Volume 8 · Issue 4 · June 2002
QS-9000 Interpretations and Supplier Development Q&A
IASG Interpretations Detail QS-9000 Phase-Out Process
On May 28, 2002, the International Automotive Sector Group
(IASG) issued several new IASG Sanctioned QS-9000 Interpretations
that become effective July 1, 2002.
The new entries do not represent so much new Interpretations
of the third editions requirements as supplemental information
regarding how QS-9000:1998 is to be conformed with today and
in the years leading up to its phase-out on December 14, 2006.
The complete set of IASG Interpretations is reprinted in the
supplement accompanying the June issue of THE OUTLOOK,
with the new Interpretations dated (7/1/02).
Two key changes defined as a result of the new interpretations
- Ford Motor Companys customer-specific requirements
in Section II of QS-9000:1998 have been in effect amended
to defer to Q1 2002 in some areas.
- The process for the phase-out of QS-9000:1998 certificates
of registration has been formally defined and described.
In addition, the DaimlerChrysler/Ford Motor Company/General
Motors Supplier Quality Requirements Task Force (SQRTF) has
developed a document that addresses the implications surrounding
Interpretation C9, which became effective July 1, 2001. This
report examines the new Interpretations issued by the IASG
and the SQRTF document.
It is important to note that the 2006 date is when QS-9000:1998
will no longer be a registration option and that making the
transition to ISO Technical Specification (TS) 16949:2002,
Quality management systemsParticular requirements for
the application of ISO 9001:2000 for automotive production
and relevant service part organizations, sooner would
be a smart business decision for many suppliers.
The two additions contained in the latest version of the IASG
Interpretations represent to a certain degree "housekeeping"
by the SQRTF following developments since the last version
became effective July 1, 2001. The first additionInterpretation
C10, Ford Motor Company Specific Requirementsrelates
to changes in Fords supplier requirements with the introduction
of Q1 2002, which became effective February 1, 2002.
The second addition, Interpretation R8, spells out what registrars
will need to do regarding QS-9000 certificates so that they
will remain in effect after the ISO 9001:1994 content in QS-9000:1998
becomes "obsolete" on December 15, 2003.
C10 states requirements that are intended specifically for
Ford suppliers that hold Q1 2002 status. It actually serves
- Affirms Q1 2002s requirement that production suppliers
to Fords operations in Europe and North America be
registered to QS-9000 or ISO/TS 16949 by a qualified third-party
registrar by February 1, 2002. The third edition of QS-9000
states that all Ford suppliers, except those serving Fords
Australian operations, are not required to be registered
to QS-9000, since Ford held that self-declared conformity
was acceptable in light of the need for its suppliers to
hold Q1 status. C10 basically reverses the QS-9000 registation
position Ford stated when the third edition was released
and Q1 did not require registration. Ford did begin to require
QS-9000 registration of new suppliers and of suppliers that
lost their Q1 status and wanted to regain it, but those
already holding Q1 status could self-assess. Now that Q1
has been revised to require QS-9000 or ISO/TS 16949 registration
of all suppliers, the Ford statement in QS-9000 needed to
be updated. Ford retains the right to waive the registration
requirement for specific suppliers.
- Establishes the Quality Operating System (QOS) performance
metrics required by Q1 2002, which are to be covered annually
in a suppliers Manufacturing Site Assessments, as
the metrics to be used to satisfy QS-9000:1998 as well as
Q1. In addition, C10 authorizes a Tier 1 supplier to Ford
to use the Q1 2002 Manufacturing Site Assessment to conduct
second-party audits of subcontractor development per Interpretation
C9. A Tier 1 is still required to obtain a letter of authorization
for its second-party audits from Ford, although this is
available on the Ford web site in an area accessible by
suppliers holding Q1 status.
The more far-reaching addition is R8, which directs QS-9000-qualified
registrars on how QS-9000:1998 certificates of registration
are to be handled in 2003. It is at the end of 2003 that ISO
9001/2:1994 will technically cease to exist for registration
purposes, even though they will remain a part of QS-9000:1998
The SQRTF has indicated that it has gained agreement from
ISO to permit the continued use of the 20 clauses that make
up Section 4 of ISO 9001:1994 in QS-9000:1998, which will
not be revised. But the agreement lasts only until December
14, 2006, at which time any registrations to QS-9000:1998
will cease to be recognized.
As reported in April, the extended period for ISO 9001/2:1994
use as part of a QS-9000:1998 registration was arranged to
permit the efficient and value-added transition of QS-9000-registered
organizations to ISO/TS 16949:2002 or its successor. There
are more than 22,000 certificates of registration to QS-9000:1998
worldwide, or approximately 5% of worldwide registrations
to ISO 9001/2, and possibly a large number of secondary registrations
to ISO 9001/2 among suppliers to these QS-9000 registrants.
