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Application and Initial Assessment Process

PUBLIC PROCEDURE GHG-PR-715 Issued: 2014-8-28, Revision: 1

References ANSI-PR-004: Appeals
ANSI-PR-021: Certificate of Accreditation
ANSI-TP-001: Statement of Conflict of Interest, Confidentiality and Compliance with ANSI Accreditation Policies and Procedures
ANSI-TP-001 Electronic Version: Statement of Conflict of Interest, Confidentiality and Compliance with ANSI Accreditation Policies and Procedures
ANSI-TP-002: Agreement of Accreditation and Monitoring of Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs)
GHG-FR-703: Preliminary Application for ANSI Accreditation under ISO 14065
GHG-FR-704: Application for Accreditation of Validation/Verification Body under ISO 14065
GHG-FR-705: ANSI Accreditation Criteria Checklist for Evaluation of Third Party GHG Validation/Verification Bodies
GHG-FR-720: GHG Office Assessment Report
GHG-FR-721: GHG Technical Report
GHG-FR-740: ANSI Witness Assessment - VVB Form to Propose Witnessing Activity at Client/Project Site
GHG-FR-741: Report on Review of GHG V/VB Application for Accreditation
GHG-PL-702: Operating Procedures of the GHG Validation / Verification Body Accreditation Committee (GVAC)
GHG-PR-706: ANSI GHG Validation and Verification Body Accreditation Scoping Policy
GHG-PR-719: Conditions for Granting, Maintaining, Extending, Reducing, Suspending, and Withdrawing Accreditation
GHG-PR-722: Fees - GHG Program
GHG-TP-702: Assessment Schedule
IAF MD 6:2014, Application of ISO 14065:2013
ISO 14065:2013, Greenhouse gases - Requirements for greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies for use in accreditation or other forms of recognition
Contents
1Objective
1.1The objective of this procedure is to document the application and initial assessment process for greenhouse gas validation/verification bodies (V/VBs) applying for ANSI accreditation.
2Definitions
2.1V/VB: Greenhouse gas validation/verification body.
2.2V/V: Validation/verification
2.3GVAC: Greenhouse Gas Validation/Verification Accreditation Committee.
3Preliminary Application Process
3.1V/VBs interested in applying for ANSI accreditation not currently holding accreditation with ANSI or a member body of the IAF shall first complete the GHG-FR-703: Preliminary Application for ANSI Accreditation under ISO 14065 available on the web or by request. This form must be submitted by the duly authorized representative of the V/VB. The purpose of the preliminary application process is for ANSI to determine the basic eligibility of the V/VB and for the V/VB to inform ANSI of the specific activities, ANSI Groups and sector(s) for which it seeks accreditation.
3.2Preliminary application requires completion of GHG-FR-703 with supporting documentation to address the following six items:
a)confirmation of third party status of the V/VB;
b)confirmation of the V/VB’s status as a legal entity;
c)proof of the publicly available documents describing V/V activities;
d)description of V/VB’s management system for V/V activities
e)identification of any GHG programs, registries, or emissions trading schemes that the V/VB currently participates in and intends to participate in;
f)proof of ownership of a mark, if applicable.
3.3Within 30 days of receipt of the preliminary application and related required information, ANSI shall assign a staff member to the preliminary applicant and review the information to determine whether the prospective applicant is eligible for ANSI accreditation.
3.4ANSI staff may request additional documentation if necessary. In such case, the preliminary applicant must submit the requested information within 90 days in order to continue with the preliminary application process. Otherwise, the preliminary application will be rejected.
3.5Upon completion of the review, ANSI shall document the eligibility evaluation conclusions in GHG-FR-703. Eligible preliminary applicants shall be directed to download from the ANSI website and fill out the full application form GHG-FR-704 as well as the accreditation criteria checklist GHG-FR-705. In addition to the eligibility report, ANSI shall provide the eligible preliminary applicants with the ANSI-TP-002: Agreement of Accreditation and Monitoring of Conformity Assessment Bodies (herein referred to as Accreditation Agreement).
3.6Eligibility determination is valid for a period of 6 months. If the V/VB does not submit full application within this timeframe, it shall need to reapply with the preliminary application per clause 3.1.
4Application for Accreditation
4.1Receipt of application
4.1.1The application for accreditation shall be signed by an authorized representative of the V/VB; it may be submitted electronically (preferred) or by mail in 3 copies. The application shall be accompanied by:
a)the application fee per GHG-PR-722;
b)a completed GHG-FR-705 checklist accompanied by supporting materials that demonstrate how the V/VB conforms with ISO 14065, IAF MD 6 and any applicable GHG program requirements;
c)a signed copy of the Accreditation Agreement.
4.1.2ANSI shall not proceed with the formal application review unless the application package includes the elements listed in 4.1.1.
