VDA 6, Part 1 (Verband der deutschen Automobilindustrie)


Even though VDA 6.1 certification is very user friendly and is expressive in terms of the quality of the management system (as a “method based on measurement”), it is hardly ever required.

However, VDA 6.1 continues to be perfectly suited for the 2nd and 3rd levels of the subsuppliers (tier 2 and 3 suppliers). In contrast to IATF 16949:2016, VDA 6.1, which is a “method based on measurement”, enables excellent expressiveness regarding the organization’s performance. A certificate according to VDA 6.1 can be combined with an ISO 9001 certificate if needed.

  • statement about the efficiency of the organization and its partial areas
  • strategic business planning and its implementation on the basis of concrete business plans
  • optimized improvement process
  • secured project management, ensuring the start of production and absolute process control in series production (process capability)
  • reducing scatter and wastage in the supply chain
  • optimizing the value added chain
Target group
  • Automotive industry and its subsuppliers
  • the overall supply chain of the automotive industry: therefore refering to both direct and indirect suppliers of products that are installed in the vehicle

Guidelines and directives of VDA 6, part 1

The document VDA 6.1 is a technical standard, but not an ISO Standard. It has been drawn up by a workgroup of the German automotive industry. It does not follow the structure of ISO 9001:2015. However, a relevant comparative table relating to the single clauses of ISO 9001 is stated in the volume. VDA 6.1 is broken down into two main areas:

  • the "U part" which refers to management (“Unternehmensführung”) and includes the Z1 part (Ziele = objectives and targets),which refers to corporate strategy
  • the "P part" which refers to products and processes

Furthermore, the audit provides a measurement of efficiency in terms of the single clauses. This method based on measurement significantly differs from IATS 16949, as at VDA 6.1 the opportunities for improvement can be presented objectively (evaluated graphically). The requirements placed by VDA 6.1 are stated in the form of a catalogue of questions, which includes a precise definition and interpretation. Based on this catalogue, the requirements will be evaluated by using its own assessment key.

The most important changes of the 5th edition:

  • The contents have been adapted to the prevalent requirements of ISO 9001:2015.
  • The questions have been adapted to the contents of ISO 9001:2015.
  • Important definitions of ISO 9001:2015 have been added to the list of requirements (e.g. opportunities and risks, interested parties or documented information).
  • The topic of “risk management” has been emphasized even more.
  • Requirements relating to qualification and maintenance of qualification for first-party and second-party auditors have also been incorporated (they used to be described in the VDA Volume 6).
  • Each question has been broken down in a uniform manner: question, terms and definitions, explanations and requirements/supplements.
  • Clause 5 “Financial deliberations about quality management systems” has been revised in connection with the VDA Volume “Quality related costs”.
  • Clause 20 “Service provision” has been newly described.
  • The assessment system has been moved to the VDA Volume 6.

Quality Austria - Trainings, Zertifizierungs und Begutachtungs GmbH has been accredited for VDA 6.1 by VDA/QMC since 12/1996. For VDA 6.2 and for VDA 6.4, Quality Austria - Trainings, Zertifizierungs und Begutachtungs GmbH has been accredited since 03/1999.

For each Standard, Quality Austria is the first Austrian certification body to be accredited by VDA.

Other relevant standards

Various VDA Volumes and the manufacturers’ specifications, ISO 9001, IATF 16949

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