It was not verified at press time, but one reason for a new
interpretation discussing the procedures to be followed for
QS-9000:1998 certificates may be a certain amount of misinformation
in the marketplace. Apparently, a few registrars have incorrectly
informed their QS-9000-registered clients that they would
need to undergo a transition audit to ISO 9001:2000 to maintain
their QS-9000:1998 registrations.
[THE OUTLOOK is directly aware of two instances. One
involved a subscriber who reported to THE OUTLOOK that
his registrars auditors said his company would need
to upgrade its certificate to ISO 9001:2000 by December 15,
2002, to maintain its QS-9000 registration. In the other,
an attendee at an ASQ Annual Quality Congress session on May
22, 2002, asked the presenter if his company needed to upgrade
its QS-9000 registration to ISO 9001:2000 by December 2003,
since his company was also told by its registrar that it needed
to make the transition. In the first instance, THE OUTLOOK
contacted the registrar, which confirmed that its clients
QS-9000:1998 certificate would remain in effect based on ISO
9001:1994 conformance after the ISO 9001:2000 transition deadline.]
This misinformation might be the result of auditor interpretations
of the guidelines set up by the International Accreditation
Forum (IAF) for the transition to ISO 9001:2000. The IAFs
statements might be read to mean that, if a certificate of
registration is for ISO 9001/2:1994 but includes verified
compliance to QS-9000, it would need to be upgraded to ISO
9001:2000, even though the organization is actually registered
to QS-9000, which includes ISO 9001/2:1994 conformance. The
problem is thus with the certificate if the organization only
wants to maintain QS-9000:1998, and not ISO 9001:2000, registration.
While transitioning now to ISO 9001:2000 directly or through
ISO/TS 16949:2002 could have significant benefits to an automotive
supplier as a result of an improved QMS, QS-9000-registered
organizations should be aware of what Interpretation R8 details,
since it will prevent any errant auditors from misadvising
Interpretation R8 specifies the wording to be used on any
new or renewed QS-9000:1998 certificates issued after July
1, 2002, which makes clear that the registration is to QS-9000:1998
with conformance to the requirements of either ISO 9001:1994
or ISO 9002:1994.
The implication is that the organization is in conformance
with ISO 9001/2:1994 by virtue of its registration to QS-9000:1998
but is not actually registered to ISO 9001/2:1994, certificates
for which will cease to be recognized after December 15, 2003.
In fact, any QS-9000:1998 registration certificate with an
expiration date beyond December 15, 2003, must be replaced
by the end of the transition period to reflect the new wording.
R8 also prohibits the issuance of QS-9000:1998 certificates
having an expiration date after December 14, 2006. Further,
a single certificate cannot be issued to register an organization
as being in conformance with both QS-9000:1998 and ISO 9001:2000.
Although not a change from the last edition of the Sanctioned
Interpretations, individuals and organizations with questions
can submit their queries to an e-mail address (Info@QS-9000.org).
This e-mail address is not actually provided in the Sanctioned
Interpretations, which refers instead to a web site address
where a link to the e-mail address is found. The web site
also permits the user to download both the latest IASG
Sanctioned QS-9000 Interpretations and the document containing
additional information on 188.8.131.52 and Subcontractor Development.
Questions and Answers on Subcontractor Development
As reported in the summer of 2001, Interpretation C9 was
issued to clarify the meaning of "the goal of subcontractor
compliance" as far as 184.108.40.206, Evaluation of SubcontractorsSubcontractor
Development, of QS-9000:1998 was concerned. However, there
was some uncertainty as to what subcontractors were covered
by C9, which requires subcontractors to be registered to ISO
9001/2 or subject to customer-approved second-party audits.
There were also questions about what procedures were to be
followed to ensure that second-party audits for ISO 9001/2
conformance of subcontractors were acceptable to all original
equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that require QS-9000 or ISO/TS
The SQRTF document, which includes six questions and their
answers, helps to define the subtier suppliers C9 covers and
explains how second-party audits need to be conducted and
recorded. Drafted by SQRTF members Hank Gryn of DaimlerChrysler,
Russ Hopkins of Ford and Joe Bransky of GM, this informational
update concerning 220.127.116.11 of QS-9000:1998 and Interpretation
C9 boils down to the following key issues:
- The subcontractors to which 18.104.22.168 and C9 apply are organizations
that supply production and service parts or materials (plus
providers of heat treating, painting, plating or other finishing
services) directly to an organization required to be registered
to QS-9000 by an OEM or any other customer. Thus, if a major
Tier 1 supplier requires its suppliers (Tier 2s) to be registered
to QS-9000, then the direct suppliers to those Tier 2s are
considered subcontractors subject to the ISO 9001/2 registration
or second-party assessment requirements of C9. In other
words, if a customer requires its suppliers to be QS-9000-registered,
then the suppliers to those QS-9000-registered organizations
are subject to 22.214.171.124 and C9.
