ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Federal Government Reaffirms ANSI's Role as Telecommunications Accreditation Body


New York, May 29, 2002

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is pleased to announce that its Accreditation Program for Telecommunications Certification Bodies (TCB) was approved for renewal by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice-president of Conformity Assessment, explained, "The renewal of the Institute's accreditation program for TCBs serves as a benchmark in the continued cooperation and confidence building between the government and the private sector." He added that since its inception in 2000, the program has received NIST recognition twice; the renewal will be valid from 2002 through 2004.

The re-accreditation was achieved through the favorable results of an audit conducted by NIST using the National Voluntary Conformity Assessment System Evaluation (NVCASE), which recognizes the abilities of accreditation bodies and their adherence to the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission Guide 65, General Requirements for Bodies Operating Product Certification Systems. The NVCASE system includes on-site assessment, witness audits and final recommendation by an Evaluation Panel.

Hallenbeck attributes the favorable results of the audit to the hard work that has been done over the years to improve the overall performance of ANSI's Conformity Assessment Programs for products, systems and personnel and especially the Institute's transition to electronic document management.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the TCB program in 1998 to streamline its equipment authorization requirements by allowing telecommunications certification bodies to certify telecommunications equipment under the Commission's Rules. The FCC selected NIST to evaluate the technical competency of the groups that accredit the TCBs.

"Certainly recognition from NIST, as a key ANSI stakeholder, is a great thing," said Hallenbeck. "We're honored to have such positive feedback from them. Hopefully this benchmark will serve as an example and lend itself to building additional confidence from other governmental agencies."

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