The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has released a new version of ISO/TS 16949, a quality management standard aimed at the international automotive sector. The new technical specification (TS) is expected to become the common basis for the automotive industry's quality management system requirements worldwide, gradually replacing the multiple national specifications now used by the sector -- QS-9000, AVQS, Vda6.1 and EAQF.

The new document is formally known as ISO/TS 16949: 2002, Quality management systems -- Particular requirements for the application of ISO 9001: 2000 for automotive production and relevant service parts organizations. It is aimed at the development of a quality management system that provides for continual improvement and emphasizes defect prevention and the reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain. Incorporating the requirements of ISO 9001: 2000, ISO/TS 16949: 2002 also includes detailed, sector-specific requirements for employee competence, awareness and training, design and development, production and service provision, control of monitoring and measuring devices, and measurement, analysis and improvement.

The updated version, which replaces ISO/TS 16949: 1999, results from an agreement between ISO and the International Automotive Task Force (IATF). The ISO/TS 16949: 2002 document was developed by the IATF and the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, with the support of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 176, the committee responsible for the ISO 9000 family of quality management standards.