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What are the IATF 16949 Rules?

IATF 16949 Rules are a document created by the International Automotive Task Force which clarifies the requirements for achieving and maintaining IATF 16949 Certification. Within this document there is criteria for certification body recognition, certification body audit process, certification body auditor qualifications, and IATF 16949 certificates. This document encompasses sanctioned interpretations (SI) and Rules related to FAQs.  Any organization purchasing the IATF 16949:2016 standard should also purchase the IATF 16949 Rules.

These rules are continually updated and the current version is IATF 16949 Rules 5th Edition, often referred to as 16949 Rules 5th. The changes in the rules will assist certified organizations, as well as organizations that are seeking certification.  Changes became effective on January 1, 2017.

It is also important to keep up on the latest Communiques issued by IATF which may add new SI’s or additional FAQ’s in between published versions of the IATF Rules.

Rules 5th Edition changes were mainly to:

  • Incorporate the 14 existing Sanctioned Interpretations
  • Incorporate the existing 33 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
  • Clarify the IATF intentions, where necessary
  • Make changes that improve the scheme

Rules is a document where they have sanctioned rules for auditors and organizations implementing IATF 16949. The purpose of this it to keep all parties on the same page, and iron out how IATF views and interprets certain parts of the standard that auditors or automotive organizations may have questions about. In essence, IATF authorizes these rules to keep the standard within their interpretations rather than allowing a third party to interpret the standard as they please.

You can purchase a copy of the IATF 16949:2016 Rules at IATF: