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United States Adopts International Standard to Validate Personnel Certification Programs


New York, Jan 12, 2006

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and ASTM International have announced the adoption of ISO/IEC 17024, General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification Systems of Persons, as an American National Standard (ANS). The standard was developed with active participation by U.S. experts and published in 2003 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

With the expanding globalization of the workforce, ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 addresses the pressing need for standardization within the service sector. This has become particularly important with more U.S. multinational corporations delivering services throughout the world.

“A variety of professionals across a wide range of occupations are now required to pursue certification as a means of demonstrating that they have the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform their work. Given that there are over 2,000 agencies who declare they certify individuals, ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 is an exemplary basis for assessing and recognizing the competence of the bodies offering such certification,” explains Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president for accreditation services.

Personnel certification bodies accredited under the standard enhance national and international reciprocity of certified individuals, thereby facilitating the mobility of professionals across national borders. Adoption of the standard by ASTM International, an ANSI-accredited standards developer, provides an additional level of credibility and ease of use for those state and federal regulatory agencies and other stakeholder groups who require a domestic standard for implementation purposes.

“ASTM Committee E36 on Laboratory and Inspection Agency Accreditation had been monitoring the progress and acceptance of the ISO/IEC 17024 standard. As credentialing bodies benefit from having a single standard that is harmonized for use in both the domestic and global arena, Committee E36 decided not to develop a similar ASTM standard which would lead to duplication and possible confusion in the market place, but to instead work with ANSI to adopt this as an American National Standard,” notes Steve Mawn, ASTM Staff Manager of E36.

ANSI, on behalf of the United States, is the first national body to launch an accreditation program for personnel certification bodies based upon the ISO/IEC 17024 standard. Accreditation under the standard is completely voluntary and certification bodies are not required to participate. However, accreditation by a neutral third party confers additional credibility to certifying organizations and promotes their recognition in national and international arenas.

About ASTM International
Founded in 1898, ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world. A not-for-profit organization, ASTM provides a global forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus standards and test methods for materials, products, systems and services. Known for their high technical quality and market relevancy, ASTM standards are an important part of the information infrastructure that guides manufacturing and trade in the global economy. (Media Contact: Barbara Schindler, 610.832.9603)

About ANSI
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. ANSI 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), and is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

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