Volume 5 · Issue 8 · August 2000
TS 16949 to Be Revised in 2002; No Plans to Update QS-900
Big Three Task Force Answers Registrar Questions
Registration issues that will affect automotive suppliers
now and in the future were among the subjects of a meeting
on August 8, 2000, between the DaimlerChrysler/Ford/General
Motors Supplier Quality Requirements Task Force (SQRTF) and
representatives of the Independent Association of Accredited
"Representatives of the IAAR met with the Task Force to discuss
areas of mutual interest concerning the third-party system
and registration to QS-9000, [the TE Supplement to] QS-9000,
and the IATF scheme for ISO/TS 16949," reported Peter B. Lake,
Chairman of the Automotive Sector Committee of the IAAR and
Contact for the International Automotive Sector Group (IASG),
in a memorandum to IAAR registrars and members of the IASG
and of the International Automotive Oversight Bureau (IAOB)
concerning the meeting.
The memo details the meeting and a number of the queries
posed by the IAAR representatives and the responses provided
by the Task Force members. There were three general areas
- Questions relative to QS-9000
- IASG planning and IAAR representation
- Questions relative to ISO Technical Specification (TS)
Lake provided a copy of the memo to THE OUTLOOK as
background information to be used to help automotive suppliers
understand the latest developments involving quality system
and registration requirements as currently envisioned by the
SQRTF, which is responsible for QS-9000, and the International
Automotive Task Force (IATF), which is responsible for TS
The questions and answers (Q&As) in this document are informative
in nature, and they should not be treated as requirements
or definitive SQRTF positions. Lake described the Q&As to
THE OUTLOOK in the following terms:
"These questions and answers are not to be treated as another
set of interpretations, such as with the IASG Sanctioned QS-9000
Interpretations where suppliers and registrars are required
to treat the interpretations as an extension of QS-9000s
requirements. The queries were posed to the Task Force members
at this meeting in an effort to gain clarifications on issues,
not to obtain air-tight rulings."
When asked about the information coming out of these meetings,
one registrar executive noted that the message seems clear:
automotive suppliers should not panic. Change is on its way,
but there is plenty of time to understand it and to manage
the upgrade process. An upgrade from QS-9000, 3rd Edition,
to TS 16949 was compared with upgrading from the 2nd to the
3rd Edition of QS-9000; the upgrade process just needs to
be managed the way suppliers managed registration in the first
Below is a summarization of those questions and answers that
may impact on how a supplier maintains conformance to automotive
quality system requirements as they exist today and what the
future of sector-specific requirements will be as they evolve.
This has added importance in light of the upcoming finalization
of ISO 9001:2000.
The most significant fact to come out of the meeting is that
revisions to TS 16949:1999 to align it with ISO 9001:2000
may not be completed until the first half of 2002. However,
this is not a definitive answer.
QS-9000, Laboratory and EMS Issues
The Task Force has indicated that there are still no plans
to update QS-9000 to provide alignment when ISO 9001:2000
is released. In fact, the only changes that might occur to
the QS-9000 registration system would be through the IASG
Interpretations, and there are no plans for any changes.
The term "at present" continues to be used in reference to
QS-9000 upgrades, but the lack of a start to revision work
at this late date means that QS-9000-suppliers interested
in updating their QMSs to conform with ISO 9001:2000or
required by other customers to do soface a challenge.
However, there have been no indications that any "customers"
are even considering setting deadlines for suppliers to update
their ISO 9001/2/3:1994 registrations. THE OUTLOOK
recommends that QS-9000-registered suppliers awaiting some
definite change in requirements from the SQRTF members use
the interim to examine their QMSs against ISO 9001:2000 when
it is published and make system improvements that maintain
conformance with requirements in QS-9000 and TS 16949.
The Big Three also have no plans to establish new requirements
and/or expand the number of tooling and equipment (TE) suppliers
required to obtain "registration" to the TE Supplement to
QS-9000. For the latest information about existing TE Supplement
"registration requirements" for key TE suppliers to DaimlerChrysler
and Ford, see "DaimlerChrysler TE Suppliers Face July Registration
Deadline," THE OUTLOOK, June 2000.
