The APQP and Control Plan manual is controlled by the AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group). The AIAG is an organization set up to ‘coordinate’ certain aspects of the ‘big three’s’ needs. For the best understanding of the full role of the AIAG in this play, go to their web site: http://www.aiag.org/interest_areas.html
As a reminder, the APQP methodology is a Ford, GM and Chrysler requirement. Although Honda, Toyota, BMW, and other car makers have a similar process which they employ to ensure the same goals, the APQP and Control Plan manual has nothing to do with their systems.
Toyota is an example of a company which uses a somewhat different process to achieve the same goals. It is called the Toyota Production System and companies world wide have adopted Toyota’s approach. I see advertisements for employees regularly which cite a requirement for, or a preference for, Toyota Production System experience.
What is the AIAG’s APQP Reference Manual?
It Is General Information
It is Not a specification
It is a Customer Requirement
It Does Not Address Specific Manufacturer Information or Requirements
It is Not Auditable
It Does Attempt To Give Guidance
It Does Not Address Any Specific Industry or Manufacturer