4.1.3Following receipt of the full application package, ANSI staff shall:
a)update the status of the V/VB in ANSICA so that the ANSI online directory displays the new applicant;
b)acknowledge the receipt of the application documents;
c)notify the GVAC of the new application;
d)announce the application in ANSI’s Standards Action. A 30 day period is established for comment on the application. The announcement shall contain instructions for submitting comments to ANSI. ANSI shall acknowledge receipt of all comments and provide the applicant with a copy. Where appropriate, ANSI or the applicant shall respond to the commenter.
4.1.4Program staff shall seek volunteers from GVAC to form an Evaluation Task Group (ETG) for the new applicant. ETG candidate information shall be sent to the applicant for approval. The applicant may reject one or more proposed ETG members based on perceived or actual conflict of interest within 10 days in which case ANSI staff shall select new candidate(s). Absence of the applicant’s objection within the 10 day period shall be interpreted as acceptance of the proposed ETG
4.1.5ANSI shall review the application for completeness within 30 calendar days of its receipt to ensure that all the appropriate questions have been answered and supporting documentation has been provided.
4.1.6ANSI staff may request additional information and/or clarification from the applicant. Response for additional documentation must be received within 90 days of the request. Otherwise, the application shall be considered withdrawn and the applicant V/VB shall be required to restart the application process by submitting a new preliminary application.
5Document Review and Preliminary Visit
5.1Selection of the assessment team
5.1.1ANSI shall select candidates for the assessment team. The assessment team members shall be selected on the basis of competence and absence of conflict of interest. All selected assessors must have signed the ANSI confidentiality and conflict of interest form ANSI-TP-001.
5.1.2A “conflict of interest” (herein, COI) is any financial, business or other interest that impairs an assessor’s objectivity or impartiality, or creates an unfair competitive advantage for any organization or individual. Areas that should be considered when determining actual, perceived or potential COI for a particular assignment include:
a)organization/business relations – current or projected financial/business relations with individuals or entities that may be materially affected by accreditation decisions. This includes unfair competitive advantage;
b)employment and financial relations of family/associates – status of financial/business relations of spouse, other partners, children, professional associates;
c)memberships and affiliations – business and professional collaborations, associations, partnerships and other relationships that may strain assessor’s objectivity or impartiality with respect to assessment activities and decisions.
5.1.3The applicant shall be provided with the resumes of the proposed members of the assessment team. The applicant may object to proposed team members based on perceived or actual conflict of interest within 10 days in which case ANSI staff shall select new candidate(s). Absence of the applicant’s objection within the 10 day period shall be interpreted as acceptance of the proposed assessment team.
5.1.4ANSI staff shall communicate the details of the assignment to the assessment team and forward the assessors copies of the application package.
5.2Document review
5.2.1The assessment team shall review the application package and accompanying documentation and issue the results of the document review to the applicant. The purpose of the document review is to determine if the ANSI requirements for accreditation have been satisfactorily integrated into the applicant’s management system and operating procedures. Results of document review shall be entered into the appropriate column of the GHG-FR-705 checklist as well as GHG-FR-741: Report on Review of GHG VVB Application for Accreditation.
5.2.2The completed forms shall be provided to the applicant following completion of the document review, prior to the onsite assessment.
5.2.3In the course of document review the lead assessor may request that the applicant provide additional information or clarifications. In such case, the applicant must respond to such request within 90 days. Otherwise, the application shall be considered withdrawn and the applicant V/VB shall be required to restart the application process by submitting a new preliminary application.
5.2.4ANSI may decide not to proceed with an onsite assessment based on the results of the document review. In such a case, ANSI staff shall formally inform the applicant that the initial assessment process cannot proceed, include the reasons for this action and provide to the applicant the GHG-FR-705 checklist including the identified deficiencies and the GHG-FR-741 summary form. An applicant can undergo no more than 3 document review cycles. If the third round of documentation is deemed insufficient to proceed, ANSI may:
a)dismiss the application of the validation/verification body and implement a 6 month wait period for reapplication;
b)seek additional and amended documentation from the validation/verification body, providing deadlines for the submission and the assessment of such documentation; or
c)proceed with the assessment.
5.3Preliminary visit
5.3.1If a preliminary visit has been determined necessary by ANSI or requested by the applicant, ANSI staff, in consultation with the applicant, shall select one of the approved assessors and coordinate arrangements for the visit.
5.3.2The purpose of a preliminary visit is to clarify issues arising from the application and/or document review, and to ensure that ANSI has full understanding of the organization of the V/VB, the associated V/VB facilities (e.g. main and regional offices, interfaces with related bodies etc.), the structure of the validation/verification program, and the legal status and ownership of the V/VB. This visit also ensures that both parties have full understanding of the accreditation process appropriate to the scope of the validation/verification activities.
