On April 19, 2019, a delegation led by Secretary-General Sheng Fei, Executive Vice President, China Certification and Accreditation Association (CCAA) visited the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to discuss potential areas for collaboration on standards and accreditation. The delegation met with ANSI staff from the China Program and Accreditation department and a representative from the International Federation of Inspection Agencies.
CCAA is the Chinese government agency responsible for the unified management, supervision, and overall coordination of certification and accreditation activities across the country. While representing accreditation and certification bodies, CCAA also undertakes research projects for various PRC ministries on topics related to standards or certification. In addition to its other responsibilities CCAA, is the Chinese mirror technical committee to the Conformity Assessment Committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO/CASCO) and currently maintains 67 national standards in China through its technical committee for certification and accreditation standards (SAC/TC261), 136 sectoral standards, and 34 association standards. The organization also works closely with the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) and the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China (CNCA).
During the meeting, Secretary-General Fei provided an overview of CCAA's scope of work and proposed topics for potential collaboration with ANSI. CCAA highlighted the importance of the service sector for Chinese and the U.S. economy and indicated that since the U.S. has advanced experience in this field, and that it would be mutually beneficial for both countries to work together through ISO and other avenues to strengthen conformity assessment activities in the service industry. CCAA highlighted different priorities and standardization, and accreditation upgrades that could unlock lasting improvements in the service sector. CCAA stated that China is promoting standards and closing the gap in workforce development in the service industry. Additionally, CCAA is currently undertaking a three-year, technical investigation of the service economy and plans to develop standards that will support the development of accreditation and certification in the service sector. As the mirror technical committee to ISO/CASCO, CCAA participated in the development of the technical report for ISO/CASCO 17028:2017, Conformity assessment -- Guidelines and Examples of a Certification Scheme for Services, where it provided a Chinese certification model for car rental services as a case study. CCAA hopes that the technical report can be referenced as the basis for more ISO/CASCO standards for the service economy.
Lane Hallenbeck, Executive Director of ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB), briefly spoke about the recent unification of ANSI's accreditation programs for conformity assessment bodies with complete acquisition of ANAB, which has paved the way for ANAB to be the largest multi-disciplinary ISO/IEC 17011 accreditation body in North America. Both parties acknowledged that accreditation plays a critical role in assuring the competence of certification bodies that assess the conformity of goods and services against specified standards requirements. ANSI and CCAA agreed to explore opportunities which foster information sharing, such as the USTDA's sponsored U.S.-China Conformity Assessment Cooperation Program. Both parties are also optimistic about a possible collaboration between experts in the U.S. and China on standards development and accreditation of the service sector in a multilateral context.
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