The automotive industry is very demanding: it is necessary to ensure “high” quality of products with on time delivery, focusing on continuous improvement and minimizing errors and losses throughout the entire supply chain. Thanks to such approach it is possible to ensure high competitiveness. Therefore, to be able to meet the requirements, car manufacturers require their suppliers to meet the requirements of the IATF 16949 standard, known before its new release in 2016 as ISO/TS 16949. Due to the many mandatory requirements to be implemented, an IATF audit is not easy. It can also be a stressful event for an organization. Therefore, I invited IATF auditor from different certification bodies and from different countries for an interview. Today they answer: How to prepare for the audit?

So let’s get to know the answers to question 1:

How to prepare for the audit?

I invite you to read the answers given by my guests. Each of them is a unique expert with extensive professional and auditing experience in the automotive industry.

The order in which they are presented is completely random., Agata Lewkowska, IATF auditor

Pedro Oliveira da Silva

LinkedIn profile:

This is something that I often do, not as auditor, of course, but as support to companies and my advice is always: show what you do! Don’t prepare anything, just do your job and show it. Of course, we can have a revision, we can have a double check but that is also what the IATF standard tell us “measure and improve”. If you  are going to “prepare” for an audit, as in 1 week what you should have done over the year, not only it has no meaning, nor only it will be a huge stress (during which you are not looking to your customers) as it will, for sure, fall down with a couple of questions from a competent auditor.

So, in resume, keep your normal job, “don’t invent”, just show what you have. If there are nonconformities, let’s get those solved and closed in a proper way.

Andras Wiktor Szabo

LinkedIn profile:

Well, I think the only point what organizations should understand that automotive industry is about money. All the requirements by IATF 16949 and by customers are for assurance of on time, on quantity delivery in acceptable quality with the less possible waste. If you understand this, you will build a management system which helps your organization to operate effective and efficient instead of a Potemkin system which even if certified causes more trouble than benefit.

Kees de Wit

LinkedIn profile:

I see a few things that an organization must do in preparation for a regular scheduled IATF audit:

a. Identify key personnel within their organization that must be available during the audit
b. Identify key personnel that must be on standby (to answer auditor questions, if necessary)
c. Communicate to everyone within the organization the audit schedule
d. Communicate to everyone what to do when the auditor comes to your area and how to answer questions. “I do not know” can be a correct answer to a question.
e. Confirm (maybe reaudit) the corrective actions that were implemented because of the nonconformities found in the previous audit
f. Have a quite work area available for the auditor or auditing team with internet access
g. Make sure that is Coffee, coffee, coffee and water. (No donuts, please).

György Kőrösi

LinkedIn profile:

There is no need to prepare for external audit if your organization keeps running the system properly all the year. (Less energy and more flexible timebank as concentrate before external audit.)

The most important think is: having good internal auditors, good internal audit planning and real systematic problem solving as it will support the system effectively.

When I was preparing myself for the role of the automotive auditor this brilliant video series from you and Paul Hardiman did not exist*. It can be a great help for all trainee. Also very important is to study all definition word by word in IATF standard.

*The video series “How to audit in automotive industry” published on QualityWise YouTube channel. You can watch it here.

Dr Amir Hossein Doctoran

LinkedIn profile:

My advice to people who want to prepare for an IATF third party audit is to:

a) increase their technical knowledge of product design, development and manufacturing and at least have a good command of one product family,

b) mastery in quality management system requirements,

c) mastery in the core tools with a product approach.

Also watch the invitation to video interviews with my guests, which will be published on the QualityWise YouTube channel:

Hope you found this article interesting. If you wish to receive my articles sign up to the newsletter!

If I can help you with quality management issues, please contact me. You may also join me in my private group on Facebook: ISO 9001 & IATF 16949 QualityWise Group.

Thank you for your presence.

Agata Lewkowska Ph.D.

For people who want to know more:

Knowledge must have a solid foundation in order to avoid information noise. Therefore, the article was based on the following literature:

IATF 16949: 2016 Requirements for quality management systems in serial production and the production of spare parts in the automotive industry, 1st edition, 2016

Rules for Achieving IATF Recognition, 5th Edition, November 1, 2016

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