5.3.3Following the visit, a preliminary visit report shall be provided to the applicant summarizing the visit and identifying any deficiencies found. The report shall not provide any recommendations that would be construed as consultancy.
6Onsite Assessment
6.1A complete internal audit (all elements of the management system) and at least one complete management review by the applicant is a prerequisite for the ANSI onsite assessment. If the applicant has not completed validation/verification engagements in conformance with ISO 14065, a witness assessment shall also be required as a prerequisite for the ANSI onsite assessment. The requirements included in GHG-PR-706: ANSI GHG Validation and Verification Body Accreditation Scoping Policy shall be applied to the applicant’s requested scope of accreditation to determine the number and type of witness assessments required as stated in 7.1.
6.2Upon completion of the document review process the ANSI lead assessor shall arrange with the applicant for a mutually acceptable schedule for the witness and onsite assessment.
6.3The applicant must complete the onsite assessment and all witness assessments required for the scope of accreditation sought within 18 months from the date on which the original application was accepted by ANSI. If the onsite assessment is not completed within this time the application shall be considered withdrawn and the applicant V/VB shall be required to restart the application process by submitting a new preliminary application. The V/VB may request an extension to complete these assessment activities subject to the approval of ANSI staff.
6.4If the V/VB seeks accreditation for an activity and ANSI Group which requires a witness assessment and is not able to complete the required witness assessment(s) for that activity and Group within 18 months, it must choose to request ANSI to:
a)postpone a decision on initial accreditation until witness assessments are completed for all activities and Groups requested in the application, or;
b)proceed with the initial assessment process and accreditation decision for the activities and Groups where witness assessment requirements have been met. Note: following accreditation, the V/VB may choose to apply for an extension of scope for the additional activities and Groups. The same timeline and requirements specified in 6.3 above apply.
6.5Assessors, in conjunction with the applicant and ANSI staff, shall develop an assessment schedule using GHG-TP-702. The schedule shall include:
a)the type of assessment;
b)dates and expected length of assessment;
c)description of activities to be accomplished during the assessment;
d)requested materials to be available onsite.
6.6ANSI assessors shall begin the onsite assessment with an opening meeting that shall include the V/VB’s representatives. The purpose of the opening meeting is for ANSI assessors to clearly describe the purpose and scope of the assessment, the accreditation criteria and to confirm the assessment schedule and assessment deliverables.
6.7The ANSI assessment team shall evaluate all relevant information and evidence gathered during the document review as well as the witness and onsite assessments. This evaluation shall be sufficient to allow the ANSI assessment team to determine conformance to accreditation requirements, including conformance to the applicant's own policies and procedures.
6.8At the conclusion of the assessment, the ANSI assessment team shall hold a closing meeting with the V/VB’s representatives. At the closing meeting, the ANSI assessment team shall present its findings identified during the assessment and requirements for submitting corrective actions plans, informing the applicant of the appeals process. The team’s observations on areas for possible improvement (OFIs) shall also be reported, however, consultancy shall not be provided.
6.9In those cases where the ANSI assessment team cannot reach a conclusion or consensus about a finding, the team shall refer back to ANSI staff for guidance.
6.10Assessment reports covering all assessment activities are prepared by the lead and technical assessor(s) using GHG-FR-720 and submitted to ANSI.
6.10.1The reports shall include:
a)details of the assessment agenda;
b)sites, activities and sectors (ANSI Groups) included in the application;
c)personnel interviewed;
d)reference to NCRs and OFIs identified as well as the evidence for these findings;
e)conclusion.
6.10.2ANSI assessors shall submit the reports via ANSICA. ANSI staff shall review, request clarification or revision to the reports before finalizing and providing the V/VB access to the reports for reference and comment. ANSI shall consider any comments submitted by the V/VB and edit the report as appropriate.
6.11The applicant shall be requested to post proposed corrective action and the implementation target date for the identified NCRs in ANSICA within 30 days. The assessment team (lead assessor or technical expert) shall review these statements for acceptability and respond within 30 days. Applicant’s response to OFIs is optional. OFIs are subject to closure by ANSI staff if not responded to by applicant within 30 days form posting.
6.12If all the NCRs identified during the initial assessment and witness assessment(s) are not closed by the ANSI assessment team within 1 year of the posting of the latest of the NCRs, ANSI may decide to conduct a follow-up assessment on the applicant and/or request additional information. The V/VB may also be required to restart the application process by submitting a new preliminary application.
7Witness Assessment
7.1One or more witness assessments are required for initial accreditation. The number and type of witness assessments shall be determined by the applicant’s requested scope of accreditation and GHG-PR-706.
7.2Requests for witness assessments must be submitted using the GHG-FR-740: ANSI Witness Assessment – V/VB Form to Propose Witnessing Activity at Client/Project Site. The V/VB shall have arrangements with the client organization being visited to ensure ANSI assessment team access for the purpose of witnessing the V/VB’s team performing validation/verification activities at the organization’s facilities.
