IATF16949 - Internal Auditor Qualification


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We have an experienced internal auditor who is fully up to speed & trained on IATF16949, Core Tools etc.
She carries out many audits at our remote site which deals with Product Development.
It has been proposed that she travels to audit a Production site; this would be good as she is well respected by all; she has a good understanding of the process from the QMS, but zero practicable experience of auditing Production sites.
My proposal was that she audits as part of a team of 2, with the other auditor (although far less experienced) who has audited the Production site before and fully understands how things work.
This proposal all seemed happy with, until someone said they believed that this could run into issues in our external audit by our certification body as she lacked the training/skills.
My argument is that:
1) She is part of an audit team, and the audit team do have all all the required training & skills, &
2) How can you get the practical skills if you do not learn on the job from someone who has the skills!

I have looked at 7.2.3 & ISO19011 and I (plus my colleagues) still think we are correct in that this is an good approach, can someone confirm please.

Thanks in advance.


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I was hopping an IATF guru would respond to help you. I think you'll be ok, depending on what your procedures day regarding auditor competency. If she is adequately supervised and uses her experience in other areas, I think you should be fine. It's not rocket science. Of course, it assumes you have a reasonable auditor. Sounds like you'll have a response to any objection. Good luck.

Johnny Quality

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Your plan sounds good to me but as Golfman has stated, what do your internal procedures say regarding auditor competency?

You may have to define who is the lead auditor but that again depends on how your organization does internal audits.


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Thank you Golfman & Johnny Quality.

Yes our internal audit documents cover/allow for this :)

Like you I think I am OK, but hopefully an IATF guru can confirm.


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I’m not an IATF Guru by any means however we have had IATF16949 here from the start, transitioning from the previously the held ISO/TS16949, so I have had my fair share of External Automotive quality audits, and I would have no fear standing in front of a certification body auditor and presenting them with what you have done.

As people have said in earlier posts, as long as there is nothing in you documentation that says you have to do something that you have not done, what you have done is perfectly fine.


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You certainly will be ok. Ensure the competency part is met by what your organization defines as competent.
I always prefer to have 2 to 3 people on a team that way there is no bias and they can learn from each other. It is not all on one person's viewpoint. It teaches collaboration. I have been doing this before when it was TS, the company I am now at has very minimal training, but it meets our procedure requirements.

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Since she is already qualified to audit Development, I see no reason why she can't go audit production. I do agree with the team approach. I expect both could benefit.


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Since she is already qualified to audit Development, I see no reason why she can't go audit production. I do agree with the team approach. I expect both could benefit.
If she is certified as an IATF internal auditor for development, you are certified for QMS. UNLESS it is an entirely different certification.

Now I am the only one at my site that does product audits. That requires print reading, and a big amount of time. Our process for that calls out measuring 5 parts according to the approved customer drawing.

I wish they would get someone to do it with me at least.
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