ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI Accreditation Program Gains International Recognition

New York, Nov 05, 2007

Hallenbeck signs the MLA

Advancing the global notion of “one standard – one test – one mark of acceptance,” the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) have signed an agreement that brings worldwide recognition and acceptance to ANSI’s accreditation program for product certification bodies.

As the global association of conformity assessment accreditation bodies, the IAF established its Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) program to help reduce technical barriers to trade and eliminate duplicative compliance costs. Product certification bodies that are accredited by MLA signatories are recognized as operating in accordance with the ISO/IEC Guide 65 international requirements for product certification bodies.

ANSI became a signatory to the MLA on October 26, 2007, during the IAF annual meeting in Sydney, Australia. Earlier this summer, ANSI was also lauded by its peer accreditation bodies in the Pacific Rim, becoming a signatory to Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) MLA [see related article].

Given the same product standard, the global marketplace can have the same confidence in ANSI-accredited certification bodies as in those accredited by other signatories.

In order to become an MLA signatory, ANSI underwent an extensive peer review to ensure fulfillment of the criteria in ISO/IEC 17011, Conformity assessment - General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies.

“The IAF MLA is a critical milestone for the credibility of ANSI accreditation,” said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services [seen above at the signing ceremony with Dr. Thomas Facklam, IAF chair and Reinaldo Figueiredo, ANSI program director for the accreditation of product certifiers]. “Not only does this recognition offer a tremendous benefit to ANSI-accredited product certification bodies, it also demonstrates the Institute’s competence in the eyes of our peers.”

ANSI is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.

ANSI is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

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