However, when it comes to use of as yet unaccredited laboratories,
a variance to QS-9000, 4.11.2.b.1, Calibration Services, in
the IASG Sanctioned QS-9000 Interpretations might not
be extended. The variance permits QS-9000-registered suppliers
to use commercial/independent calibration laboratories that
are not accredited to ISO/IEC Guide 25 (or ISO 17025) until
January 1, 2001, because of delays in the accreditation of
sufficient calibrations labs to satisfy supplier needs. Although
nothing is definitely decided, DaimlerChrysler is evidently
leaning against extending the deadline and GM is still considering
its position (Ford does not require conformance with 4.11.2.b.1).
While Ford and GM have set supplier deadlines for the implementation
and registration of environmental management systems (EMSs)
to ISO 14001, DaimlerChrysler has not yet set any deadlines
or specific requirements, although its position on ISO 14001
requirements "is under consideration".
TS 16949 Issues
Since the SQRTF has no plans to issue a fourth edition of
QS-9000 that is aligned with the format and verbatim text
of ISO 9001:2000 or that otherwise updates the automotive
quality system requirements, the biggest question is when
TS 16949:1999, which contains the verbatim text of ISO 9001:1994,
will be revised and reissued to contain the verbatim text
of ISO 9001:2000.
The answer regarding this matter from the SQRTF, whose members
are also members of the IATF, has not yet been finalized,
but the following facts can be reported based on their initial
- ISO technical specifications have a defined 3-year lifespan,
according to ISOs standards development rules. Thus,
ISO TS 16949, which was published in March 1999, must be
revised and reissued by March 2002 if the IATF is to adhere
strictly to the ISO procedures.
- The IATF expects to have a "draft version" of the revised
TS 16949 developed in early 2001 for circulation within
TC 176 for review and balloting. Although the TS drafting
process is different from the International Standards process
in some ways, TC 176 member bodies will have an opportunity
to review and provide comments on the initial draft version.
It is not clear how long the review and voting process will
- Assuming that the IATF members are in consensus on the
text of the draft version and will be able to address any
issues raised during review and balloting process without
making significant changes, an automotive supplier could
use the draft version to achieve conformance with the draft
and revise its QMS and documentation to conform with ISO
9001:2000. However, the supplier could not register to the
draft version of TS 16949.
Another issue addressed in the Q&A is whether there will
be a transition requirement from TS 16949:1999 to the revised
edition. Even if TS 16949 is not reissued until the first
half of 2002, there will be at least 18 months during which
registration to TS 16949:1999 could remain in effect.
Accreditation bodies will be conducting a 3-year transition
period after the publication of ISO 9001:2000 during which
registration to ISO 9001/2/3:1994 will be permitted.
The Task Force indicated that registrars may be required
to maintain supplier registrations to TS 16949:1999 "through
early 2003". The end result is that, as noted before, organizations
should not panic, since change to registration requirements
is not imminent and registrars will likely provide information
to their clients as soon as the registrars know what automotive
sector transition requirements will require.
Of the Big Three, GM is still the only one to have issued
customer-specific requirements linked directly to TS 16949.
While Fords plans for release of requirements linked
directly to TS 16949 or for continued use of Fords existing
customer-specific requirements in QS-9000 are not yet known,
DaimlerChrysler is now expecting to have its TS 16949-specific
requirements issued in September 2000. In the meantime, the
existing DaimlerChrysler customer-specific requirements in
QS-9000 remain in effect.
There are likely to be issues arising over the intent of
requirements in TS 16949 and how they are to be conformed
with and/or audited against. In that regard, there is an openness
to the establishment of a sanctioned interpretations process
for TS 16949 similar to the IASG system for QS-9000. No formal
structure is in place, but THE OUTLOOK will provide
information on the process and contacts if and when such a
TS interpretations system is established.
Subclause 4.10.6, Laboratory Requirements, in TS 16949 requires
commercial/independent inspection, test or calibration labs
to be accredited to ISO 17025:2000. Organizations that use
independent labs evidently can continue to use themfor
nowif the labs are in the process but not yet accredited
to ISO 17025:2000.
According to the IAOB, due to ISO 17025s newness and
the resulting need for laboratory accreditation bodies to
get ready to accredit to ISO 17025, a supplier can be registered
to TS 16949 if it is has a plan in place to deal with the
lack of accredited labs and has evidence that the commercial/independent
labs it uses have plans to achieve accreditation. But registrars
are expected to check for reasonable progress during surveillance
audits and for labs to be reasonable in pursuing accreditation.
THE OUTLOOK will provide continuing coverage of the
TS 16949 revision process and developments involving the transition
to ISO 9001:2000 in the automotive sector.
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