The requirements for certification to the international standard IATF 16949 are formulated in the IATF Certification Specifications ("IATF Rules"). The sixth edition of the "Rules for Achieving and Maintaining IATF Recognition" was published on March 31, 2024.

The new 6th Edition Rules will become effective on January 1, 2025 and will replace the currently valid 5th Edition as well as all sanctioned interpretations and FAQs of the 5th Edition. Read the following blog post to learn how the new certification requirements will impact certified organizations.

IATF 16949 Update 2024

The requirements of the new Rules 6th Edition drawn up by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) are binding for IATF-approved certification bodies. But there are also certain requirements that should be understood by any organization certified to IATF 16949. The changes have been made to improve certifiability, audit procedures and overall efficiency. The transition to the new Rules 6 must be completed by January 1, 2025, after which they will be mandatory for all audits.

The new version of Rules 6th Edition is available in English and other languages. As no detailed comparison of the changes to the previous version, Edition 5 of November 1, 2016, is available at the time of publication of this article, the following overview provides initial information. Further information can be found here on the IATF website.

Important changes in the IATF 16949 Rules 6


Section 1.0: Eligibility for certification

  • Automotive Vehicles” are defined as “Homologated Vehicles” that are intended to be driven on public roads.
  • "Replacement Parts and materials” belong to automotive products.
  • Only one Certification Body (CB) audits a manufacturing site or a standalone remote location.
  • The CB audits a Standalone Remote Location must be the CB for a site supported by the Remote Location.


Section 1.1: Certification structure

Criteria for an extended manufacturing site (EMS):

  • Criteria for Extended Manufacturing Site (EMS):
  • EMS & main site must be in one legal entity and one QMS.
  • EMS must be within 10 miles (16 km) and 60 minutes' driving distance from main site.
  • EMS gets supports only from main site and/or provides supports only to main site.
  • Common management for main site and EMS.

Section 2.5.2: Conflicts of interest

  • The CB can't provide QMS related consulting service to the certified client.
  • (The restriction is reduced to QMS related services, such as supplier audits, Tailor-made Internal Auditor courses.)


Section 5.1.1: Audit cycle

For a manufacturing site:

  • Only two annual surveillance audits for a site in a 3-year audit cycle.
  • The interval for surveillance audits is -3/+3 months from the last audit day (due date) of the initial, transfer or recertification audit.
  • Failure to carry out a surveillance audit at the required interval will result in the certificate being withdrawn within 7 days.
  • No change for the recertification audit: -3/+0 months from the due date, but sufficient time must be allowed to ensure that any non-conformities are closed and the report is approved before the certificate expires. 


Section 5.2: Determination of audit days

  • When assigning an audit team, each auditor shall perform no less than one audit day.
  • Pre-audit On-site Information Verification has been removed.
  • For a change to certification scope (including locations, functions, processes and products as defined in Clause 10), add audit time to verify impact from the change.
  • Audit time (per Table 5.2 q) to verify actions for poor performance to IATF OEM Customers.
  • When not possible, add Special Audit within 60 days after audit.
  • Audit duration = Audit Days (per Table 5.2) + “Additional Audit Time”
  • Additional Audit Time includes 
    • Audit planning time
    • Audit time for poor performance to IATF OEM customers
    • Audit time to verify minor NCs from the last audit (0.5 to 1 hour / minor NC)
    • Audit time to verify major NCs in a Special Audit (1 to 3 hours / major NC)
    • Additional translation time (+20% for that part), when required
    • Audit time for scope or other significant changes, relocation, etc.
  • One audit day = 8 hours, including time for auditing of production shifts
  • Audit duration <= 10 hours / calendar day
  • Audit days and additional audit time will be entered in the IATF database.


Section 5.4: Audit days reduction 

When determining minimum audit days according to Table 5.2:

  • For a Corporate Audit Scheme <= 15% reduction
  • If all possible reduction factors are added together, max. 30% reduction.


Section 5.5.1: Audit program for remote locations 

For a standalone Remote location:

  • After Initial/Transfer Audit, only Surveillance Audits, without Recertification Audit.
  • For design, annual audit within -3/+3 months from the anniversary date.
  • For other functions, at least one audit within 24 months (-3/+3 months from the anniversary date).
  • Absence of surveillance audit within required interval will lead to Initial Audit. 


Section 5.6.2: IATF observers

IATF Observers (not witness auditor) shall be allowed to observe the whole audits, with exception for confidential client data.


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Section 5.7: Audit planning 

  • Add at least 0.5 day for audit planning, and input into IATF database.
  • Confirmation of Audit date for Surveillance/Recertification/Transfer Audit: at least 90 days before the audit starts, otherwise postpone audit. 


Section 5.7.1: Audit planning information

  • The client shall provide audit planning information at least 30 days before audit.
  • Otherwise, the CB shall consider to postpone the audit to ensure audit plan to client at least 14 days before audit.
  • The client shall provide information about the received QMS related consulting service since last audit.
  • If Management Review Record is not provided due to confidential consideration, add at least two hours for On-site Information Verification before Opening Meeting to the audit planning time and enter in the IATF database. 


