ISO/TS 22163:2017 (IRIS-Rail and Transportation)

Quality in the rail sector

The liberalization of national railway networks is gathering momentum, and along with it comes increased competitive pressure. This poses major challenges, not only for the operators of railway networks. Rail vehicle manufacturers and suppliers need to meet the rising requirements that an increasingly global design and production environment places upon the quality of rolling stock.


What is ISO/TS 22163:2017?

As a rail organization, you have three core concerns: qualifying your project and series management, maintaining stable company processes, and constantly improving your products and services. Whether you are a railway operator, manufacturer of railway vehicles or supplier of the railway industry, you’ll find the new  international ISO/TS 22163:2017 standard to be a valuable support in decisive subject areas: qualification of your company for project and series management for railway vehicle manufacturing, effectiveness and efficiency of your company processes, and continuous development of product and service characteristics.

The Standard

The shift of IRIS requirements to an ISO/TS standard mainly aims at guaranteeing an even better quality management, increased process efficiency and an excellent product quality.

InnoTrans 2016 in Berlin was the platform chosen by UNIFE (Association of the European Rail Industry) to “go public” with the long awaited Transition Plan for the railway industry’s own standard to become a full-fledged ISO standard in its own right. The development that was started in 2006 now includes close to 2 200 production sites in 52 countries.

UNIFE and DQS believe that this evolution will bring more confidence, as well as a higher acceptance in the sector, trust within the supply chain and overall global recognition.

High Level Structure

ISO/TS 22163, ISO’s Technical Specification for rail organizations, contains the requirements set out in ISO 9001:2015, including the high-level structure used in all ISO management system standards since 2013, but also incorporates needs and requirements that are unique to the rail industry.

  1. Scope
  2. Normative reference
  3. Terms and definitions
  4. Context of the organization
  5. Leadership
  6. Planning
  7. Support
  8. Operation
  9. Performance evaluation
  10. Improvement

Benefits of ISO/TS 22163:2017

  • Internationally recognized quality mark
  • Visible sign of compliance with the requirements of interested parties
  • Continual improvement of processes and outputs
  • Constant enhancement of product and service quality
  • Significant reduction in liability risks
  • Listing in the UNIFE database as a competent supplier

Audit and Certification

As soon as your processes have been identified, recorded and implemented, and the effectiveness of your quality management system has been reviewed in internal audits and the results analyzed in a management review, you are ready for certification. We customize our planning to you, and we coordinate with you based on your individual circumstances, corporate objectives and success factors. Then your organization will undergo the classic DQS certification process: we will assign auditors with excellent knowledge of the standards, as well as many years of experience in the respective business sector. The result status is entered in the UNIFE database, where it can be accessed by industry developers, engineers and purchasers.

Certifications Process

The process starts with the client’s needs and expectations. DQS wants to learn about the client’s organization, its management system, size and types of operation. Together both parties will define objectives for the assessment and/or certification, including applicable standards and specifications.

DQS will provide a detailed offer for assessment and certification services, tailored to individual client needs, based on the information provided initially. A written contract will specify all relevant deliverables as well as applicable assessment and certification criteria.

A pre-audit can serve as initial performance or gap analysis, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. For larger assessment and certification projects a project planning meeting provides a valuable opportunity for the client to meet the lead assessor and develop a customized assessment plan for all functions and locations involved. Both services are optional.

The assessment procedure itself begins with review and evaluation of system documentation, goals, results of management review and internal audits. During this process, it will be determined whether the client’s management system is sufficiently developed and ready for certification. The assessor will explain findings and coordinate any required activities to prepare for the on-site system assessment.

The assigned auditor team will audit the client’s management system at the place of production or service delivery. Applying defined management system standards and specifications, the assessment team will evaluate the effectiveness of all functional areas as well as all management system processes, based upon observations, inspections, interviews, review of pertinent records, and other assessment techniques. The audit result, including all findings will be presented to the client during the closing meeting. Required action plans will be agreed upon as necessary.

The independent certification function of DQS will evaluate the audit process and its results, and decide independently about issuance of the certificate. The client receives an audit report, documenting the audit results. When all applicable requirements are fulfilled the client also receives the certificate.

Either semi-annually or at least once per year, there will be an on-site audit of the critical components of the management system. Improvement potential will be identified, with a focus on continual improvement and sustained effectiveness.

A management system certificate is valid for a limited period of time, frequently for a maximum of three years. At the end of this cycle, a re-audit will be carried out to ensure the ongoing fulfillment of all applicable requirements. Subject to this fulfillment, a new certificate will be issued.

Why DQS?

DQS is one of the leading Management System Certification, Audits, Assessment & Training organization globally. 


Truly Global Brand


Expert Auditors with High Emotional Intelligence


Local Capabilities & Delivery


Industry Leaders


Customized, Comprehensive & Actionable Insights


Pioneering Innovative Solutions


Passion for Quality & Excellence


Integrity & Trust

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