Eight steps to choose a IATF 16949 Certification Body? from jobinwason's blog

During the implementation or improvement of a Quality Management System based on the IATF 16949 Certification standard, you may have many doubts about how to take the correct path and achieve the expected results. At that time, it will be necessary to request help, and for this it is recommended to get a Certification Body. How can you know that a particular Certification Body is the most appropriate? Here are eight tips on how to choose an IATF 16949 Certification Body.

1) Know why you need a Certification Body.

IATF 16949 Certification Body can help the organization in different ways:

by writing the required documentation of the management system, like manuals, procedures, and instructions

by managing the implementation in part or in full

by providing extra hands-on resources to implement plans or undertake specific tasks, such as the internal audit

by determining gaps in order to know how your Quality Management System is operating, as compared to what is required in the regulations associated with the automotive sector

by doing training activities with respect to IATF 16949 Certification and core tools

2) Determine their expertise in the automotive industry and your business.

One of the most important things when it comes to choosing the right Certification Body is their experience in the automotive industry (at least five years), including their knowledge in your specific sector, because it is not the same to have worked in the tire sector, glass sector, painting sector, or machining sector.

Due to the changes produced in the ISO 9001:2015 standard, which is the basis for IATF 16949:2016 Certification, the Certification Body must also know about:

strategic direction

tools associated with the identification of internal and external issues

methods to determine stakeholder requirements

risk-based thinking

core tools like Failure Mode & Effects Analysis (FEMA), Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), Production Part Approval Process (PPAP), Statistical Process Control (SPC), and Measurement System Analysis (MSA), plus customer-specific requirements, the different websites of the clients, and the rules of the International Automotive Task Force (IATF)

3) Know the Certification Body’s methodology.

The Certification Body can apply different methodologies and techniques to improve or implement the Quality Management System. To obtain good results in the consultancy, the support and cooperation of the organization’s personnel are required. For this reason, it is important to know which methodology will be applied in order to guarantee that both parties work effectively.

The Certification Body will require your time, energy, and resources to ensure an effective implementation; make sure you understand their expectations and that you can commit to them.

4) Consider the cost-benefit relationship.

Certification Body are experts in their fields, and their fees are not low, so it is important to make a contract specifying the number of hours that will be dedicated to the project, and the final products you will obtain with that investment.

Never forget that you must have personnel in the organization directly involved with the implementation and supporting the Certification Body. Remember that in the end, the Quality Management System will be maintained by the organization, and not by the Certification Body. Within the costs, do not forget to add expenses for transfers, meals, and lodging, especially if the Certification Body is outside of your area.

5) Check their references.

The automotive sector is very demanding. The Certification Body you are considering should have some experience working in an automotive or assembly company, and it is very important to have references about the Certification Body. What jobs have they done? What are the results of these consultancies? How is the verification of this reference made? Ask the Certification Body for three references from clients, and ask those clients if they were satisfied with the type of work done by the Certification Body.

6) Know their availability.

It is important to know the availability of the Certification Body in terms of the support that will be provided. Usually, good Certification Body has a busy schedule for several months. For this reason, you need to plan work schedules with specific results, the number of days that the Certification Body will dedicate to you monthly, and the most effective ways to communicate with the Certification Body when you need support (email, phone, and chats).

7) Get feedback.

It is very likely that the Certification Body will spend a significant amount of time in your organization, learning the processes and the working methods. So, it is advisable to set frequent meetings with the Certification Body to indicate the progress of the projects, and the opportunities and risks that the Certification Body has observed. This feedback will help to improve the results of the consultancy.

8) Be aware of the risks of hiring a Certification Body.

By choosing the wrong Certification Body to implement a Quality Management System based on IATF 16949, you can pay dearly, not only in money, but also in lost time. The following are the most common risks that may arise:

failure to meet the specific requirements of customers in the automotive industries

not applying core tools adequately, because you did not get training in these tools

having duplicate and useless documentation, which is not followed by the employees

discovering non-conformities during the IATF 16949:2016 Certification external audit, and losing the certification and the customer to which you sell products and / or services

Think hard before you decide

Finally, IATF 16949 Certification Services should help you make the implementation easier. But, before you decide to hire a Certification Body, make sure that you really need one. These days, there are several good options for the do-it-yourself approach. Why not to think about it? It is cheaper and increases the level of confidentiality for your company information.

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By jobinwason
Added Jan 21



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