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Conditions for Granting, Maintaining, Extending, Reducing, Suspending, and Withdrawing Accreditation

PUBLIC PROCEDURE GHG-PR-719 Issued: 2016-2-25, Revision: 1

References ANSI-PR-004: Appeals
ANSI-TP-002: Agreement of Accreditation and Monitoring of Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs)
GHG-FR-708: Application for Extension of Accreditation Scope for Validation/Verification Body under ISO 14065
GHG-FR-728: Report of the Evaluation Task Group
GHG-PR-706: ANSI GHG Validation and Verification Body Accreditation Scoping Policy
GHG-PR-715: Application and Initial Assessment Process
GHG-PR-716: Surveillance and Reassessment
GHG-PR-722: Fees – GHG Program
GHG-PR-742: GVAC Evaluation Task Group Functions and Responsibilities
Contents
1Objective
1.1The objective of this procedure is to document the process of granting initial accreditation as well as maintaining, extending, reducing, suspending, and withdrawing accreditation by the GVAC for the V/VBs.
2Definitions
2.1EVALUATION TASK GROUP (ETG): A group of two or more GVAC volunteers created for the purpose of conducting reviews of accreditation processes and to make recommendations to the GVAC on accreditations, extensions, or reductions in scope and suspensions and withdrawals of accreditation.
2.2EXTENDING ACCREDITATION: process of enlarging the scope of accreditation.
2.3REDUCING ACCREDITATION: process of cancelling accreditation for part of the scope of accreditation.
2.4SCOPE OF ACCREDITATION: specific conformity assessment services for which accreditation is sought or has been granted.
2.5SUSPENDING ACCREDITATION: process of temporarily making accreditation invalid, in full or for part of the scope of accreditation.
2.6WITHDRAWING ACCREDITATION: process of cancelling accreditation in full.
3The Initial Decision on Accreditation
3.1The GVAC Evaluation Task Group (ETG) shall be selected.
3.2If the ETG desires that the assessment report is clarified and/or additional assessment tasks are performed, ANSI staff shall respond accordingly and shall request the assessment team to provide additional clarification or perform any additional assessment tasks, as required. If the assessment report is revised, a copy of the revised report shall be made available to the applicant for review and comment.
3.3If there is a concern with the citations, a consensus shall be reached among the assessors and ETG. If a consensus cannot be reached, the issue will be presented to the full GVAC for their review and decision.
3.4Once all the requirements are met and the ETG supports a recommendation for accreditation action, ANSI staff shall prepare the GHG-FR-728: Report of the Evaluation Task Group with input from the ETG. This report shall include a summary of the assessment as well as the ETG recommended accreditation action and any other follow up actions for consideration by the GVAC. GVAC members who are free from conflict of interest (CoI) may request additional information or copies of assessment reports.
3.4.1The GVAC vote for initial accreditation shall be conducted as follows:
a)if the recommendation of the ETG to the GVAC was submitted less than 30 days from the next scheduled GVAC meeting, the vote will take place during the meeting;
b)if the recommendation of the ETG to the GVAC was received more than 30 days from the next scheduled GVAC meeting, the vote will take place by electronic ballot through ANSICA.
3.5Following the GVAC vote on accreditation, ANSI staff shall promptly notify the applicant in writing of the accreditation action. No verbal notification shall occur. The effective date of accreditation shall be the day of the accreditation decision by the GVAC.
3.6The V/VB’s accreditation is valid for three years at which time the V/VB must undergo reassessment.
3.7The ETG may find that not all the requirements have been fulfilled and therefore recommend that the GVAC deny accreditation or request additional assessment activities to be completed before accreditation can be considered. In such a case, ANSI staff, with guidance from the ETG, shall promptly communicate the decision in writing and include the basis for the GVAC’s decision. If additional assessment activities are required by the GVAC, ANSI staff shall communicate in writing the additional steps to be taken by the applicant.
3.7.1Even when the decision is denial of accreditation, all incurred fees must be paid in full by the applicant.
3.7.2The applicant V/VB may appeal all GVAC decisions in accordance with ANSI-PR-004: Appeals.
3.8In cases where an applicant V/VB has failed to address fees and/or nonconformities (NCRs) within the agreed-upon timeframes, ANSI may dismiss the application.
3.8.1The applicant V/VB may choose to reapply for ANSI accreditation at any time after accreditation has been denied. The applicant V/VB must begin the ANSI process from the beginning (including the preliminary application) to enter the accreditation process and pay all relevant fees.
4Maintenance of Accreditation during Surveillance and Reassessment
4.1If significant NCRs are cited during surveillance as described in GHG-PR-716: Surveillance and Reassessment, ANSI staff may convene an ETG. The ETG will review the surveillance report and NCRs and ANSI staff shall prepare the GHG-FR-728 with input from the ETG for the consideration of the GVAC as described in clause 3.4 above.
