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ANSI Accreditation Meets Requirements of National Defense Authorization Act


The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed into law on November 25 marks changes for military on all levels— including the launch of pioneering legislation of quality assurance of certification programs and standards for professional credentials obtained by members of the Armed Forces. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) proudly reports that its accreditation for certification organizations would meet the requirements of the legislation—reflecting the latest example of government reliance on accreditation as a mark of quality and excellence in the national workforce.

“This law is groundbreaking as it puts in place a mechanism for quality assurance of certifications thereby recognizing only those certification programs that meet a national/international standard,” said Vijay Krishna, Ed.D., ANSI’s director of personnel credentialing accreditation programs.

Programs accredited by ANSI under the Personnel Certification Accreditation Program (PER) are in compliance with the legislation —highlighting the enormous value associated with ANSI accreditation. This is specifically described in the legislation, Section 559 – Quality Assurance of Certification Programs and Standards for Professional Credentials obtained by members of the Armed Forces, outlined here.

Specifically, the legislation requires that credentialing bodies be accredited by an accreditation body that “meet[s] a recognized national or international standard.” All ANSI accreditation programs follow the process outlined in the international standard ISO/IEC 17011, General Requirements for Accreditation Bodies Accrediting Conformity Assessment Bodies. The process, which represents the basis for mutual recognition of accreditation bodies in countries around the world, includes using specially trained assessors to review documents submitted by applicants against defined requirements, conduct on-site assessments, and make recommendations to the ANSI accreditation committee that is responsible for making the accreditation decisions. ANSI’s compliance with the 17011 standard also assures that ANSI-accredited credentials are ultimately seen as equivalent and are transportable across borders.

The legislation further requires that the accreditation body “apply a recognized national or international certification standard in making its accreditation decisions regarding certification bodies and programs.” ANSI’s Personnel Certification Accreditation Program accredits against ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024, General requirements for bodies operating certification schemes for persons, an American National Standard and international standard that is widely recognized as a globally accepted benchmark for bodies managing the certification of persons.

“ANSI accreditation, which is recognized nationally and internationally, assures the consistency and integrity of credentials,” said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. “This new legislation demonstrates that lawmakers understand the hallmarks of quality credentialing, and of the key role that accreditation plays in demonstrating quality.”

About ANSI Accreditation

ANSI Accreditation provides assurance that standards, goods, and services meet essential requirements throughout the global supply chain – engendering consumer trust and fostering competitiveness. Increasingly, procurement authorities, government agencies, and program/scheme owners are specifying accreditation in order to demonstrate the technical competence and impartiality of conformance services and processes. These assessments enhance confidence between buyers and sellers as they mitigate risk.

Read more about the legislation here, and see more about ANSI’s accreditation programs here.