Certification for Railway Industry – ISO/TS 22163

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ISO/TS 22163: Right on track for safety and quality

The railway industry is undergoing major changes because of the liberalisation of operating companies. And it is very clear that the requirements placed on you, as a company within the railway sector, have become stricter. Competition is becoming tougher in the rolling stock industry, and so you have to provide proof of the safety and quality of your products and processes.   

With certification according to ISO/TS 22163 – also known as IRIS Certification™ – you show clearly to the outside world that your company is well able to meet the quality demands within the industry. ISO/TS 22163 offers standardised quality management requirements and assessment guidelines and also standardised audits. This should make it easier to judge and compare suppliers.

The guiding purpose of the standard is to make quality transparent and to improve it along the entire supply chain. This is why the four largest system manufacturers  (Alstom, AnsaldoBreda, Bombardier and Siemens) make ISO/TS 22163 mandatory for their suppliers.

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What are the benefits of ISO/TS 22163 certification?

  • Certified proof of fulfilment of rolling stock industry requirements
  • Raised quality standards in the organisation and the whole supply chain  
  • Improved market position
  • Higher profile and increased competitiveness
  • Improved position when tendering
  • Can be combined with other QM system standards, to save time and cost
  • Inclusion in the IRIS database, the supplier database of UNIFE, the Association of the European Rail Supply Industry, which contains detailed information regarding the certification results of all certified organisations and which is used by many companies within the railway industry.

Structure of ISO/TS 22163

ISO/TS 22163 shares the High Level Structure established in many major ISO standards, and can be combined with other certifications into an integrated management system. It covers the requirements of ISO 9001, but augments these with specific requirements for the rolling stock industry. These include the assessment of life cycle costs, project management and also management of orders and model series.

The IRIS certification system “IRIS Certification™ rev. 03” is altogether made up of three components:

  • ISO/TS 22163:2017, consisting of the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 and the specific requirements of the rolling stock industry
  • IRIS Certification Conformity Assessment and
  • The IRIS Certification™ Technology (audit tool, portal and database).


Who is behind ISO/TS 22163?

The standard was developed and published by the Union des Industries Ferroviaires Européennes (UNIFE), the Association of the European Rail Supply Industry.

What is the TÜV NORD CERT auditing procedure for ISO/TS 22163 like?

You will achieve your certification according to ISO/TS 22163 with us through the following steps:

1) Preparation for certification in an informative meeting by phone or in person, and also by means of a pre-audit as recommended by UNIFE.

2) Certification audit at your site (Stage I and II).

3) Documentation of the audit and assessment of the findings and the management system with the  “IRIS Audit Tool“ software.

4) Following successful certification, you will receive a certificate registered with UNIFE and also the TÜV NORD CERT test mark with validity of three years, and you will be entered into the UNIFE supplier database (“IRIS database”).

5) Surveillance audits take place after 12 and 24 months in order to ensure that you continue to fulfil the requirements of the standard.

6) Recertification audit before expiry of the ISO/TS 22163 certificate.

Who needs certification according to ISO/TS 22163?

The rail-specific standard for quality management systems is addressed both to companies concentrating on development, production and maintenance of rail vehicles and to companies concerned with signalling technology.

Why is the acronym “IRIS” so often seen after ISO/TS 22163?

IRIS stands for International Railway Industry Standard, and ISO/TS 22163 was created from this standard. In order to assess the audit findings,  the special “IRIS Audit Tool” software, based on the IRIS audit questionnaire, continues to be used. The result is registered in the UNIFE supplier database, also known as the IRIS database.

What TÜV NORD can offer you

TÜV NORD is a reliable internationally recognised partner for inspection, testing and certification services. Our specialists and auditors have in-depth knowledge based on experience in the rolling stock industry and will support you within the certification process with objective feedback. With certification according to ISO/TS 22163 from TÜV NORD you can achieve efficient quality management – and gain the trust of your customers.

We look forward to hearing from you