When established by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) on November 13, 1989, the organization was known as the Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB). On January 1, 2005, the auditor certification and training operations were split off and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board replaced RAB to continue offering the original accreditation services for management systems certification bodies under the ANAB accreditation symbol.
With the acquisition of ACLASS in October 2007, the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board expanded its services to include accreditation of testing and calibration laboratories, inspection bodies, reference material producers, and proficiency testing providers. The acquisition of FQS in November 2011 brought a further expansion of services to include accreditation of forensic testing and forensic inspection agencies.
While the expansion of services has been good for business, allowing customers to obtain accreditation services from a single source, the use of three different brands has caused confusion in the marketplace. ACLASS and FQS have not always been understood to be part of the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board.
"It's much more important to focus on serving our customers' accreditation needs rather than spending time and energy explaining who we are," said John Knappenberger, ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board president and CEO. "If we can reduce complexity and increase understanding, everyone wins."
The ANAB re-branding will take place over an extended period to avoid placing a burden on customers as they move from using the current accreditation symbols to the new ANAB accreditation symbols. The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board will make the change internally effective January 1, 2015, and will begin replacing the current multi-brand accreditation symbols with new ANAB symbols. In most instances, the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board will provide accreditation documents with the new ANAB symbols during the normal accreditation and/or reaccreditation cycles. Customers will have a multi-year period to transition all documentation to the new ANAB symbols.
The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board provides accreditation for ISO/IEC 17021 management systems certification bodies, ISO/IEC 17025 testing and calibration laboratories and forensic testing agencies, ISO/IEC 17020 inspection bodies and forensic inspection agencies, ISO Guide 34 reference material producers, ISO/IEC 17043 proficiency test providers, and industry-specific programs.
The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board is a member of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), and is a signatory of the ILAC and IAF multilateral recognition arrangements. Through these arrangements, the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board cooperates with other accreditation bodies around the world to provide value to the organizations it has accredited and their clients, ensuring that accredited certificates and test results are recognized nationally and internationally. The global conformity assessment system ensures confidence and reduces risk for customers engaging in trade worldwide.