9 December 2020

Mandatory use of the Common Audit Reporting Tool for IATF audits as of January 1, 2021.

The International Automotive Taskforce has made the use of the CARA Common Auditing Reporting Tool for audit activities according to IATF 16949:2016 mandatory as of January 1, 2021.


The scenario

For several years, the International Automotive Taskforce has been discussing issues related to more than 40 different ways to document a certification audit according to the international IATF 16949:2016 standard. The bodies recognized by IATF not only had a different structure and level of detail in their audit reports, but also number of associated documents that formed a different "audit report" from one CB to another.

What happens from January 2021?

As of January 1, 2021, all certification bodies recognized by IATF and their auditors are required to use only the CARA application for audit planning and management and thus to create, edit and share inspection report documents in a standardized way.

The audit process will not be substantially changed from the company's point of view in the audit, other than the introduction of a technical basis and therefore a facilitated process of collaboration on audit documents on nonconformities between the parties involved and therefore between the client company and the auditor.

The advantages of CARA

A common audit report reduces the variation and complexity between different reports and thus the efforts and costs of the IATF 16949 certification scheme. Some of the advantages are as follows:

  • Stakeholders (including OEMs, suppliers, certification bodies, and auditors) can more easily understand and analyze the information that an audit report contains
  • OEMs who sample audit reports are able to navigate more easily through their areas of interest finding a common information structure
  • Suppliers who are certified by different certification bodies can exchange data more easily and provide the necessary information to certification bodies more quickly
  • IATF qualified auditors will only be able to use one common, harmonized tool and common structure to document audit results.