7.3GHG-FR-740 along with requested documentation for the witness assessment shall be submitted to the ANSI assessment team no less than 2 weeks before the validation/verification activity. Otherwise, ANSI may cancel the witness assessment.
7.4The V/VB must notify ANSI any time a client organization refuses a witness assessment. In such an event, the V/VB may not issue a validation or verification statement for this client under the ANSI scope of accreditation. ANSI may be required to notify the applicable greenhouse gas program administrator of the refusal in such circumstances.
7.5ANSI assessors shall begin the witness assessment with an opening meeting that shall include the V/VB team members present during the validation/verification. The purpose of the opening meeting is for ANSI assessors to clearly define the purpose, scope, and criteria of the witness assessment, request additional information regarding the validation/verification and to confirm the assessment schedule and make modifications to it if necessary.
7.6During witness assessment, ANSI assessors are not authorized to agree with any release of responsibility by the witnessed organization for the safety of the teams. ANSI assessors are expected to take immediate action at any time to avoid injury including, if necessary, leaving the site. ANSI assessors shall comply with the safety rules of the organization as made known to them. This responsibility includes use of appropriate safety equipment as well as protective headwear, footwear and clothing.
7.7If at any time during a witness assessment ANSI assessors observe a hazard such that they consider to be an imminent risk of high severity to health and safety, they shall request an immediate caucus with the V/VB’s team leader to inform him or her of the hazard and may choose to not continue the assessment.
7.8At the conclusion of the witness assessment, the ANSI assessors shall hold a closing meeting with the V/VB team members after the V/VB team’s closing meeting with its client. At the closing meeting, the ANSI assessors shall present findings identified during the assessment and requirements for submitting corrective actions plans. The assessors may also request clarification or additional documentation based on the outcomes of the validation/verification. OFIs shall also be reported but consultancy shall not be provided. The V/VB shall ensure that adequate time is included in the schedule to accommodate this meeting with the ANSI assessment team.
7.9In those cases where the ANSI assessment team cannot reach a conclusion or consensus about a finding, the team shall refer back to ANSI staff for guidance.
7.10An assessment report covering the witnessed activities shall be prepared by the assessors and uploaded to ANSICA.
7.10.1The report shall include:
a)a summary of the witness assessment;
b)the type of GHG assertion;
c)the ANSI Groups, sectoral scopes and GHG program methodologies validated/verified;
d)the V/VB team members and roles;
e)reference to NCRs and OFis identified as well as the evidence for these findings;
f)a conclusion.
7.11The same process described in 6.10.2. shall be followed for the approval and distribution of the report(s).
7.12The applicant shall be requested to post proposed corrective actions and implementation target dates for identified NCRs in ANSICA within 30 days. The assessment team (lead or technical assessor) shall review these statements for acceptability and respond within 30 days.
7.13ANSI assessors may issue a partial report if the validation/verification cannot be completed or if the V/VB requests that corrective action be submitted by the client before the process can proceed. In this scenario, the assessor may request additional documentation and/or may require additional assessment activities to conclude the witness assessment and issue a complete report.
7.14ANSI may require additional witness assessments at any point during the initial assessment process due to the nature of the identified NCRs and/or a request for additional evidence by the ETG.
8Decision on Accreditation
8.1Once all the NCRs are closed and assessments are complete, the GVAC shall consider accreditation action based on the ETG recommendation in accordance with GHG-PL-702 and GHG-PR-719. GVAC accreditation decisions can be appealed by the applicant in accordance with ANSI-PR-004: Appeals.
8.2All outstanding ANSI invoices must be paid in full before accreditation is granted.
8.3If accreditation is granted by the GVAC, ANSI staff shall prepare a certificate of accreditation signed by the ANSI Vice President, Accreditation Services and promptly send it to the V/VB. The effective date of accreditation shall be the day of the accreditation decision by the GVAC. The certificate shall comply with ANSI-PR-021: Certificate of Accreditation.
8.4ANSI shall update the status of the V/VB in ANSICA to ensure that the newly accredited V/VB is included in ANSI’s online directory.
8.5ANSI shall announce accreditation in Standards Action and open a 30 day public comment period. ANSI staff shall duly review all relevant public comments. These comments may potentially become a reason for extraordinary assessment of the V/VB.
8.6If GVAC votes to deny accreditation, the GVAC shall document the basis for denial. ANSI staff shall promptly notify the applicant in writing and include the basis for the GVAC decision along with information on any additional steps to be taken by the applicant as deemed appropriate by the GVAC. The applicant may also appeal the decision in accordance with ANSI-PR-004.
8.7ANSI shall encourage V/VBs to complete both the ANSI Customer Satisfaction Survey as well as GHG Assessor Evaluations following the completion of the initial assessment.

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