The theme for this year's competition, "Accreditation - Supporting the Needs of Regulators," recognizes the role of accreditation in supporting a robust regulatory framework and helping regulators at the federal, state, and local levels determine compliance of products, services, and personnel with legal and regulatory requirements.
World Accreditation Day was launched as a global event in 2008 by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).
Each year on June 9, IAF and ILAC invite their national representatives from around the world to mark the occasion with dedicated celebrations to honor the important role that accreditation plays in the global standards and conformity assessment community.
All interested stakeholders are invited to participate in the U.S. Celebration of World Accreditation Day by submitting a paper of no more than 2,000 words highlighting the value of accreditation. Authors are encouraged to cite concrete examples that demonstrate how globally accepted conformity assessment solutions support national and international priorities, enable trade, and open new markets.
"ANSI values the importance of accreditation in enhancing consumer safety and international trade," said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. "We're excited to hear from our constituents through their paper submissions about the concrete ways that accreditation adds value for regulators."
In August 2010, ANSI launched a pilot accreditation program for certification bodies (CBs) that seek recognition from EPA to certify products under the agency's ENERGY STAR Program. The program assesses applicant CBs against the requirements set forth in the EPA Conditions and Criteria for Recognition of Certification Bodies for the ENERGY STAR Program and relevant International Standards. [see related news item]
ANSI serves as an accreditation body in EPA's WaterSense program, assessing the competence of certification bodies against International Standards and EPA's own defined requirements. The WaterSense program helps consumers to identify products that conserve water while maintaining high performance levels. Products certified by accredited certification bodies may carry a WaterSense label, giving consumers an easy way to identify quality, water-efficient products. [see related news item]
Crane Operator Certification
ANSI is an approved accreditor of crane operator certification programs for OSHA. The OSHA program seeks to determine that a crane operator has the knowledge and skills needed for safe operation. ANSI's personnel certification accreditation program verifies a certification body's compliance with requirements outlined in the International Standard ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024. [see related news item]
Papers will be judged by representatives from ANSI's Conformity Assessment Policy Committee as well as the various Accreditation Committees. The winning paper will be awarded a $1,000 prize and will be published - along with the second and third-place papers - on ANSI's website, www.ansi.org.
Accreditation assesses the competence of bodies to determine compliance with standards. It also helps to promote best industry practices, reduces the need for government agencies to individually monitor conformity assessment organizations, and strengthens consumer confidence in products and services.
The Institute's portfolio of accreditation services includes programs for product certification bodies, personnel certification bodies, education and training certificate-issuing bodies, greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies, and standards developers. The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board accredits management systems certification bodies under the ANAB brand and accredits testing and calibration laboratories, reference material producers, and inspection bodies under the ACLASS brand.
Entries for the 2011 competition should be sent to Elizabeth Neiman, ANSI director of communications and public relations (email@example.com; fax: 212.398.0023). All papers must be received by May 6, 2011, to be considered.
In 2010, the prize-winning entry, "Accreditation as Facilitator of Delivery of Professional Services Internationally: What Would a Workable Model Look Like?," was authored by Steven T. Peluso, Esq., and Brian Inamine, Esq.
Geoff Bilau, senior writer for the International Association for Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) Group, was awarded first place in 2009 for his paper, "How Accreditation Could Have Prevented an Outbreak of SARS."