4.2Results of surveillance and reassessment shall be handled in accordance with the initial assessment process as described in Section 3 above. The GVAC shall either vote to grant continued accreditation or the GVAC may decide to:
a)request additional information;
b)request that further corrective actions are implemented within a specified amount of time;
c)request additional assessments;
d)suspend accreditation;
e)reduce the scope of accreditation;
f)extend the scope of accreditation;
g)withdraw accreditation.
4.3If at the time of expiry of accreditation, the reassessment cannot be scheduled and performed, accreditation shall be extended for a period of 90 days. ANSI staff shall issue the V/VB a new certificate of accreditation with the 90 day validity and update the validity of accreditation dates in ANSICA to reflect the 90 day extension.
4.4If after a 90 day period as outlined in clause 4.3 the V/VB still has not undergone reassessment, the ETG shall be convened to decide on the appropriate action.
4.5Upon reaccreditation, the V/VB shall be issued a new certificate of accreditation with the original validity date extended by three years, regardless of the temporary extensions as determined per clauses 4.3 and 4.4.
4.6All outstanding invoices shall be paid prior to the GVAC vote on continued accreditation.
5Extension and Reduction of Scope of Accreditation
5.1Extension of scope
5.1.1Extension of scope shall mean the application and assessment process by which an accredited V/VB expands upon its scope of accreditation. This process can cover:
a)the addition of new activities (i.e. validation or verification);
b)the addition of a new GHG program or scheme;
c)the addition of new sector groups (i.e. oil and gas);
d)the addition of new key locations (U.S.A. or overseas); and
e)any combination of the above.
5.1.2An accredited V/VB can apply for extension of scope at any time within its accreditation term.
5.1.3ANSI accredited V/VBs wishing to extend their scope of accreditation need to apply to ANSI to have the scope extension assessed. To apply, V/VBs shall:
a)complete the GHG-FR-708: Application for Extension of Accreditation Scope for Validation/Verification Body under ISO 14065;
b)pay the scope extension fee as documented in the ANSI fee schedule procedure GHG-PR-722; and
c)review the GHG-PR-706: ANSI GHG Validation and Verification Body Accreditation Scoping Policy to determine required witness assessment(s).
5.1.4In many cases scope extension is sought by accredited V/VBs during their regular surveillance and reassessment cycle. In such a case, the regular annual assessment shall include an assessment of the additional scopes. However, ANSI shall also review stand-alone scope extension requests and may conduct (as a minimum) a document review and, if necessary, an onsite assessment(s) and witness assessment(s). Applications for scope extension will not be accepted by V/VBs currently undergoing initial accreditation.
5.1.5ANSI may choose to conduct a scope extension remotely and may choose to waive the onsite witness assessment requirement as described in GHG-PR-706.
5.1.6Following receipt of the complete application for scope extension and all required materials from the V/VB ANSI shall request review from an accreditation assessor.
5.1.7The reviewer follows that initial document review process as outlined in the Initial Assessment process. Based on the review, the reviewer determines one of the following:
a)the information provided is acceptable to grant approval of the scope extension.
b)the information provided is acceptable; however, a witness assessment is required.
c)additional information or clarification of existing information is required.
5.1.8The reviewer conducts additional reviews as required above and when the application has been accepted, ANSI shall update the ANSI directory.
5.1.9When the scope extension document review is completed, ANSI shall confirm whether or not a witness assessment is required.
5.1.10If the scope extension is approved but a witness assessment is required, ANSI arranges for and schedules an appropriate witness assessment. If the scope extension is approved and a successful witness assessment is not required, or if the scope extension is approved and a successful witness assessment has been completed and all NCRs are closed, ANSI shall proceed with the scope extension decision process.
5.1.11Decisions on scope extension are reviewed by the GVAC in a manner similar to the review of initial accreditation decisions as described in Section 3 above. In many cases scope extension is sought by the accredited V/VBs during their regular surveillance and reassessment cycle. In such a case, the regular annual assessment shall include an assessment of the additional scopes. However, ANSI shall also review stand-alone scope extension requests and may conduct (as a minimum) a document review and, if necessary, an onsite assessment(s) and witness assessment(s) in accordance with ANSI-PR-706: ANSI GHG Validation and Verification Body Accreditation Scoping Policy. Applications for scope extension will not be accepted by V/VBs currently undergoing initial accreditation as per GHG-PR-715: Application and Initial Assessment Process, clause 6.4.
5.1.12If NCRs which are identified during the scope extension assessment have been found by ANSI assessors to affect the conformance of the other already accredited scopes, they shall be treated as regular NCRs against the accredited V/VB. The ETG will review the NCRs and report its results and recommendation to the GVAC for consideration.
5.2Reduction of scope
5.2.1Reduction of scope shall mean the voluntary or involuntary removal of activities, sectors, and/or locations from an existing accreditation. The GVAC may vote to reduce the scope of accreditation of a V/VB if regular ANSI assessments (such as surveillance or reassessment), extraordinary assessments, or assessments or reviews conducted by GHG programs reveal that the V/VB cannot demonstrate competence for the scope of accreditation. In such cases, ANSI shall document this as an area of nonconformance.
