VDA 6.3 Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding VDA 6.3 – Qualification and/or Certification as Process Auditor
This content has been taken from the official VDA QMC FAQ document released in March 2020.
1. What training opportunities are there regarding training in VDA 6.3 as a Process Auditor?
There is a standard four (4) day training course for the initial qualification of both internal and external (supplier) auditors:
Following attendance and successful passing of the knowledge test, a Certificate of Qualification is issued, which serves as technical evidence of the auditor qualification. Auditors carrying out audits for other organisations as external service providers also require a VDA 6.3 Certificate. Apart from this, there are also some customer-specific requirements that extend beyond the requirements set out in the VDA 6.3 publication. In such cases, an original VDA 6.3 Certificate is required as technical evidence - for internal process auditors, for example.
This certificate can be applied for, based on the following additional activity:
After success in the examination (70% correctly answered questions) a certificate is issued with a registered number, together with an associated auditor card. These serve as technical evidence of the auditor qualification. The certificate remains valid for three (3) years from the date of examination. Before the certificate expires an application for an extension must be submitted in order to obtain a new certificate, which will again be valid for three (3) years. Details are set out in FAQs 17 to 20.
It is also possible to combine the training and the examination day in one single unit – that means in a five (5) day course:
Here again, after success in the examination (70% correctly answered questions) a certificate is issued with a registered number, together with an associated auditor card. These serve as technical evidence of the auditor qualification.
Updating from VDA 6.3 (2010) to VDA 6.3 (2016)
The VDA 6.3 volume was revised in 2016 and a transition period was established, which expired on 30th June 2018. During this period all existing VDA 6.3 process auditors had the opportunity to bring their status to the current level in a one (1) day course. However, this transition period has expired so if your card has expired you will need to complete the qualification from scratch.
New Requirements for the VDA 6.3 (2016) Qualification from 2020 Onwards
To maintain the VDA 6.3 qualification (2016), new requirements have been placed on the existing process VDA 6.3 auditors. The training and professional development department of the VDA QMC carried out a worldwide market study of the automotive industry in order to receive direct feedback from the industry about the competence of the VDA 6.3 process auditors in the field. One conclusion of this study was that the automotive core tools and quality methods are used inadequately. For this reason and parallel to the expiry of the first VDA 6.3 (2016) certificates, the requirements for both maintenance and initial qualification (examination) of VDA 6.3 (2016) process auditors were adjusted and the subject of automotive core tools was included. You can find details on this in FAQ # 17 to 20.
2. How is permission obtained to take the VDA 6.3 examination?
Permission to attend the VDA 6.3 examination day is issued following a successful check on the request submitted. We will email you the additional form required once you have applied for entry into the examination.
3. Is it possible to take the VDA 6.3 (2016) examination if you do not (yet) meet the requirements?
No, it is only possible to take the VDA 6.3 (2016) exam if the application has been approved by the VDA QMC or a license partner. Subsequent submission of the application is not permitted.
4. What requirements apply for permission to take the VDA 6.3 examination?
- Certificate of Qualification of the training “VDA 6.3 – Qualification as Process Auditor (2016)” (ID 315)
- AND Proof of completion of an at least three (3) day auditor qualification based on DIN EN ISO 19011
- AND Proof of knowledge of the Automotive Core Tools (see FAQ #7)
- AND Proof of a least five years of full-time professional experience at a production company, of which at least two (2) years must be in quality management (personal datasheet).
5. Which auditor qualification is recognized for permission to take the VDA 6.3 examination?
Auditor training according to ISO 9001 and ISO 19011, ISO/TS or IATF 16949, DGQ auditor, EOQ auditor etc. are accepted as an auditor qualification according to VDA 6.3. Generally, a training course of at least three (3) days must have been completed, regardless of the training provider.
6. Can evidence of audits that have been carried out take the place of the auditor qualification required?
No. Audits that have been carried out do not replace any auditor qualification to DIN EN ISO 19011.
7. How can expertise in automotive core tools be proven?
The training "Automotive Core Tools for System and Process Auditors" (ID 417) and the VDA qualification "Automotive Core Tools Professional" (ID 415 and 416 and possibly 450) (not currently offered by ENCONA) are recognized. Alternatively, evidence of a minimum two (2) day training about Automotive Core Tools by another training provider as well as the passing of an Automotive Core Tools Online Quiz is required. If the quiz is not passed, the "Auto-
motive Core Tools for System and Process Auditors" (ID 417) course must be completed.
