The ANSI Audit Program is intended as a quality assurance review of an ANSI-Accredited Standards Developer (ASD)’s compliance with its accredited procedures and with current ANSI requirements. It is also intended to offer suggestions for potential process improvements and efficiencies when appropriate.
The ANSI Executive Standards Council (ExSC) has oversight of the Audit Program, maintains the ANSI Auditing Policy and Procedures and makes all final decisions in connection with an audit and a developer’s accreditation status.
Contact is initiated by ANSI based on a routine audit schedule applicable to all ANSI-Accredited Standards Developers (ASDs):
The first audit is scheduled shortly after approval of the first standard(s) submitted by a newly accredited ASD.
Subsequent routine audits typically occur on a 5-year cycle
Special audits-for-cause may be scheduled as determined by the ANSI Executive Standards Council (ExSC)
If an ASD does not maintain one or more approved ANS, then the developer shall submit their accredited procedures for review and approval by the ExSC on a five-year cycle as well as a justification as to why they have not submitted any standards to ANSI for approval and why their accreditation remains relevant. The ExSC may suspend or withdraw the accreditation if the justification is not provided or is otherwise unsatisfactory.
Audit cost estimates are provided to the auditee, if applicable (for a first audit or audit-for-cause only).
New ASDs are billed for the first audit on a pro‐rated basis depending on the number of years the NAA fee has been paid since the date of accreditation.
The cost of routine audits is included in the annual fees paid by the ASD (see NAA).
In advance of an audit, an audit questionnaire (link to the document)s provided to the auditee to complete and return to the Audit Director, along with a list of the auditee’s American National Standards (ANS) including approval dates, the auditee’s latest set of procedures, and any additional guidelines or supplemental procedures.
During the pre-audit period, information gathering and a review of the auditee’s procedures, questionnaire, and all relevant information that pertains to the audit takes place
Pre-audit teleconference with auditee, is scheduled and held, which is intended to:
Confirm that the audit will take place in the scheduled time frame
Clarify the scope and content of the audit
Allow ANSI the opportunity to provide the auditee with any questions that will expedite the process
Provide an opportunity for the auditee to ask any questions and address concerns
An audit may be conducted on-site or remotely as decided by the Audit Director. Standards developers with a small number of standards may qualify for a mail-in/remote audit.
In all cases, and whether a developer maintains electronic or hard copy records, comparable documentation is required for review: see the full list of required documentation: ANSI-Accredited Standards Developer Audit: Required Documentation
A draft summary of findings, observations, and suggestions is provided to the ASD, and a post-audit teleconference is held to enable the auditors and the standards developer to discuss the outcome of the audit.
A confidential final audit report is transmitted to the auditee, including a summary of the procedures used by the ASD, findings identified by the auditor, observations regarding procedural implementation issues, and suggestions for improving observed/audited processes.
The auditee is required to respond in writing within 30 days of receipt of the report. The response should include plans and a timetable for any required corrective actions related to any findings contained in the audit report.
The audit report also identifies any issues of procedural concern that will be brought to the ExSC's attention for their review and consideration.
The confidential audit report and response from the developer are reviewed by the Audit Director and the ANSI Executive Standards Council (ExSC) Audit Subcommittee. The Audit Subcommittee may:
Close the audit based on the record before it;
Decide to keep the audit open until such time as the developer submits revised procedures to address the procedural audit findings and is reaccredited;
Request that the full ANSI ExSC review the audit report and the developer’s response to determine an appropriate action; or
action as deemed appropriate by the ExSC.
Any recommendations by the Audit Subcommittee that may result in a requirement that the standards developer undergo a special audit-for-cause are presented to the ANSI ExSC at a meeting during an Executive Session. The outcome of that discussion is communicated to the standards developer in writing thereafter by the Audit Director.
Possible outcomes of an ExSC review include:
Audit is closed without further action.
Procedural revisions are required prior to the closing of an Audit.
Special audit-for-cause is required (cost is borne by the standards developer).
A developer’s accreditation may be suspended; if adequate corrective actions are not taken, then the accreditation may be withdrawn at a later date.
Decisions of the ANSI ExSC relative to an ANSI Audit may be appealed first to the ANSI ExSC and then finally to the ANSI Appeals Board.
Audit Reports are confidential and are not provided by ANSI to anyone other than members of the ANSI ExSC (that do not have a potential conflict of interest) and, if a special audit is deemed necessary, then to the members of the ANSI Board of Standards Review (BSR) (that do not have a conflict of interest) in connection with their review of evidence of consensus related to a remanded standard. Standards developers may provide the ANSI Audit Report to anyone they wish.