IATF 16949 - Mind your Sanctioned Interpretations & FAQs
In certain instances the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) sees fit to issue revisions to the standard called Sanctioned Interpretations. These take the requirements for certain clauses of the standard and change them slightly. Sometimes adding new requirements and sometime removing them.
Either way the requirements contained within the printed copy of the standard you own are sometimes incomplete and out of date! The IATF also issues answers to Frequently Asked Questions. These are typically clauses that have caused some people confusion and the IATF seeks to clarify their intent in these circumstances.
They take the written requirement and explode it out and then clarify what is required for compliance. These Sanctioned Interpretations and Frequently Asked Questions have been around for many years and the IATF periodically add to them, enhancing the standard's requirements and our understanding of its clauses.
The problem comes when not everyone that is certified to this standard is aware these things exist, or where to find them. Hopefully for those not in the know this blog will help.
The IATF maintains a very detailed website. This is not password protected, or accessible only to those with current certification. It is accessible to anyone with internet access who chooses to visit it. Here is the address: www.iatfglobaloversite.org
The site's home screen is pretty user friendly and self-explanatory, but to find the current batch of Sanctioned Interpretations and Frequently Asked Questions you'll need to follow these steps:
Hover your Pointer over the drop down menu for the standard (IATF 16949:2016), in the top, left hand corner of the website's home screen.
From the drop down menu select either SI's = Sanctioned Interpretations, or FAQ's = Frequently Asked Questions and click on your choice.
When either option is selected a new screen will open and from these screens you can access the latest crop of SI's or FAQ's, in the language of your choosing.
Now you have access to this additional information you may be surprised by the extra requirements being placed on your management system that previously you weren't aware of. Of the 13 current SI's some of them say little, i.e. SI 2, which only updates a 'Note' section relating to Product Safety, through to auditable clauses relating to Contingency Plans, Supplier Quality Management System Development and External Laboratories.
Without knowing that these requirements have been enhanced some certified companies could encounter issues at customer or third party audits, so please review the SI requirements and ensure you comply with them in full.
The FAQ's however can provide useful answers to certain requirements some people may have previously found confusing. Currently there are 22 approved FAQ's from the IATF. These cover such requirements as Measurement System Analysis, External Laboratories and Non-Conforming Product Disposition.
So if you're in doubt as to the intent of a certain clause, or unsure as to what to do to satisfy its requirements, you may get lucky and find the answers have already been spelt out for you in an approved FAQs.
As I've said previously the IATF periodically add to the list of SI's and FAQ's. If you'd like to be kept updated on these changes automatically I would suggest that you subscribe to the IATF's Mailing List. This can easily be done by entering your Email Address into the Mailing List box on the website's home screen. You'll then receive an email every time something is added to the IATF's website. You can then go in and check to see if what's changed will impact upon your organization's compliance.
I hope you've found this blog useful and please mind your SI's and FAQ's in the future!
Author: Martin Little, NQA Auditor