition of the Rules for Achieving and Maintaining IATF Recognition (IATF Rules). The 6th edition shall be fully implemented by January 1, 2025, replacing the 5th edition.

The IATF Rules specify the requirements for achieving and maintaining IATF recognition. Therefore, they affect audits to achieve or maintain IATF 16949 certification.

If you are an automotive manufacturer or supplier and would like  a better overview of the key changes and impacts, you can refer to our guidance below or watch our on-demand webinar

IATF Rules 6th edition – impacts to clients

Any client that currently has an extended manufacturing site (EMS) will no longer be eligible if the distance from the main manufacturing site to the EMS is more than 10 miles (16 kilometers) or a driving distance of more than 60 minutes.

Any current certificate structures that do not meet this change will require two separate site certificates, either as single sites or as a corporate scheme.

The client will be issued a new, legally enforceable, agreement in line with the changes in the Rules 6th edition and additional requirements, to be returned and in place by January 1, 2025.

Where additional sites are being added to a corporate scheme, the additional sites shall be added to the agreement, which is to be signed and returned before auditing of the site(s).

Surveillance audits are to take place +/- 3 months from the due date. if the client refuses to have the audit within this time period and the time without an audit extends past this, then the certificate will be cancelled, there will be no suspension allowed, and the client will start the process again with the initial audit.

The 6-month audit frequency is removed.

5.2.q When the client does not meet the IATF OEM quality/delivery target, if it is not possible to add additional time to this audit, then a special audit shall be conducted within 60 calendar days of the closing meeting.

Pre-audit or gap analysis desk study review is no longer permitted under IATF scheme rules, this is deemed as consulting.

Sites in a corporate scheme will now qualify for only 15% of the minimum audit days in the audit day calculations, before rounding up to the nearest 0.5 day.

The 20%, 30% and 40% permitted reductions have been removed.

Letter of Conformance (LoC) reductions addressed in 5.14

For a client applying for initial certification following a previous certification withdrawal, cancellation or expiry, no stage 1 readiness review is required. Stage 2 initial review is required, but audit days can be equivalent to recertification audit days, under the following conditions:

  1. CB shall be the same (SGS)
  2. No more than 12 months have passed
  3. There is a special audit to verify the effective implementation of corrective actions for the non-conformities (NCs) which caused the certificate withdrawal

Note: If a client has lost a certificate due to withdrawal for longer than three years, then the special audit does not apply.

Combined reductions can be up to a maximum of 30%.

The audit program for a stand alone – remote support location (SA-RSL) starts with an initial audit or transfer and is then followed by ongoing surveillance audits. (Recertification for SA-RSL will no longer apply.) 

For non-product design functions, SA-RSLs shall be audited at least every 24 months (+/- 3 months) from the initial or transfer due date. There is an exception for product design, where audits are to take place every 12 months (+/- 3 months). Failure to conduct an audit in due time shall result in an initial audit.

For some SA-RSL sites where no client product or material is being handled, it is possible to conduct alternate audits remotely.

For surveillance, recertification and transfers the client shall agree on and confirm the audit due date  no less than 90 calendar days from the audit due date.

If the client notifies us that they will not run automotive production during the planned audit date(s), then the audit shall be postponed or cancelled. However this may result in the client’s loss of certification if the postponement is outside of allowable timing.

The client shall provide the information to the auditor for audit planning no less than 30 calendar days before the audit start date. This will allow the auditor to conduct the review and issue the audit plan at least 14 days before the audit. Failure to submit this information in time may result in the audit being delayed, whereby the auditor may not have diary allocation to accommodate the audit, which, if outside of the allowable time, will result in loss of certification.

It is no longer acceptable to review missing audit planning information before the audit opening meeting. The only exception to this is the management review (MR) records. If the client does not send these due to confidentiality reasons, in this case only, an additional two hours shall be added to the audit plan, before the opening meeting, to review the MR records.

The previous one hour pre-meeting is no longer applicable, instead, this will form part of the opening meeting and the normal eight hour audit day.

Any special audits as a result of 100% resolved non-conformities shall be conducted not less than 90 days before the next scheduled audit.

The last NC submitted to the auditor in CARA, which has resulted in 100% resolved, must be updated again by the client to show the final verification activities, and that the 100% resolved actions are now fully implemented/completed and have been verified and submitted to the auditor a minimum of 30 days before the special audit.

This special audit to verify 100% resolved status is a one-time special audit, so any actions still open at that point, not closed, will result in a loss of certification.

The client will be left with the draft report at the closing meeting and will get a final report, after the SGS internal technical review, between 15-20 calendar days after the audit closing meeting.

The start date of any resulting decertification will be the date of the audit closing meeting, not the date of receipt of the final report. Therefore, it is important to continue with NC management while awaiting the final report.

If the client is going to apply for certification, the client shall have an initial audit stage 1 and stage 2, with a 30% reduction in stage 2 days, before the expiry date of the LoC. If this is exceeded, the reduction will not apply.

If the client applies for a second LoC a 30% reduction of the audit days will apply, if the audit is conducted before the expiry of the current LoC.

SGS shall not schedule, plan or undertake any audit activities or make changes to scope with the applicant organization until a legal contract is signed between the applicant organization and SGS.

For clients transferring to SGS from another CB, SGS shall establish a client record in the IATF database within seven calendar days after a legal contract is signed. This will ensure that the IATF Global Oversight and IATF OEM’s can see that the client has signed a new contract with SGS and that the client is already in the transfer process.

For clients who have lost previous certification in the last three years, a special audit will be required. If the issue which led to the withdrawal of the certificate is still present, the audit is entered into the IATF database as failed and additional special audits can be conducted until a satisfactory result is achieved before moving forward to an initial audit.

Related Services

More Services

News & Insights


Avenida da Namaacha, km 1.5, nº 8274,

Cidade de Maputo, 1116,