IATF 16949® 7.2.3 and 7.2.4 Internal Auditor Competency

IATF 16949® 7.2.3 and 7.2.4 Internal Auditor Competency

Competency of IATF 16949® Internal Auditors
and Second-Party Auditors

In our article The Advantages of Outsourcing Internal Audits, we discuss ISO 9001 and  ISO 9001 Clause 9.2 which sets the criteria for internal auditing and audit programs. 

Aligned with ISO 9001, IATF 16949® goes a step further with the focus on Internal Auditor Competency – Clause 7.2.3, and even Second-party Auditor Competency – Clause 7.2.4.  

This means that Certification Bodies are scrutinizing internal auditors and their competency, especially when it involves IATF®.  So let’s take a look at these clauses.

Clause 7.2.3

Internal Auditor Competency (and Sanctioned Interpretation #4)

In this clause, it is important to note that if the organization’s personnel provide the training to achieve internal auditor competency, records shall exist to show the instructor’s competency with the internal auditor requirements.  In addition, a documented process will verify internal auditors are competent with regard to any of the organization’s and/or customer-specific requirements. (ISO 19011 is a good reference and provides detailed guidance for auditing management systems.)

Automotive quality management system auditors shall also have the following minimum competencies and understanding of these key elements:

  • the automotive process auditing approach and risk-based thinking
  • applicable ISO 9001 and IATF 16949®  requirements
  • applicable customer-specific requirements (CSRs)
  • core tool requirements
  • planning, conducting, reporting, and closing out audit findings

At a minimum, manufacturing process auditors need to have a technical understanding of the relevant manufacturing process(es) to be audited (including process risk analysis (such as PFMEA) and control plan), and product auditors must demonstrate competence in understanding product requirements, measurement, and conformity.

Maintenance of and improvement of auditor competence are demonstrated through:

  • executing a minimum number of audits per year, as defined by the company
  • maintaining knowledge of relevant requirements
    • internal changes:  process technology, product technology
    • external changes:  ISO 9001, IATF 16949®, AIAG® Core Tools, and CSRs

Clause 7.2.4

Second-Party Auditor Competency

This clause refers to second-party (outsourced) auditors and its purpose is to ensure they are competent and meet CSRs for auditor qualification and demonstrate the minimum core competencies and understanding of:

  • the automotive process approach to auditing, including risk-based thinking
  • applicable CSR and company requirements
  • the ISO 9001 and IATF 16949® requirements
  • manufacturing processes audited, including PFMEA and control plan
  • core tool requirements 
  • how to plan, conduct, prepare audit reports and closeout audit findings

(For all IATF 16949:2016® requirements, it is best to refer to the IATF 16949® Automotive Quality Management System Standard, Sanctioned Interpretations, and Frequently Asked Questions.)

Due to a lack of resources and trained auditors, many companies are outsourcing their internal audits to a 2nd party like simpleQuE whose auditors are qualified, certified, competent, and are experts on the standards and customer-specific requirements. Contact us for more information about internal quality auditing and internal auditor training for IATF 16949®.  

IATF 16949® and Internal Auditing What You Need To Know

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