The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system, has been selected by Textile Exchange to be one of the organizations that will accredit certification bodies that operate certification programs in accordance with a chosen Textile Exchange Content Claim Standard (CCS), including the Organic Content Standard (OCS), the Recycled Content Standard (RCS), the Global Recycled Standard Version (GRS), and the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). ANSI is accepting applications for this pilot program through March 27, 2015.
As part of its efforts to promote and ensure integrity in sustainability claims made about products or a company, Textile Exchange has developed these CCS to ensure claims can be validated through a third-party certification assessment. Certification bodies (CB) assess a company against a standard's requirements, issue a certificate of conformity, issue transaction certificates for each shipment of certified goods, and continually monitor adherence to the standard. The CBs are then assessed by an accreditation body such as ANSI against requirements detailed in the OCS, GRS, and RCS procedures. The main purpose of these procedures is to provide for credible, consistent, and reliable implementation of this oversight process through third-party accreditation.
Certification bodies seeking to be accredited by ANSI to conduct certification of a Textile Exchanged Content Claim Standard are required to comply with applicable requirements and processes found in the relevant CCS, as applicable, as well as with ISO/IEC 17065, Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services and ANSI Policy - PL - 102, Manual of Operations for Accreditation of Product Certification Programs. Following completion of a successful ANSI assessment of their competence in accordance with these requirements, certification bodies will be granted ANSI accreditation of their process in accordance with ISO/IEC 17065 and the OCS, GRS, RDS and/or RCS schemes.
"We are extremely happy to have ANSI come on board to accredit certification bodies to Textile Exchange standards. Having the professional oversight of ANSI will ensure the quality and credibility of our standards," said Anne Gillespie Director of Industry Integrity of Textile Exchange.
"Accreditation by ANSI creates a valuable attribute for certification bodies," said Reinaldo Figueiredo, ANSI senior program director for product and process accreditation. "We are proud that Textile Exchange has recognized this value and are pleased to partner on this important program."
ANSI's accreditation program successfully meets the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011, Conformity assessment - General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies, which represents the highest internationally accepted practices for accreditation bodies. The Institute's portfolio of accreditation services includes programs for all types of certification and verification bodies, including those for products, personnel, and greenhouse gas emissions as well as standards developers.
To obtain an application for this new pilot accreditation program, please contact Reinaldo Figueiredo (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-331-3611), ANSI senior program director for product and process accreditation, or Elizabeth Okutuga (EOkutuga@ansi.org; 202-331-3627), ANSI Program Coordinator for ANSI's product certification accreditation program.
About Textile Exchange
Founded in 2002, Textile Exchange (formerly Organic Exchange) is an international member-supported non-profit organization committed to the responsible expansion of organic cotton and other sustainable textile value chains. Textile Exchange has hosted numerous conferences and training sessions in supply chain countries around the world, including Brazil, China, Germany, India, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States.