8. How to access the VDA QMC Automotive Core Tools Online Quiz?
The VDA QMC Automotive Core Tools online quiz is available to all customers on the VDA QMC website: https://vda-qmc.de/en/training-and-professional-development/automotive-core-tools-online-quiz/
9. How does the VDA QMC Automotive Core Tools Online Quiz work?
10. What is the best way to prepare for the VDA QMC Automotive Core Tools Online Quiz?
It is strongly advised NOT to take the VDA QMC Automotive Core Tools online quiz without prior preparation. Interested parties should take a look at the individual core tools of the VDA and AIAG, as well as the harmonized VDA-AIAG FMEA before registering for the online quiz.
Using the following overview, auditors can determine where they may need to be upskilled:
Advanced Quality Planning / Product Development Process - refer to VDA Volume Maturity Level Assurance for New Parts (MLA)
Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Special Characteristics - refer to AIAG & VDA FMEA Handbook and VDA Volume Special Characteristics
Statistical evaluation of measuring systems (MSA) - refer to VDA Volume 5 - Capability of Measurement Systems
Statistical Process Control (SPC) - refer to Economical Process Design and Process Control (VDA Volume 4)
Sample Processing Methods - refer to VDA Volume 2 – Production Process and Product Approval (PPF)
Control Plan - refer to IATF 16949
Problem-solving techniques - refer to VDA Volume 8D - Problem Solving
11. How often can the VDA QMC Automotive Core Tools Online Quiz be repeated?
The VDA QMC Automotive Core Tools Online Quiz may only be taken once - no repetition is permitted.
12. What to do if the VDA QMC Automotive Core Tools Online Quiz is not passed?
If the VDA QMC Automotive Core Tools Online Quiz is not passed, but the corresponding proof of specialist knowledge of the Automotive Core Tools is needed for the approval or maintenance of the qualification VDA 6.3 (2016), the training “Automotive Core Tools for System and Process Auditors” (ID 417) must be completed.
13. Is it possible to retake the VDA QMC Automotive Core Tools Online Quiz?
14. Why does the VDA QMC Automotive Core Tools online quiz have to be passed when at least two days of training in automotive-specific tools has been done?
If you did complete “Automotive Core Tools for System and Process Auditors” (ID 417) then you do NOT need to also pass the Quiz.
If you did not complete “Automotive Core Tools for System and Process Auditors” (ID 417) but rather did a minimum two (2) day training by another provider, then you also have to pass the Quiz.
By offering the Automotive Core Tools Online Quiz through VDA QMC and its license partners, prospective or existing VDA 6.3 (2016) auditors can check and confirm their Automotive Core Tools expertise. Thanks to the standardisation of this query, the certificate of success for the VDA QMC Automotive Core Tools Online Quiz is valid worldwide as official evidence for the auditor in this subject area. This new quality feature gives the VDA 6.3 (2016) Certificate a higher level than before and thus the certificate holders also have an even better reputation in the automotive supply chain.
15. Why does a VDA QMC Automotive Core Tools Online Quiz pass have to be proven, or at least two days of training in automotive-specific tools?
According to DIN EN ISO 19011 Chapter 7.6, auditors are encouraged to continuously improve their competence, i.e. by participating in training. Due to the fact that the VDA QMC requires two days of training in the area of automotive core tools, existing and prospective process auditors VDA 6.3 (2016) must meet this requirement. If you pass the quiz, you do NOT also need to do the two (2) day training.
16. Is it possible to apply to take a VDA 6.3 (2016) examination without evidence of five years of professional experience?
From three (3) years of professional experience (preferably in manufacturing companies in the automotive industry), company training periods can be considered. Company apprenticeships are counted toward the candidate's professional experience at a rate of 50%, and only for candidates who have completed a dual course of apprenticeship/study in a technical profession at the production company. Company internships, time as a student trainee, etc. during the course of academic Bachelor's or Master's study programs cannot be counted toward a candidate's professional experience. In principle, it is only possible to take the exam if all requirements have been met and the application for the examination has been approved by the VDA QMC or an official license partner (see FAQ #3).
