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Manual of Operations for Accreditation of Product Certification Programs

PUBLIC POLICY PRO-PL-102 Issued: 2014-5-1, Revision: 2

References PRO-FR-104: Application for Accreditation of Product Certification Program
PRO-FR-105-ISO/IEC 17065: Checklist for Accreditation Requirements: ISO/IEC 17065
PRO-FR-105-ISO/IEC Guide 65: Checklist for Accreditation Requirements: ISO/IEC Guide 65
PRO-FR-107-IAF: Checklist for Accreditation Requirements: IAF Guidance on ISO/IEC Guide 65
PRO-PL-101: Policy and Criteria for Accreditation of Product Certification Programs
PRO-PL-103: Operating Procedures of the Accreditation Committee
PRO-PR-122: PRO Fee Schedule
PRO-PR-124: Development of the Accreditation Contract
ISO/IEC 17000:2004, Conformity assessment - Vocabulary and general principles
ISO/IEC 17011:2004, Conformity assessment - General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies
ISO/IEC 17020, Conformity assessment – General requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection
ISO/IEC 17025:2005, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories
ISO/IEC 17065:2012, Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services
This Manual of Operations contains detailed procedures for accrediting certification bodies under the ANSI Policy and Procedures for Accreditation of Product Certification Programs (PRO-PL-101). It sets forth the duties and obligations of the parties involved and the necessary evaluation and monitoring procedures required to ensure initial and continuing compliance with provisions of the accredited certification bodies, ANSI Policy, ISO/IEC 17065 and other requirements contained in this document. ANSI is organized and operates so as to safeguard the objectivity and impartiality of its activities.
Assessment of the competence of certification bodies is carried out using review of the product certification schemes and associated standards where applicable, assessment of the certification body head office (and other locations if applicable), assessment of the test and inspection facilities (where applicable), and witness assessment.
This document outlines how ANSI plans and conducts initial assessment, surveillance, follow-up, and reassessment to certification bodies in accordance with ANSI accreditation requirements and ISO/IEC 17065 on a two-year accreditation cycle.
4Preliminary Letter of Application for Accreditation
4.1Upon receipt of a request for information for ANSI accreditation, ANSI staff shall provide the requirements for accreditation along with instructions for submitting a Preliminary Letter of Application.
4.2To determine the eligibility of a certification body to apply for ANSI accreditation, ANSI shall request that the certification body shall submit a letter of preliminary application for accreditation with information of its certification scheme (s), and attach the following information:
a)confirmation of third party status;
b)proof of ownership of a certification mark and/or a certificate of conformity, e.g., mark registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office;
c)copy of publicly available documents describing the CB’s program; and
d)brief description of the certification scheme (s), including a list of the standard(s) utilized and the identity of the inspection and/or testing body(ies), if different from the certification body.
4.3Within 30 days of receipt of a preliminary letter of application for accreditation and the required information, ANSI staff shall review and issue a written report determining the eligibility of the program(s) for ANSI accreditation.
4.4If ANSI finds, on the basis of the information submitted by the prospective applicant, that the certification body meets the eligibility requirements contained in section 4.2, ANSI shall provide the inquirer with an application form and instructions for completing and submitting the application.
4.5If ANSI finds, on the basis of the information submitted by the prospective applicant, that the certification body does not meet the eligibility requirements contained in section 4.2, the applicant shall be advised in writing.
5Application for Accreditation
5.1The application for accreditation shall be signed by an authorized representative and a non-refundable application fee shall be submitted to ANSI.
The following information is required in conjunction with the application:
a)scope of the desired accreditation (list of scopes as defined in the International Classification for Standards [ICS] codes for each) or defined by the certification scheme (e.g., FCC, EPA ENERGY STAR®, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Safe Quality Food, Sustainable Forest Initiative, etc.);
b)whether the body is operating:
1)Product certification scheme (s); or
2)Process and service certification scheme (s).
c)numbers of sites and number of persons who work in each site and the types of activities that the site conducts regarding the certification scheme(s); and
d)a signed contract agreement provided by ANSI to the applicant (see PRO-PR-124).
