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Guidance on use of a scheme developed by an external scheme owner for accreditation under ISO/IEC 17024: 2012

PUBLIC GUIDANCE PCAC-GI-510 Issued: 2016-9-1, Revision: 0


References Guidance on use of a scheme developed by an external scheme owner for accreditation under ISO/IEC 17024: 2012
ISO/IEC 17024:2012: Conformity assessment - General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons
Contents
1Objective
1.1The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to certifying bodies (hereinafter a CB) seeking accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (hereinafter ANSI) under ISO/IEC 17024 Conformity assessment -- General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons on the use of a certification scheme developed by an external scheme owner.
2Definitions
2.1Certification scheme: Competence (3.6) and other requirements related to specific occupational or skilled categories of persons
2.2Common scheme: A certification scheme that may be used by multiple certifying bodies as the basis of a certification program
2.3Scheme owner: Organization responsible for developing and maintaining a certification scheme (3.2)
NOTE The organization can be the certification body itself, a governmental authority, or other.
3Scope of this Guidance Document
3.1The scope of this guidance document relates to certification bodies seeking ANSI accreditation under ISO/IEC 17024 using an approved common scheme developed by an external scheme owner.
4Question and Answers
a)Can a common scheme be used for program accreditation under ISO/IEC 17024?
Yes. ISO/IEC 17024 does not require that a CB also be the scheme owner but the CB is responsible for ensuring that the scheme is compliant with the ISO/IEC 17024 standard.
b)Is there a process by which the scheme owner of a common scheme can submit the scheme to ANSI for pre-approval?
Yes. Upon application by the scheme owner ANSI will assess a common scheme and determine if the scheme is in compliance with Clause 8 and sub-clause 9.6.3 and 9.6.5 of ISO/IEC 17024.
c)Does use of a pre-approved common scheme mean that a CB's application will be approved?
No. Pre-approval of a common scheme is limited to the requirements of Clause 8 and Sub-clauses 9.6.3 and 9.6.5 of ISO/IEC 17024. The CB must meet all of the requirements of ISO/IEC 17024 to be accredited by ANSI under the standard.
d)Can a CB make changes to an ANSI pre-approved common scheme?
Yes. However, for the common scheme to remain pre-approved it must be used ?as approved.? If a CB makes changes to the common scheme then it is considered a new scheme and the scheme will be subject to full ANSI review to ensure it meets the requirements of Clause 8 and Sub-clauses 9.3.5 and 9.3.8 of ISO/IEC 17024. A CB should discuss any change with the scheme owner to remain in compliance with the scheme owner's requirements/agreement/policy.
e)What if the changes result in broader or more stringent requirements than under the common scheme?
Any change to a pre-approved common scheme regardless of whether such change results in broader or more stringent requirements than under the common scheme will result in a new scheme which will be assessed to ensure it meets the requirements of Clause 8 and Sub-clauses 9.6.3 and 9.6.5 of the standard.
f)Is a CB using a pre-approved common scheme responsible to make sure that the scheme remains current?
Yes. Ultimate responsibility for compliance with all the requirements of ISO/IEC 17024 rests with the CB seeking accreditation of its programs. This responsibility includes ensuring that all schemes including common schemes meet the requirements of Clause 8 and Sub-clauses 9.6.3 and 9.6.5 of the standard.
g)What if the common scheme owner fails to keep the pre-approved scheme current?
Ultimate responsibility for compliance with all the requirements of ISO/IEC 17024 rests with the CB seeking accreditation of its programs and to ensure that the scheme is current.

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