Volume 7 · Issue 2 · February 2002
ATG Receptive to Most Comments on Auto QMS Specifications
ISO/TS 16949:2002 Due in March; Allows More Discretion
An ISO Technical Specification (TS) containing automotive
quality management system (QMS) requirements aligned with
ISO 9001:2000 is about to become a reality, although it is
still not known if production and service parts suppliers
will be required by the sectors original equipment manufacturers
(OEMs) to register to it.
What is known is that there will now be some discretion in
terms of how the organizations registered to this TS will
ensure the QMS conformance of their suppliers, although ISO
9001:2000 registration will remain a de facto requirement
for almost all suppliers.
Following through on its plans to have a second edition out
by March 2002 via ISOs procedures for the development
of a TS, the Automotive Task Group (ATG) has finalized the
ballot draft of ISO/TS 16949:2002, Quality management systemsAutomotive
suppliersParticular requirements for the application
of ISO 9001:2000, and sent the document to ISO Central
Secretariat in Geneva for final editing and publication.
The ATG, which is composed of representatives from the European,
Japanese and US automotive OEMs and key suppliers, met in
Munich, Germany, January 14-18, 2002, and reviewed and addressed
all the comments submitted on the balloting draft of TS 16949.
"As Hank Gryn indicated previously, the ATG was always
very receptive to and appreciative of the comments provided
by TC 176 members," remarked Grant Gillis, Secretary
of ISO Technical Committee (TC) 176, the committee responsible
for the ISO 9000 series of standards and through which the
ATG has developed ISO/TS 16949.
Gillis, who represented the Secretariat of TC 176 at the
Munich meeting and assisted the ATG in revising the draft
of the TS, indicated that the 14 delegates in attendance and
others who participated by conference call accepted many of
the comments, most of which were editorial or structural in
For example, among the changes made was the removal of Sub-clause
3.1.1, Continual Improvement, from Sub-clause 3.1, Terms and
Definitions for the Automotive Industry, since the definition
for the term in ISO 9000:2000, Quality management systemsFundamentals
and vocabulary, is appropriate for the automotive sector.
"Removing 3.1.1 was more a matter of cleaning up the
balloting draft, since 3.1.1 contained the verbatim definition
of continual improvement in the Draft International
Standard of ISO 9000:2000," recalled Gillis. "It
simply had not been removed after the ATG accepted the definition
in the published edition of ISO 9000:2000."
However, the focus of the meeting was several key comments
on the issue of mandatory registration of suppliers to organizations
registered to ISO/TS 16949:2002. According to Gillis, the
ATG resolved the concerns presented in the comments by maintaining
the OEM goal of ensuring supplier QMS development through
the use of ISO 9001:2000 registration, but with some flexibility.
"Unless Otherwise Specified by the Customer
The key comments centered on 220.127.116.11, Supplier Quality Management
System Development, an addition to ISO 9001:2000s Subclause
7.4.1, PurchasingPurchasing Process. In the ballot draft,
18.104.22.168 required suppliers to an organization registering
to TS 16949:2002 to be registered by an accredited third-party
to ISO 9001:2000, with the organization required to perform
supplier development aimed at supplier QMS conformance with
the TS. Three problems came to light with the comments:
- ISO/IEC Directives Part 2:Rules for the structure and
drafting of International Standards and ISO/International
Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Guide 22, General criteria
for suppliers declaration of conformity, state
that a QMS document shall be written so that conformity
can be assessed by first, second or third parties.
- As worded, 22.214.171.124 provided no discretion to either the
organization registering to TS 16949:2002 or its customer(s)
in the demonstration of supplier development.
- The wording of 126.96.36.199 implies that all suppliers, not
just those that provide components, materials and/or services
that affect the product the organization supplies to its
customer, are required to be registered to ISO 9001:2000
and pursuing conformance with TS 16949.