5.2The Accreditation Program Application Form (PRO-FR-104) requires that the applicant include the following information:
a)general characteristics of the applicant such as corporate entity, its relationship in a larger corporate entity if any, name, addresses, legal status, relevant staff contacts, and technical resources;
b)description of the certification body's activities including copies of its charter and/or constitution and bylaws;
c)organizational chart, a listing of names of all management persons who will be involved in the certification scheme (s);
d)disclosure of the relationship of the certification body to all program licensees;
e)description of how the applicant manages any real or apparent conflicts of interest between parties involved in the certification scheme (s);
f)identity of the body(s) conducting surveillance, if other than the certification body, and a copy of the contract agreement between the certification body and the body (ies) conducting surveillance;
g)certification scheme (s), policy manuals and procedures documents such as certification scheme (s) procedures;
h)specific details on the evaluation process including sampling methods, inspection levels, and acceptance criteria;
i)any other available material which will aid ANSI in evaluating the application; and
j)the bases of compliance to one or more of the following international standards:
1)ISO/IEC 17025
2)ISO/IEC 17020
3)ISO/IEC 17021
5.3Upon receipt of the completed application form (PRO-FR-104), all requested information, and the application fee, ANSI staff shall acknowledge receipt within to the applicant.
5.4Upon receipt of new application, ANSI staff shall inform the ANSI Accreditation Committee Chair and the committee members of this event.
5.5ANSI staff shall evaluate the application for completeness, using ANSI requirements as defined in ANSI Policy PRO-PL-101, ISO/IEC 17065, and any other applicable certification scheme requirements. Additional information and/or clarification may be requested from the applicant.
5.5.1If during the application review, circumstances such as language barriers, travel restrictions, new technologies, or any other exceptions to the capabilities of the ANSI Accreditation Program are identified to outside of the capabilities of the Program, then ANSI Staff shall conduct a review of ANSI’s capabilities to assess applicants.
5.5.2ANSI staff shall review the following upon receipt of an application:
• availability of assessors and technical assessors with the appropriate competence to perform the assessment in a timely manner
5.6If a preliminary visit has been defined by ANSI or requested by the applicant, ANSI provides the prospective applicant with associated costs, assigns an appropriate assessment team, and coordinates arrangements for the visit. Following the visit, a report shall be prepared to identify non-compliances, but will not provide any recommendations that would be construed as consultancy.
5.6.1The purpose of a preliminary visit is to clarify issues arising from the application and/or document review, and to ensure that ANSI has a full understanding of the organization of the certification body, the facilities for delivering the product certification scheme (e.g., regional offices, interfaces with other parties, etc.), the structure of the certification body and its ownership. This visit also ensures that both parties have a full understanding of the accreditation process appropriate to the relevant product certification scheme.
5.7When it is determined that the application is complete and that the applicant has the potential to meet the accreditation criteria, the application is accepted and the applicant is so notified in writing.
5.7.1The name of the applicant is added to ANSI's published list of applicants (ANSI home page).
5.7.2The acceptance of the application is announced in ANSI Standards Action. A 30-day comment period is established for comment on the application. The announcement also contains instructions for submitting comments to ANSI.
5.7.3ANSI shall acknowledge receipt of all comments received and provide the applicant with a copy. Where appropriate, ANSI or the applicant will respond.
5.8If, after the initial application evaluation and/or preliminary visit, it is judged that the applicant does not have the potential to meet the accreditation criteria, ANSI will:
a)notify the applicant and identify the deficiency (ies) in the application;
b)advise the applicant that if the deficiency(ies) is (are) corrected, and a revised application is submitted to ANSI within 90 days, ANSI review of the documentation shall resume and payment of an additional fee may be required;
c)advise the applicant that if the deficiency (ies) is not corrected and/or a revised application is not submitted to ANSI within 90 days, the application shall be considered to be withdrawn. A new application may be submitted at any time; and
d)notify the Committee of the final action by ANSI.
6Document Review, Initial Assessment, and Evaluation for Accreditation
6.1Upon acceptance of the application and receipt of any required initial application fee, ANSI shall review the operations of the applicant. The assessment team shall be selected on the basis of competence and absence of potential conflict of interest.
