Changes in VDA 6.3 audit approach in 2023,, Agata Lewkowska

VDA 6.3 is an in-depth process-based audit tool developed by VDA-QMC. It is applied by German automotive industry for organizations in the supply chain. VDA 6.3 was published for the first time in 1998 and was revised in 2010.

Till January 2023 we had 2016 edition in force. However, now since this month it will not be applicable anymore.

VDA 6.3 – changes comparing to the 2016 edition

  • Software aspects have been taken into consideration in the questionnaire
  • The content of this volume has been harmonized with further VDA methods, namely Automotive SPICE® and maturity level assurance for new parts (VDA MLA)
  • Requirements with regard to purchasing activities were added to P3 and P4
  • Specification of the auditor qualification
  • Notes on conducting remote audits were added
  • Chapter 4 (“Audit process”) was deleted, as its contents are included in ISO 19011
  • Chapter 8 (“Process audit services”) was deleted from VDA Volume 6.3
  • Chapter 10 (“Best practice/lessons learned”) was deleted
  • The evaluation of transport and parts handling (EU7) was omitted
  • In some cases, questions with special significance (*-questions) were redefined
  • Some of the questions regarding the potential analysis were reallocated
  • A comprehensive online glossary for all VDA volumes was established
  • Editorial revision

VDA 6.3 – what stays the same

  • The classification system (A, B, C) for the overall assessment
  • The structure of the questionnaire
  • The evaluation model for the individual questions (10-8-6-4-0)
  • The applicability of process elements P2–P7 according to Figure 2-1
  • The Turtle Model
  • Previous downgrading rules

During the revision, the distinction between process and system audits was once again explicitly taken into account. The current IATF requirements have been observed.

For products with integrated (embedded) software, the interface between hardware and software has been strengthened. However, for a detailed evaluation of the software development, the Automotive SPICE® method should be used.

Due to the changes that have been made, the results of audits conducted according to the present volume are not directly comparable to the results of audits carried out in accordance with the previous edition from 2016.


Together with Pedro Oliveira da Silva which you may remember from interview series with IATF 3rd party auditors here we have prepared for you a 10-episode video series:

 “How to work with VDA 6.3”

And we will also discuss the changes!

So, do not forget to subscribe to Qualitywise You Tube channel here.

Changes in VDA 6.3 audit approach in 2023, Video series about VDA 6.3 on Qualitywise you tube channel,, Agata Lewkowska

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Agata Lewkowska Ph.D.

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