"With the opportunity to discuss the comments, the provisions
of the ISO/IEC Directives and ISO/IEC Guide 22 and the text
of the balloting draft version of 188.8.131.52, the ATG members
understood that many of the comments were related partially
to a misunderstanding and partially to how the requirements
were stated," explained Gillis, who told THE OUTLOOK
that the delegates were receptive to the comments related
to 184.108.40.206 and drafted revised language that eliminates the
misunderstanding and improves the applicability of its requirements
for supplier development.
Although Gillis cautioned that the text of 220.127.116.11 is not
finalized since there may be some minor editing, the revised
text of 18.104.22.168 requires an organization to perform supplier
QMS development aimed at conformity with the requirements
of TS 16949:2002, with ISO 9001:2000 conformity as the first
step. The revised wording includes the following key statement:
Unless otherwise specified by the customer, suppliers
to the organization shall be third-party registered to ISO
9001:2000 by an accredited third-party certification body.
"As now written, 22.214.171.124 allows the sector experts to
define the requirements," acknowledged Gillis. "TC
176 understands that the TS is a sector-specific document
developed with the participation of the OEMs and suppliers
and intended for use by customers in the sector to ensure
that suppliers throughout the supply chain have mature/maturing
"By providing the customer with the discretion to set
the QMS requirements while making clear that ISO 9001:2000
registration is the likely customer requirement, the TS does
not automatically mandate registration to ISO 9001:2000. So,
if a customer specifies an alternative approach in its contracts
or its customer-specific requirements for TS 16949:2002 conformance,
TS 16949:2002 will not require an organization that supplies
to that customer to have its suppliers registered to ISO 9001:2000."
Likewise, the expectation is that an OEM could also be approached
by a supplier to have ISO 9001:2000 registration of a subcontractor
exempted from the registration requirement for justifiable
"Say the organization has a supplier that is in full
conformance with ISO 9001:2000 and is a Baldrige Award recipient
or has been receiving second-party audits for ISO 9001:2000
conformance and has a spotless quality record," suggested
Gillis. "126.96.36.199 now permits the organization to approach
its customer and work out an arrangement for that supplier
to demonstrate its QMS development without needing registration."
The ATG also addressed those comments regarding the scope
of suppliers covered by 188.8.131.52 by including a NOTE earlier
in Subclause 7.4.1 indicating that the suppliers intended
are those that provide product and/or services that affect
the ability of the organization to provide product that meets
customer specifications. "Office Depot, for example,
is not included in the scope," assured Gillis.
THE OUTLOOK will provide further information on the
changes from the balloting draft and on the use of ISO/TS
16949:2002 once the second edition of the TS is available.
"The final draft of the TS is now being prepared by
the editors in Geneva, who will be doing minor editing for
consistency and formatting purposes per ISO rules, and a clean
copy will be circulated to the ATG members and the TC 176
leadership so we will have the chance to review the text one
last time before it is released for publication," confirmed
Gillis. "ISO Central Secretariat has committed to making
every effort to meet the March target for publication of the
According to a source at the Automotive Industry Action Group
(AIAG), which has a license from ISO to publish and sell ISO/TS
16949, ISO/TS 16949:2002 will be available from AIAG by April
1, 2002. The price was not yet determined. The source also
indicated that QS-9000 and the Tooling and Equipment (TE)
Supplement to QS-9000 would "remain in effect" after
December 15, 2003, although this could not be confirmed at
There have been no indications from DaimlerChrysler Corporation,
Ford Motor Company or General Motors Corporation so far that
any one of the Big Three will be altering its mandate to specify
registration to TS 16949:2002 as the preferred or only option
for all or any group of suppliers.
THE OUTLOOK therefore recommends that suppliers evaluate
TS 16949:2002 once published and consider whether transitioning
from QS-9000 (ISO 9001/2:1994) to TS 16949:2002 (ISO 9001:2000)
is a practical business decision.
If you liked this article, subscribe
Back to top