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The VDA 6.3 process audit is an effective procedure for assessing processes in connection with planning and manufacturing of a product. These audits are usually conducted within the organisation or with suppliers prior to series release, but also form a valuable contribution for process optimisation with already existing manufacturing lines. Furthermore, potential analysis - as part of VDA 6.3 - also constitutes a tried an tested method to select new suppliers. The third and complete revision of the VDA standard in 2016 had the main objective of simplifying and unifying the standard in order to give it a more practical and international orientation. With these new advantages, the worldwide importance of VDA 6.3 has increased. Moreover, this process audit standard can now also be applied to further sectors such as mechanical engineering and wind power. In order to conduct VDA 6.3 process audits, comprehensive knowledge, experience and competence is necessary. Thus, the qualification of relevant personnel is indispensable. According to ISO 19011, auditors are required to continuously improve their competence. This includes professional further education, e. g., by means of self-study and trainings. The validity of certificates is thus deliberately of limited duration, so that auditors undergo further training in order to maintain their qualification.
Prerequisites for extending QualificationIn order to extend a VDA 6.3 qualification, the application must be submitted before validity expires. Evidence must be provided of audit experience in at least five process audits or potential analyses as lead auditor within the validity period. Internal as well as external process audits are accepted. The specified audits must be confirmed by top management or the head of quality management. In addition, the certificate of qualification for “VDA 6.3 -Upgrade Training: From VDA 6.3 (2010) to VDA 6.3 (2016)“ or “VDA 6.3 - Competence Training for Certified Process Auditors“ must be submitted. If the required audit experience
cannot be verified, it will be necessary to complete the training “VDA 6.3 - Competence Training for Certified Process Auditors“ (VDA0341) in order to achieve an extension of VDA 6.3 qualification.
Certified VDA 6.3 auditors are able to conduct process audits independently internally and at the site of their suppliers. With this examination and certificate, participants can receive reconfirmation of their knowledge from independent quarters. Moreover, the certificate provides evidence of current and valid qualification in order to fulfil the requirements of customers or suppliers regarding their auditor competence IATF 16949.
Only certified process auditors VDA 6.3 (2010) can apply for an extension of their qualification. Extensions for process auditors VDA 6.3 (2016) only become due as of January 2020 - the necessary prerequisites will be announced in good time.
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