6.1.1The applicant is notified of the names of the proposed members of the assessment team, including any technical expert(s), if needed, and the organization to which they belong. The applicant has 10 days to provide any written objections to any team member(s) and/or expert(s). If the applicant raises objections to any proposed team members, ANSI will provide the names of alternative assessors.
6.1.2The assessment team, including technical assessor (s), shall have no ties with the applicant which may influence the assessments. Team members are required to maintain the confidentiality of all information obtained about the applicant and its operations. The assessment team shall have appropriate knowledge of the specific scope for which accreditation is sought.
6.1.3ANSI shall clearly define the assignment given to the assessment team. The task of the assessment team is to review the documents collected from the product certification body and to conduct the on-site assessment. ANSI shall ensure that the assessment team is provided with the appropriate criteria, relevant documents, and records of the product certification body.
6.2The assessment team reviews the applicant's application and any accompanying documentation. The applicant may be required by the team leader to provide additional information/clarifications/corrections before the accreditation process proceeds. The purpose of the review is to determine whether the certification body is operating in compliance with ANSI requirements, ISO/IEC 17065: 2012 and any other applicable scheme requirements.
6.2.1ANSI may decide not to proceed with an on-site assessment based on the nonconformities found during document review. In such a case, the nonconformities shall be reported in writing to the applicant about the product certification program.
6.3The assessment team arranges with the applicant for a mutually acceptable schedule for the on-site headquarters and witness assessment(s). Witness assessment(s) include, but are not limited to:
a)assessment of testing and inspection facilities (internal or external), if appropriate;
b)assessment of scheme activities during an audit/inspection conducted by a certification body of its clients;
c)observation of the operations of the certification body management functions.
6.3.1During initial assessment key/critical locations shall be selected to ensure that sufficient objective information can be collected to verify that the documented certification procedures are implemented.
a)If the certification body operates a certification process spread across multiple key/critical locations with no one key/critical location housing all the certification activities, then assessments shall cover as many additional key/critical locations and key activities as necessary to collect objective information to verify that documented procedures are implemented.
NOTE: Key activities include policy formulation, process and/or procedure development and, as appropriate, contract review, planning conformity assessments, review, approval, and decision on the results of conformity assessments.
b)If the certification body operates more than one certification scheme (more than one documented set of procedures), then assessments shall cover as many additional key/critical locations as necessary, to verify that the documented procedures are implemented.
6.3.2For each certification scheme operated in whole at multiple key/critical locations, initial assessments shall include:
a)a minimum of two key/critical locations to verify that the same procedures are being utilized at different key/critical locations; and
b)a minimum of two key/critical locations, if applicable, to verify that the same procedures can be used effectively in significantly different business environments (e.g., sites using different languages, sites under different legal systems or sites that are significantly different in size).
6.3.3The minimum number of sites necessary to meet all the above guidelines shall be selected for the initial assessment. If needed, additional sites shall be included as part of the initial assessment to ensure that every site is assessed, either during the initial assessment or during the first year of surveillance assessment.
6.3.4To determine the minimum number of sites for the initial assessment:
a)first, select a site to satisfy requirements in paragraph 6.3.1;
b)select any additional sites necessary to satisfy paragraphs requirements in 6.3.1 - a & b;
c)select any additional sites to satisfy requirements in paragraph 6.3.2 - a;
d)select any additional sites to satisfy paragraph requirements in 6.3.2 - b; and
e)verify that any unselected sites can be assessed during the first year of surveillance.
The applicant is provided with a confirmation of the assessment schedule and a detailed assessment plan for review and approval.
NOTE: Different certification schemes arise when different techniques are used for the initial assessment, any ongoing surveillance activity or the method used to identify certified products.
Examples of different certification schemes would be: • initial type testing, surveillance based on factory compliance audits, testing of production samples, and the use of a mark of conformity; • initial type testing, surveillance based on periodic assessment of the factory’s quality management system, and the use of a mark of conformity; • initial type testing, surveillance based on factory compliance audits, testing of production samples, and the use of a certificate of conformance (no mark of conformity); and • initial design review of the product, surveillance based on factory production audits, and the use of a mark of conformity.