5.2.2The GVAC may vote to reduce the scope of accreditation of a V/VB if some of the accredited scopes have been found to be in nonconformance with requirements while others, as well as the system and the organization as a whole, are in conformance.
5.2.3ANSI shall reissue the certificate of accreditation leaving out the reduced scopes and keeping the same validity date for the remaining scopes. The V/VB shall no longer make reference to validation/verification activities related to the reduced scope(s).
5.2.4An accredited V/VB may choose to voluntarily request reduction in the scope of its accreditation at any time by submitting a written notice to ANSI.
6Suspension and Withdrawal of Accreditation
6.1Suspension shall mean the temporary removal of a V/VBs' accreditation for a defined period of time.
6.2Suspension shall be recommended to the GVAC by ANSI for the reasons listed in ANSI-TP-002: Agreement of Accreditation and Monitoring of GHG Validation/Verification Programs or for one or more of the following reasons:
a)filing of any voluntary or involuntary petition of bankruptcy by the V/VB;
b)V/VB 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 by the V/VB;
d)voluntary or involuntary liquidation of the business or the V/VB;
e)discontinuance of the accredited V/V activities;
f)failure by the V/VB to take appropriate and timely corrective action on deficiencies in its program that have been requested by ANSI;
g)persistent failure by a V/VB to conform with the accreditation criteria, ANSI procedures or other program requirements, including sector or GHG program-specific requirements;
h)inability or unwillingness of the V/VB to ensure conformity of its clients with applicable validation/verification requirements;
i)improper use of the certificate of accreditation or ANSI accreditation symbol;
j)failure to meet the requirements of accreditation or to abide by the rules for accreditation;
k)failure to meet financial obligations to ANSI; and
l)fraudulent behavior or falsification of any nature.
6.3If at any time the accredited V/VB defaults in any way on its obligations to ANSI, ANSI shall call this infraction to the attention of the V/VB for immediate correction. The communication to the V/VB shall include a notice that if the matter is not corrected within a defined period of time, it will be brought to the attention of the GVAC, which may vote to suspend the accreditation. If the matter remains unresolved, the GVAC may vote to withdraw accreditation.
6.4Once suspended, the accredited V/VB shall be informed of the allowed period of time to correct the problems that resulted in suspension with a warning that failure to do so may result in the GVAC voting to withdraw accreditation. An extraordinary visit may be requested by the GVAC upon completion of the suspension period to assess the effectiveness of the corrective actions.
6.5Upon the GVAC decision to suspend the V/VB, ANSI staff shall promptly:
a)notify the V/VB of the GVAC decision and the V/VB’s options including the option to appeal the GVAC decision in accordance with ANSI-PR-004;
b)update ANSICA and the ANSI accreditation directory to indicate that the V/VB is now suspended; and
c)publish a notice of suspension of the V/VB in Standards Action and publicize the suspension by other means deemed necessary.
6.6A suspended V/VB must discontinue use of the ANSI accreditation symbol and advertizing its status as an ANSI-accredited V/VB until the suspension is lifted.
6.7Decision on lifting of suspension can only be made by the GVAC based on the recommendation of the ETG as appropriate and demonstration by the suspended V/VB that it effectively conforms to ANSI accreditation requirements. ANSI staff shall then promptly:
a)notify the V/VB of the GVAC decision to lift suspension;
b)update ANSICA and the ANSI accreditation directory on the website to reinstate the V/VB’s status as accredited; and
c)publish a notice in Standards Action and publicize by other means deemed necessary the reinstatement of the V/VB’s accreditation.
6.8If GVAC makes a decision to withdraw accreditation of the V/VB, ANSI staff shall promptly:
a)notify the V/VB of the GVAC decision and V/VB's options including the option to appeal the GVAC decision in accordance with ANSI-PR-004;
b)update ANSICA and the ANSI accreditation directory to remove the V/VB from the list of accredited V/VBs; and
c)publish a notice of withdrawal of the V/VB in Standards Action and publicize the withdrawal by other means deemed necessary.
6.9A V/VB whose accreditation has been withdrawn must discontinue use of the ANSI accreditation symbol and advertizing its status as an ANSI-accredited V/VB and return to ANSI any accreditation documents deemed appropriate including its accreditation certificate.
6.10An accredited V/VB has the right to voluntarily withdraw its ANSI accreditation or request voluntary suspension at any time for any reason. Request for voluntary suspension or withdrawal must be submitted in writing by an authorized representative of the V/VB. The same provisions shall apply to voluntary suspension and withdrawal as they do for ANSI-initiated suspension and withdrawal, except in all public communications ANSI shall make it clear that the suspension or withdrawal was voluntary.

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