- An organization that is required to be registered to QS-9000
has two options for demonstrating "development"
of its suppliers per 126.96.36.199 and C9. The first option is
to require those suppliers to obtain ISO 9001/2 registration
by December 31, 2002 (and transition to ISO 9001:2000 by
December 15, 2003). The second option is to conduct OEM
customer-approved second-party assessments of those suppliers
for conformance with Section I of QS-9000. Assessments to
ISO/TS 16949 are accepted by all of the Big Three, while
Ford also accepts subcontractor assessments per a Q1 2002
Manufacturing Site Assessment.
- The SQRTF has established a set of "OEM-Approved
Second-Party Requirements", which is reprinted below.
Any Tier 1 supplier that wants to conduct second-party audits
of its suppliers rather than subject them to a registration
mandate can do so, but only after meeting the SQRTF criteria
and obtaining a written approval of its second-party audit
process from each OEM that requires QS-9000 registration
to which the organization supplies. Further, registrars
are expected to examine the documentation from the second-party
audits during QS-9000 surveillance audits of Tier 1s. Among
the documentation to be maintained in a suppliers
files are records of the customer approvals of the second-party
audit process and the audit reports, including the audit
reviews and results.
- There are exceptions. First, if a subcontractor is a distributor
for parts manufacturers and does not add manufacturing value
to the parts or other materials, neither the distributor
nor the parts manufacturers are required to be registered
to ISO 9001/2 or subject to second-party assessments. Second,
subcontractors that supply insignificant parts having a
small impact on the suppliers or OEMs product
can be exempted by the supplier from certain requirements
of QS-9000, including those covered by 188.8.131.52 and C9. A
simpler QMS is still recommended even for small subcontractors,
but there is an acceptance that it is difficult to get large
organizations that supply low volumes of parts to register
to ISO 9001/2 or accept second-party audits. But the supplier
must document why QMS assessment is being waived for a given
Second-Party Customer Approval Guidelines
The following is the second-party customer approval
criteria and authorization jointly agreed by DaimlerChrysler,
Ford and General Motors, titled "DaimlerChrysler,
Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation Second
Party Recognition for Compliance to QS-9000, 3rd Edition,
184.108.40.206, and Sanctioned Interpretation C9".
OEM-approved second-party requirements:
- The second party must be QS-9000 registered.
- The second party cannot be on QS-9000 Probation.
- The second party must utilize a qualified Lead Auditor,
or qualified Internal Auditor with evidence of their
successful completion of training, such as AIAG "Internal
Auditing for QS-9000", or evidence of a minimum
of five internal QS-9000 audits under the supervision
of a qualified Lead Auditor.
- The second party must audit annually each qualifying
subcontractor for whom it has performed the second-party
service, and maintain records of these audits.
- The duration of these audits must conform to the
full application of the Audit Day Requirements table
of Appendix H in QS-9000, Third Edition.
- Any of the QS-9000-accredited Registrars (Certification
Bodies) may be utilized as an OEM-approved second
The Future for Automotive Suppliers
The latest indications are that the Big Three are still
regularly reviewing their present third-party registration
requirements and considering if there would be any benefit
to accelerating the transition to ISO/TS 16949:2002 for all
or any subgroup of suppliers. There also have been a few unconfirmed
reports that some OEMs are contemplating or have begun to
conduct second-party audits of some suppliers on top of requiring
third-party registration. Q1 2002 does give Ford the option
to send its Supplier Technical Assistance site engineers to
a suppliers facilities to conduct a second-party audit
of its conformance to Q1, despite establishing a QS-9000 third-party
THE OUTLOOK views the latest IASG Interpretations
as an indication that the SQRTF plans for now to give suppliers
until 2006 to upgrade their QMSs to TS 16949:2002. This clearly
allows those suppliers that want or need to conform with ISO
9001:2000 or the TS soon to do so, but without requiring all
22,000 suppliers to rush the process.
The procedures have now been established for the phase-out
of QS-9000:1998 while the registration scheme for TS 16949:2002
is fairly complete. In addition, supplier development options
for QS-9000 have been clearly spelled out that would make
transitioning to TS 16949:2002s supplier development
requirements a fairly straightforward exercise in this area
that is critical to supply chain performance.
As has been stated in previous articles, deciding whether
or not to transition from QS-9000:1998 to TS 16949:2002 remains
a business decision that each automotive supplier must make
based on what best serves the needs and abilities of the supplier,
including the need to satisfy the customer. THE OUTLOOK
will continue to provide guidance and information on TS 16949:2002
and recommended approaches to making the transition from QS-9000
for those ready to make the change.
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