ISO/TS 16949:2009 Automotive Standard

The ISO/TS (Technical Specification) 16949:2009

ISO/TS 16949:2009 is an international Quality Management Systems automotive “sector-specific” technical specification based on ISO 9001:2008. ISO/TS 16949:2009 (TS 16949) was jointly developed by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) members and the ISO/TC 176 committees of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for approval and publication.

This document, plus the individual OEM customer-specific requirements, defines the quality system requirements for use in the automotive supply chain to which the suppliers must be registered to be “recognized” by the IATF.

Third Party Registrars

The IATF has developed its own unique and proprietary registration process and requirements for organization registration. It also conducts its own qualifying of registrars and registrar auditors. The registration scheme includes common rules for consistent global registration processes.

ISO/TS 16949:2009

ISO/TS16949:2009 was approved and issued in July 2009 as an automotive sector-specific Quality Management System set of requirements that uses the updated ISO 9001:2008 (verbatim) as its base. It replaced ISO/TS 16949:2002 based on ISO 9001:2000.

As an international specification:

  • Anyone can acquire a copy of this International Technical Specification, TS 16949, through ANSI or other locations such as
  • Anyone can acquire a copy of the “Rules” for achieving IATF recognition.
  • Anyone can utilize this document to improve their Quality Management Systems.
  • It is an international specification to which any organization that meets the applicability rules (noted below) can be certified by a third party certification body/registrar.

Satisfying Your Automotive Customer

Subscribing automotive OEM companies will only recognize and accept a TS 16949 registration which has been conducted using the prescribed registration process (“rules” available from the IAOB) and conducted by third party registrars that have been selected by the IAOB/IATF.

Registration to TS 16949 by an IATF “selected” registrar is required before a certificate can show the IATF mark and indicate IATF recognition.


The IATF has asked all registrars to assure that TS 16949 registrants meet the following applicability requirements:

  • The TS 16949 definition of supplier applicability must apply to the organization seeking registration (see 3.1.6 in TS 16949).
  • Any tier may be registered if it has a direct customer in the automotive supply chain (most affected are Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers). Distributors cannot be registered to TS 16949.
  • Evidence of being a potential supplier to a customer requiring TS 16949 could include a Request For Quotation issued to the organization or the organization being on a current bid list of the TS 16949 subscribing customer.

Second and Third Edition Rules

The IATF has established new third edition “Rules” for Achieving IATF Recognition, adding to the changes published in the second edition. The “Rules” include criteria for the registrar, registrar audit process, auditor qualification, certification requirements and expectations for the registering organization. The “Rules” now mandate a two stage process for registration. Stage 1, the “Readiness Review,” is conducted on-site for a minimum of one to two days. Stage 2 is the registration event conducted for the on-site audit days quoted per the “Rules,” to take place no greater than 90 days after the acceptable Stage 1 event.