Difference Between IATF 16949 and VDA 6.3 (With Table)

Quality checks are essential for the safe and sound manufacturing of commodities or provision of services. Over the years, different quality management standards have been introduced that cater to different or identical needs. IATF 16949 and VDA 6.3 are two popular quality management standards. While they may seem similar, IATF 16949 and VDA 6.3 differ on various grounds. 

IATF 16949 vs VDA 6.3 

The main difference between IATF 16949 and VDA 6.3 is that IATF 16949 primarily deals with documented processes constituting the company’s QM system. On the other hand, VDA 6.3 evaluates the processes involved in product and process development. 

IATF stands for International Automotive Task Force. IATF 16949 is one of the most well-known quality management systems used by automotive industries. Over the years, IATF 16949 has harmonized the various assessment and certification systems found in the global supply chain of automotive industries. The standard came into existence on 3 October 2016. 

VDA 6.3 stands for Verband der deutschen Automobilindustrie E.V. The standard was published in 2016 by the German Association of Automotive Industry. The primary purpose of VDA 6.3 is to evaluate as well as improve controls within the manufacturing and services process. Premium German Automakers have mandated compliance to the VDA 6.3 standard. 

Comparison Table Between IATF 16949 and VDA 6.3

Parameters of Comparison

IATF 16949

VDA 6.3


IATF 16949 is a quality management system that  prioritizes defect prevention.

VDA 6.3 is a quality management system that caters to production parts and services quality check.


IATF 16949 is a vital quality management system requirement. 

VDA 6.3 is a vital customer specific requirement. 

Introduction Year 

IATF 16949 is an older standard than VDA 6.3.

VDA 6.3 is a recently introduced quality check standard.

Basic Requirement 

A basic requirement of IATF 16949 certification requires technical understanding of the manufacturing process and risk analysis PFMEA. 

A basic requirement of VDA 6.3 certification requires the manufacturer to have at least 3 years of experience out of which one year experience must be as a quality manager. 


Some companies valuing IATF 16949 certification are Daimler AG and Geely Group. 

Every German Automotive Industry mandates compliance to the VDA 6.3 standard. 

What is IATF 16949?

IATF 16949 refers to a technical specification. The aim of IATF 16949 is to develop a quality management system that provides a room for continuous improvement. At the same time, the system also prioritizes defect prevention and the reduction of any wastes generated in the supply chain and assembly process primarily of the automotive industry.  

The basis of IATF 16949 is the ISO 9001 standard. The first edition of IATF 16949 came into being in June 1999. However, it was later replaced in the year 2016. The developer of IATF 16949 is the International Automotive Task Force, along with the Technical Committee of ISO. This version came into existence with the help of extensive industry feedback as well as engagement by the AIAG members. IATF 16949 primarily harmonizes the regulations of each country’s quality management system. 

The areas of operation covered by the standards of IATF 16949 are design or development and production. Whenever relevant, IATF 16949 may also cover the installation and servicing of the products related to the automotive industry. The primary objective of IATF 16949 is to improve the system and process quality. The specifications are followed primarily to increase customer satisfaction. 

Other objectives of the IATF 16949 standard is to identify the problems and risks in the supply chain or the production process. Thereafter, such problems should be eliminated and preventive or corrective measures must be taken to enhance effectiveness. The IATF 16949 is applicable throughout the supply chain in the automotive industry. 

What is VDA 6.3?

VDA 6.3 refers to a quality management system that is a well-known part of the VDA family of documents. The primary focus of VDA 6.3 is on process audits primarily to cater to production parts and services quality check. Since VDA 6.3 is a process audit, the main objective is to assess the life cycle of the product. In addition, VDA 6.3 is a mandatory standard for German car makers. 

VDA 6.3 aims to identify, assess, and manage different risks to increase effectiveness. Other areas of focus of VDA 6.3 are understanding the suppliers, focusing on the requirements and satisfaction of customers, and managing the changes that are undertaken. When a company passes the VDA 6.3 certification, it allows them to become a potential supplier to German automakers. 

The automobile industries in Germany have made it mandatory for Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers to comply with and earn VDA certification. The VDA 6.3 standard underwent restructuring in 2010 primarily to accommodate the modifications brought about as a result of ISO 9001 and the specific requirements of the customers in the automotive industry. 

There are a few requirements to earn VDA 6.3 certification. However, meeting such requirements have translated into impressive benefits for the companies. VDA 6.3 primarily provides insight on the importance of a process audit in the entire cycle of production and manufacturing process. Thus, VDA 6.3 serves as an ideal standard to match global quality checks. 

Main Differences Between IATF 16949 and VDA 6.3

  1. IATF 16949 stands for International Automotive Task Force. In contrast, VDA 6.3 stands for  Verband der deutschen Automobilindustrie E.V.
  2. While IATF 16949 was launched in 1999, VDA was launched in 2016. 
  3. IATF 16949 was launched by the International Automotive Task Force whereas VDA 6.3 was launched by the German Automotive Industry. 
  4. The primary objective of IATF 16949 standard is to audit the documented processes of a company that constitute the QM system. In contrast, VDA 6.3 aims at the realization of series production as well as service provision of a specific product. 
  5. While IATF 16949 is a quality management system requirement, VDA 6.3 is a customer-specific requirement. 


Therefore, IATF 16949 and VDA 6.3 have several points of difference. While IATF 16949 came into existence in 1999, the VDA 6.3 is a much recent introduction that entered the automotive industry in 2016. 

There are some points of similarity between IATF 16949 and VDA 6.3 as well. Both IATF 16949 and VDA 6.3 cater primarily to the automotive industry and serve as a standard that checks the quality of production and manufacturing while suggesting improvements. Nonetheless, the differences between IATF 16949 and VDA 6.3 outweigh the similarities. 


  1. https://www.aiag.org/quality/iatf-16949-2016 
  2. https://www.ideagen.com/thought-leadership/blog/what-is-vda-63