6.3.5For initial assessment and continued accreditation in accreditation processes under the ANSI scope of participation in the International Accreditation Forum/Pacific Accreditation Cooperation Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (IAF/PAC MLA) if mandated by an external entity that controls the certification schemes ANSI shall:
• In addition to visiting the main office of the applicant or accredited certification body, visits shall be made to all other premises of the certification body from which one or more key activities are performed and which are covered by the scope of accreditation.
NOTE: Key Activities include policy formulation, process and/or procedure development and, as appropriate, contract review, planning conformity assessments, review, approval, and decision on the results of conformity assessments.
6.4The assessment team conducts the on-site assessment with an opening meeting at which the purpose of the assessment and accreditation criteria are clearly defined. The assessment schedule and the scope of assessment are also confirmed. As well, witness assessment(s), as defined in section 6.3, is carried out by the ANSI assessment team.
6.5The ANSI assessment team shall analyze all relevant information and evidence gathered during the document and records review as well as the on-site assessment. This analysis shall be sufficient to allow the ANSI assessment team to determine the extent of fulfillment of ANSI accreditation requirements, including competence, ISO/IEC 17065:2012, PRO-PL-102, and the applicant's own policies and procedures as well as any other applicable certification scheme (s) requirements. If necessary or appropriate, formal nonconformity reports (NCRs) are issued for identified deficiencies which require root cause analysis and corrective action by the applicant. The team’s observations on areas for possible improvement shall be reported in writing to the applicant about the product certification program; however, consultancy shall not be provided.
6.5.1Where the ANSI assessment team cannot reach a conclusion about a finding, the team should refer back to ANSI staff for clarification.
6.6An exit meeting shall take place between the assessment team and the certification body representatives prior to leaving the site. At the exit meeting, the ANSI assessment team shall provide a summary report, its findings identified during the assessment, and requirements for submitting corrective action plans. All corrective action plans shall be submitted within 30 days after the posting of the nonconformity on the ANSICA database.
6.7An assessment report covering all assessment activities is prepared by the assessment team (lead assessor and technical assessor) and submitted to ANSI. The report includes assessment details, NCRs issued, and concerns identified.
6.8The certification body shall be invited to comment on the assessment report. ANSI staff and the assessment team shall consider any comments submitted and finalize the report, as appropriate.
6.9If a response regarding corrective action(s) has been received from the applicant, the response is reviewed by the assessment team (lead assessor and technical assessor) for acceptability and recording in NCR forms no later than 30 days after the date of receipt. The response and any comments by the lead assessor regarding its acceptability shall be submitted to the certification body. ANSI transmits the final report to the applicant.
6.10Responses to all NCRs must be accepted by the assessment team and appropriate ANSI staff before the accreditation process proceeds. Acceptance of these responses is based upon evaluation and review by the assessment team and appropriate ANSI staff to see if the actions appear to be sufficient and effective. The assessment team will verify whether all deficiencies and concerns have been adequately addressed by the applicant. Additionally, evidence of effective implementation of actions taken may be requested or a follow-up assessment(s) and/or additional witness assessment(s) may be required to verify effective implementation of corrective actions.
6.11ANSI staff shall select two or more volunteers from the ACC members acceptable to the applicant to serve as an Evaluation Task Group. These two volunteers will review the Accreditation Process.
6.12The information provided to the evaluation task group and made available to ANSI Accreditation Committee members shall include the following, as a minimum:
a)assessment report
1)unique identification of the product certification body;
2)date(s) of the on-site assessment;
3)name(s) of the assessor(s) and/or experts involved in the assessment;
4)unique identification of all premises assessed;
5)proposed scope of accreditation that was assessed.
b)statement on the adequacy of the internal organization and procedures adopted by the product certification body to give confidence in its competence, as determined through its fulfillment of the requirements for accreditation;
c)information on the resolution of all nonconformities;
d)any further information that may assist in determining fulfillment of requirements including the competence of the product certification body;
e)where applicable, a recommendation on granting, reducing or extending accreditation for the proposed scope; and
f)basis of the compliance of each test laboratory from which data is being reviewed to ISO/IEC 17020, ISO/IEC 17021 and ISO/IEC 17025.