17. How can the VDA 6.3 Certificate be extended or renewed?
An extension of a Certificate is always issued following a successful check on the request. You can submit your application for renewal here. If your VDA 6.3 (2016) Certificate was been obtained from a difference VDA QMC license partner, you can still submit the request for an extension via ENCONA. Once the extension has been issued the new Certificate remains valid for a further three (3) years from the expiry date of the old Certificate.
18. What evidence must be submitted to obtain an extension to a VDA 6.3 Certificate?
1. Proof of the validity period:
- Copy of the current VDA 6.3 (2016) Certificate
- Copy of the current auditor card
2. Proof of auditing experience
- At least five (5) process audits and/or potential analysis (at least ten (10) audit days) as a responsible auditor in the period of validity of the qualification. Internal as external process audits are accepted as well.
- If evidence of the required audit experience cannot be provided, the qualification can ONLY be extended by providing a certificate of attendance at a “VDA 6.3 – Workshop for certified process auditors” (ID 341).
3. Proof of knowledge of the Automotive Core Tools
- Certificate of Qualification of “Automotive Core Tools for System and Process Auditors” (ID 417)
- Certificate of Attendance / Certificate of VDA Qualification “Automotive Core Tools Professional” (ID 415, 416 and possibly ID 450) (we are not currently offering these courses)
- Proof of passing the Online Quiz “Automotive Core Tools”. Note: If the quiz is not passed, the training ”Automotive Core Tools for System and Process Auditors” (ID 417) must be completed.
19. What is the cost of an extension of the Certificate?
The costs for the extension are currently ZAR3,150 (excluding VAT) for South African applicants or USD175 (excluding taxes) for applicants from the United States. For applicants from Taiwan, Germany, or any other countries, please contact us.
20. What happens if a request for an extension to the VDA 6.3 Certificate is not submitted in time?
An extension can still be requested up to three (3) months after the certificate expires. After the renewal has been granted, the new certificate is valid for a further three (3) years from the expiry date of the old certificate.
If the certificate has expired for more than three months, in addition to fulfilling the maintenance requirements (proof of audit experience and specialist knowledge of the automotive core tools, see FAQ # 17), the VDA 6.3 (2016) test must be taken again. After the criteria for renewing the certificate have been met and the new exam has been passed, the new certificate is valid for three (3) years from the date of the exam.
21. The knowledge test for the training "Automotive Core Tools for System and Process Auditors" (ID 417) was not passed. Is admission to the VDA 6.3 (2016) exam still possible?
In order to be admitted to the VDA 6.3 (2016) exam, the qualification certificate of the "Automotive Core Tools for System and Process Auditors" (ID 417) training is required. This means that the knowledge test has to be passed before approval to the VDA 6.3 examination, otherwise, it has to be repeated.
22. Are VDA 6.3 training sessions also held in English?
ENCONA offers VDA 6.3 training in English, German and Mandarin.
23. If the VDA 6.3 (2016) exam was failed in the past before the new requirements were introduced at the beginning of 2020, is it necessary to meet the new requirements before retaking the exam?
No, once admission to the VDA 6.3 (2016) examination has been granted, it will remain effective until the examination is passed or until the VDA volume 6.3 has been revised again.
24. How often is it possible to retake the VDA 6.3 (2016) exam?
The VDA 6.3 (2016) exam may be repeated as often as required. After the third attempt, however, we recommend taking the training "VDA 6.3 - Qualification as a Process Auditor" (ID315) again.
25. What happens if an applicant was unable to attend the VDA 6.3 Upgrade Training or the VDA 6.3 Competence Training? How can he/she qualify regarding the contents of the new VDA 6.3 (2016)?
If the applicant has failed to attend the VDA 6.3 upgrade training or the VDA 6.3 competence training, he/she must complete the qualification as a Process Auditor VDA 6.3 (2016) from scratch (see FAQ #1).
26. How can an approved VDA 6.3 trainer of VDA QMC or official license partner extend his/her VDA 6.3 (2016) Certificate?
An approved trainer VDA 6.3 (2016) must also prove the required five (5) process audits and/or potential analysis for the extension of his / her VDA 6.3 (2016) certificate. The specialist knowledge of the automotive core tools must either be documented in accordance with the general requirements for process auditors (see FAQ #17) or by participating in one of the official trainer calibrations of the VDA QMC training for "Automotive Core Tools for System and Process Auditors” (ID 417).
Contact us for any questions, auditing or training requirements you might have.