IRIS (ISO TS 22163)

QM certifications for the railway industry according to IRIS

The International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS) is the global benchmark for quality management in the railway industry.

The standard was established in May 2006 by UNIFE (Union des Industries Ferroviaires Européennes) with the aim of achieving a uniform standard for suppliers and thus the best possible quality throughout the entire production chain. Leading manufacturers such as Alstom Transport, Bombardier Transportation, Siemens Transportation Systems, Ansaldo Breda and others played a decisive role in its development.

For suppliers, IRIS certification is often the decisive step towards the supplier base of the major railway manufacturers.

IRIS Rev. 03 is based on ISO 9001:2015, supplemented by additional requirements of rail operators and rail vehicle manufacturers. This close connection to ISO 9001 makes it easier for companies to extend an existing quality management system to the additional requirements of IRIS Rev. 03 - without unnecessary double effort, e.g. in documentation.

The previous standard IRIS Rev. 02 was revised in May 2017 and published as ISO TS 22163:2017. Together with the IRIS Certification rules:2017 published in June 2017, it forms the "IRIS Certification rev.03" system or IRIS Rev. 03 for short.

The revision was necessary in order to remain compatible with the ISO 9001 revision published in 2015: A certification according to IRIS Rev. 03 always includes a certificate for ISO 9001:2015.

An overview of the most important innovations of ISO TS 22163:2017:

  • Adoption of all previous requirements of IRIS Revision 02.1 + Addendum 2015
  • Specification through current additional requirements of the rail operators and rail vehicle manufacturers
  • adoption of all requirements of ISO 9001:2015
  • Structure according to the new "High Level Structure” (HLS)for management system standards  – resulting in advantages for integrated management systems
  • Request for "documented information" instead of the previously required documented procedures
  • Strengthening of the process-oriented approach and demand for specific process descriptions
  • Further implementation of the IRIS audit tool (audit software) and the IRIS assessment sheet (evaluation catalogue)
  • Maturity model for management systems based on a BRONZE-SILVER-GOLD evaluation

The period for the transition from IRIS Rev. 02 to IRIS Rev. 03 (ISO TS 22163:2017) was linked to the transition period from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015 and accordingly ended on September 14, 2018. All existing certificates according to IRIS Rev. 02 have expired on this date.

The transition can take place either in the next scheduled review or recertification audit or in an audit outside the scheduled audit cycle.

With just over a year, the transition period is extremely short. This should be taken into account when planning the transition in order for the quality management system to meet the requirements of IRIS Rev. 03 in good time and the successful execution of the certification.

As a partner of the globally active AFNOR Groupe, we will be pleased to prepare an offer for certification according to IRIS – also in combination with the certification of other management systems, e.g. IS0 14001 or ISO 9001.

If you have any questions about the basic conditions of a certification, the audit procedure or the added value through integrated certifications, the employees of our certification body are always there for you.