7Decision on Accreditation
7.1The evaluation task group reviews the assessment report (see 6.11) and determines if the assessment is complete and the certification body complies with the procedural requirements, PRO-PL-102, ISO/IEC 17065:2012 and any other applicable certification scheme (s) requirements. If the task group desires that the ANSI staff report be clarified and/or additional assessment tasks be performed, ANSI staff shall respond accordingly and submit a revised report to the task group. A copy of the revised report will be sent to the applicant for technical review and comment. If, based on the revised report, the ETG determines any requirement has not been fulfilled, ANSI staff shall offer the applicant in writing to either terminate the accreditation process or to send a recommendation to deny accreditation to the Accreditation Committee.
7.2ANSI staff will prepare a recommendation based on the Evaluation Task Group conclusion for the accreditation decision by the ANSI Accreditation Committee; the information from Clause 6.12 will be provided to the ACC. The recommendation is presented to the ANSI Accreditation Committee for a vote on granting or denying accreditation in accordance with Committee Operating Procedures (PRO-PL-103). This vote may be conducted by letter ballot.
7.2.1If the Committee votes to deny accreditation, the basis for denial shall be documented.
7.3Following approval by the ANSI Accreditation Committee, ANSI staff will notify the applicant in writing of the approval. This notification will include information related to the scope of accreditation. An invoice for any applicable accreditation fee will be submitted to the applicant. The applicant will provide a certificate of insurance or other evidence of fulfillment of ISO/IEC 17065:2012, or have adequate arrangements to cover liabilities arising from its operations and/or activities.
7.4If the ANSI Accreditation Committee does not vote to approve the accreditation, ANSI staff shall promptly notify the applicant in writing and include the basis for the Committee's decision along with information on any additional steps to be taken by the applicant, which may be deemed appropriate. The applicant may also appeal the decision in accordance with ANSI AS appeals procedures.
7.4.1The applicant, after correcting all outstanding deficiency (ies)/concern(s), may reapply to ANSI for accreditation at any time. Resubmission may necessitate payment of an additional fee.
7.4.2Unsuccessful applicants must pay all ANSI's costs and fees associated with the application for accreditation, as described in Section 5, upon resubmission of the application.
8Accreditation Fees and Expenses
8.1ANSI shall determine accreditation fee for each accreditation program. Any changes in the fee schedule shall be incorporated into new and renewed contracts covering accredited certification bodies, as appropriate.
8.2ANSI shall invoice the applicant for incurred costs and fees in accordance with the current fee schedule.
8.3Failure to pay the invoice by its due date may result in ANSI taking one of the following actions:
a)refusal of any further consideration of the application;
b)non-execution of the accreditation agreement; or
c)termination of an existing accreditation agreement.
9.1Following receipt of any applicable fee payment, ANSI staff shall prepare a Certificate of Accreditation signed by the ANSI Vice President for Accreditation Services. The accreditation agreement defines the responsibilities of ANSI as the accreditation body for the accredited certification program.
9.2ANSI shall publish a public notice of accreditation in "ANSI Standards Action." Any interested body may object to the decision to grant accreditation within 30 days after publication of that decision in accordance with ANSI AS complaints procedures.
9.3ANSI shall send to the newly accredited body the Certificate of Accreditation. This Certificate of Accreditation shall identify (on the front page, when possible):
a)identity and logo of the accreditation body;
b)unique identity of the accredited product certification body and if applicable the certification scheme (s);
c)all premises from which one or more key activities are performed that are covered by the accreditation;
d)unique accreditation number of the accredited product certification body;
e)effective date of granting of accreditation and, as applicable, the expiry date;
f)brief indication of, or reference to, the scope of accreditation;
g)statement of conformity and a reference to the standard(s) or other normative document(s), including issue/revision used for assessment of the product certification bodies;
h)effective date of accreditation (first day of the month following the date of the accreditation decision); and
i)type of certification scheme (s) where applicable
1)standards, normative documents, regulatory requirements or types thereof to which products are certified.