Section Systematic problem solving

  • To issue Major NC, if no effective actions in time to address customer (i.e. OEM) reported performance issues.


Section 5.11.1: Major Nonconformities (Major NCs)

Client must provide initial responses to major NCs, including corrections, root causes, corrective action plan, etc, within 15 calendar days, and further responses with corrective actions and their effectiveness verifications within 60 calendar days.


Section 5.11.2: Minor NCs

(No change, listed here for comparison purposes only)

Client must provide initial responses to minor NCs, including containment actions, corrections, corrective actions and their effectiveness verifications, within 60 calendar days. 


Section 5.11.3: Obligations of the certification body

Without receiving responses to NCs in time as stated above, withdraw certificate.


Section 5.15: Relocation

  • Relocation of a certified site to a non-certified site: Initial Audit.
  • Relocation of a standalone Remote Location: Special Audit or Extra Time to a Regular Audit. 


Section 7.3: Remote audit

  • Remote audit can be applied to audit remote working employees, during an on-site audit.
  • Remote Audit can be applied only to a RL without process for product or materials handling (refer to Appendix 2), for no more than once in two consecutive surveillance audits.
  • Remote Audit shall NOT be applied when on-site audit is required according to Clause 5.11 or 8.0. 


Section 8.3 Decision on suspension

If suspension is due to performance complaint, the client shall provide response in IATF CMS, within 20 days after receiving suspension notification.



The overview makes it clear that this is not a revision of International Standard IATF 16949:2016, but "only" a comprehensive revision of the certification rules for this standard. In addition, the list does not include all changes to the new IATF rules and is not intended to replace the use of the original IATF 6th Edition Rules, which will be mandatory as of January 1, 2025. In order to meet this deadline, the IATF recommends that you purchase the 6th Edition of the Rules now and review them thoroughly as soon as possible.

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Do you have any questions?

We are here for you.

Do you have questions about the new Rules 6 and how they will affect your organization? 

Continuous adaptation of the IATF Rules and their importance

Since the inception of the ISO/TS 16949 technical specification in 1999, the certification requirements have been published as a binding document for auditors and users of the standard. The standard thus led to the harmonization of the various assessment and certification systems in the automotive industry supply chain worldwide. Since then, implementation of the requirements set forth in the standard has been a prerequisite for successful IATF certification.

The comprehensive revision of ISO 9001 in 2015 inevitably led to an update of the technical specification that is based on the quality management standard, resulting in the introduction of IATF 16949 in October 2016. On January 1, 2017, the 5th Edition of the IATF Rules came into force, which will be replaced by the newly published 6th Edition on January 1, 2025.

In between new editions of the Rules, individual adjustments to the requirements are published through Sanctioned Interpretations (SIs). SIs change the interpretation of a rule or requirement and thus become the basis for a non-conformity. A total of 32 SIs have been published over the past seven years for the Rules that expire at the end of 2024, the last of which (29 through 32) have been mandatory since January 1, 2024.

These apply to:

  • The content of the conformity assessment (Clause 5.14.2) - SI 29
  • The certification body's internal witness audit process (Clause 4.4) - SI 30
  • The notification of changes by the client (Clause 3.2) - SI 31
  • Certification and issuance of certificates (Clause 5.13) - SI 32


New IATF 16949 Rules 6 - Conclusion

The 6th Edition of the IATF 16949 Rules, published on March 31, 2024, will become effective on January 1, 2025, replacing the 5th Edition and all associated Sanctioned Interpretations (SIs) and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). These updated IATF 16949 certification rules are mandatory for accredited certification bodies and organizations seeking or already certified to IATF 16949.

The changes include an improved certification system, the integration of sanctioned interpretations and new processes and requirements for audit planning. It is important that affected organizations familiarize themselves with the changes early in order to meet the January 1, 2025 implementation deadline. The IATF recommends the timely purchase of IATF Rules 6 to better understand and prepare for the upcoming changes.

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DQS. Because not all audits are the same.

Do you have questions about the certification of your management system according to IATF 16949 or about the new Rules? Contact us. Without obligation and free of charge.  

DQS - What we can do for you

IATF 16949 is an international quality standard for the automotive industry. As the successor to ISO/TS 16949:2009, it has been the entry ticket for this global industry since its publication in October 2016. ISO/TS 16949 was first published as a technical specification in March 1999. With our recognition by the IATF and approval by the VDA-QMC in February 2000, DQS is one of the first approved certification bodies worldwide for this automotive standard. Since then, customers in over 130 countries, global corporations, medium-sized organizations and small businesses have come to appreciate our expertise and the recognized quality of our audits. Our claim begins where audit checklists end. Take us at our word.


Experience and trust

Our articles and White Papers are written exclusively by our standards experts or long-time auditors. If you have any questions to the author about the content, our audits or certifications, please contact us. 

Torsten Schwarz

DQS standards expert, lead auditor and product manager for automotive regulations.


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