VDA 6.1 is a German quality management system standard. It was initiated by the automobile industry. The first VDA standard was for the exchange of surface models, and was named "VDA-FS". It has been superseded along the way, by a subset of the "Initial Graphics Exchange Specification" (IGES); referred to, simply, as "VDA". Aside from this exchange standard, VDA also developed "VDA-PS", a library standard for standard parts, now known as "DIN 66304".
Based on ISO 9001:1994, the quality management system includes all elements of QS-9000, with an additional four requirements specific to VDA 6.1 as follows:
- Element 06.3 on "Recognition of Product Risk": This the risk of the product, failing to fulfil its stipulated function, and its effect on the whole assembly.
- Element Z1.5 on "Employee Satisfaction": This covers the perception of the company employees, as well as their needs and expectations, that will be met through the company's quality system.
- Element 07.3 on "Quotation Structure": A customer or market is offered products for purchase or made available to own or to use.
- Element 12.4 on "Quality History": This section covers the quality history of customer-supplied products and gives an overview of the situation during a particular period.
The VDA standard is broken into two parts:
- Products and Processes.
Any company seeking certification must achieve at least 90 percent compliance in a formal quality audit.
Sanctioned interpretations of VDA 6.1 are available, clarifying some of the elements, so as to assist companies and registrars to understand the requirements better. There are also a number of other manuals, which must be read in conjunction with the VDA 6.1 manual, and is aimed at facilitating better understanding of what is required.