10Continuing Accreditation
10.1Continuing accreditation assessment activities shall be conducted at least annually. The first surveillance assessment shall be carried out during the next calendar year following the grant of initial accreditation. Subsequent re-assessments shall be carried out during the next calendar year following the surveillance. The purpose of these activities shall be to:
a)determine that the certification body continues to operate in compliance with ANSI accreditation requirements and the requirements of ISO/IEC 17065:2012 and any other applicable certification scheme requirements; and
b)determine if the certification body continues to operate, as described in the accredited body's documentation.
Continuing accreditation activities shall include, but not be limited to:
1)assessment of headquarters and key/critical locations, if applicable, to selected requirements (ISO/IEC 17065);
2)assessments of certification body functions to ensure that systems and personnel operations continue to be properly conducted in compliance with certification scheme document(s) approved by ANSI;
3)witness assessment(s) as defined in Section 6.3; and
4)other visits and assessments needed to confirm that the program is being operated properly, as set forth in program documents approved by ANSI and in accordance with ANSI requirements.
10.2ANSI will schedule and plan on-site surveillance and re-assessment activities. For accredited certification bodies with multiple key/critical locations, the criteria to select key/critical locations are defined in items 6.3.1 to 6.3.5.
10.3ANSI staff shall submit a report on the results of continuing accreditation assessments prepared by the ANSI assessment team to the certification body and to the ANSI Accreditation Committee. The report shall include any non-compliance findings together with a copy of the request that ANSI be notified in writing within 30 days by the certification body of its planned corrective actions. ANSI staff shall request creation of an Evaluation Task Group to review the continuing assessment report and the nonconformities, as they deem necessary.
When nonconformities are identified during surveillances or reassessments, ANSI staff will take into consideration ANSI Accreditation Committee policies that define strict time limits for corrective actions to be implemented by ANSI-accredited certification bodies. This time limit is defined on a case-by-case basis.
ANSI staff and the assessment team shall determine if the proposed corrective actions are satisfactory, and report the results of the continuing accreditation activity to the ANSI Accreditation Committee. The report will include information on any corrective actions determined to be satisfactory and any unresolved noncompliance issues. ANSI staff and the assessment team shall ensure that proposed corrective actions are implemented in subsequent assessments and evaluations.
10.4ANSI staff shall review ongoing continuing accreditation activities and reports of their status at each ANSI Accreditation Committee meeting, and provide information as the basis for decisions on maintaining accreditation.
10.5ANSI accreditation is continued if the results of continuing accreditation activities, including evaluations of any corrective actions taken by the certification body, support continued accreditation and the ANSI Accreditation Committee votes in favor of continued accreditation.
10.6If the results of continuing accreditation activities, including evaluations of corrective actions taken by the certification body, do not support continued accreditation and subsequently the ANSI Accreditation Committee decides to suspend or withdraw accreditation, ANSI staff shall notify the certification body of this result in writing. The provisions of Section 11 of PRO-PL-102 will apply.
10.7In conjunction with the evaluation task group, ANSI may decide to conduct extraordinary assessments as a result of complaints, changes, etc. ANSI shall advise the product certification body of this possibility.
10.8ANSI shall, in response to an application for extension of scope of an accreditation already granted, undertake the necessary activities to determine whether or not the extension of scope may be granted. Where appropriate, assessment and granting procedures shall be as defined in Sections 5 to 8.
10.9ANSI shall maintain records on accredited certification bodies to demonstrate that requirements for accreditation, including competence, have been effectively fulfilled.
10.9.1Records on accredited certification bodies shall include:
a)relevant correspondence;
b)assessment records and reports;
c)records of committee deliberations, if applicable, and accreditation decisions; and
d)copies of accreditation certificates.
11Suspending, Reducing, Withdrawing, and Reinstating Accreditation
11.1ANSI may suspend, reduce or withdraw its accreditation of a certification body for the reasons listed in the contract agreement or if any of the following occur:
a)filing of any voluntary or involuntary petition of bankruptcy;
b)making of any arrangement with creditors or holding of "composition of creditors" action in regard to financial difficulties or bankruptcy proceedings;
c)appointment of a receiver for the business;
d)voluntary or involuntary liquidation of the business or the organization;
e)The certification scheme (s) in the scope of accreditation that is discontinued;
f)failure by the certification body to take appropriate and timely corrective action on deficiencies in its program that have been requested by ANSI; and
g)persistent failure by an accredited certification program to meet the requirements of accreditation or to abide by the rules for accreditation.
11.2If at any time during the term of the contract the certification body defaults in any way on its obligations to ANSI, ANSI shall call this infraction to the attention of the certification body for immediate correction. The communication to the body shall include a notice that if the matter is not immediately corrected, it will be brought to the attention of the ANSI Accreditation Committee, which may vote to suspend the accreditation for 60 days from the date of the ANSI Accreditation Committee decision. If the matter remains unresolved, the ANSI Accreditation Committee may vote to terminate the accreditation.
11.3When ANSI accreditation is suspended, reduced in scope or withdrawn, ANSI staff shall publish a notice in Standards Action and otherwise publicize the action in any way that the ANSI Accreditation Committee deems appropriate.
11.4The accreditation of the certification body will be reinstated, when it demonstrates compliance with ANSI accreditation requirements.
12Appeal between ANSI and an Applicant or an Accredited Certification Body
12.1Appeals against ANSI decisions shall be handled in accordance with the ANSI AS procedures.
13Complaints Regarding Accredited Certification Bodies
13.1Complaints regarding accredited certification bodies shall be handled in accordance with ANSI AS complaints procedures.
14Complaints Regarding the ANSI Accreditation Program
14.1Complaints regarding ANSI Accreditation Program shall be handled in accordance with ANSI AS complaints procedures.
15Public Notice and Information
15.1ANSI staff shall publish an announcement in ANSI Standards Action about the granting, extending, reducing, suspending, and withdrawing of accreditations and of applications for accreditation.
15.2ANSI shall maintain a current list of accredited third party product certification bodies and applicants. The information in the listing shall be made available on the internet and/or in a hard copy upon request.
16Annual Fee
16.1The accredited certification body shall pay an annual fee, as shown in the current fee schedule.
16.2In case of premature termination of the accreditation agreement, a pro-rata payment of the fee for the portion of the accreditation year during which accreditation was in effect is payable in full upon termination.
17Modification to Accreditation Policies and Criteria
17.1The ANSI Accreditation Committee shall authorize modifications to the policies and criteria for ANSI accreditation. When a decision has been made to modify program policies and/or criteria, the ANSI Accreditation Committee shall also decide on the effective date for the modifications.
17.2ANSI staff will publish a request for public comment on any proposed modifications to program, policies and criteria in ANSI Standards Action. ANSI staff will respond to comments received after coordinating the response with the ANSI Accreditation Committee. The proposed modifications may be revised as a result of the review and public comment process. A final version of any revised document, which incorporates agreed upon modifications, will be submitted to the ANSI Accreditation Committee for formal approval.
17.3ANSI staff will announce the availability of the approved versions of the modified program policies and criteria in ANSI Standards Action.
17.4If the accreditation policies and criteria, including annexes, are modified, ANSI staff shall immediately notify both accredited bodies and applicants for accreditation in writing of the modifications. ANSI will specify whether a supplementary assessment is necessary to determine conformance to the modifications. The date on which the modifications become effective shall be specified. This date will be at least six months from the date of notification of the modification(s).
17.5If an applicant certification body informs ANSI that it will not accept the changes, consideration of the application for accreditation will be terminated. ANSI staff will notify the ANSI Accreditation Committee of this action.
17.6If an accredited certification body informs ANSI that it accepts the changes, and if the outcome of a supplementary assessment (if appropriate) is favorable, ANSI staff shall, if applicable, issue new or renewed contracts covering the accredited certification programs. The modifications will be considered to be part of the accreditation agreement from the date on which the change(s) take place.
18Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information
18.1All information is confidential except the information the certification body itself makes public. The notice of accreditation is published in ANSI standards action and ANSI home page.
18.2All other information acquired during ANSI accreditation activities is to be treated as confidential by all program participants, including ANSI staff, its agents, members of the ANSI Accreditation Committee, and any subcontractors.

How is accreditation like an onion?