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ANSI Certificate Accreditation Program Chooses ASTM International Standard for Accreditation Process

New York, Apr 22, 2009

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Certificate Accreditation Program (ANSI-CAP) has announced that it has selected ASTM E2659-09, Standard Practice for Certificate Programs, as the standard against which certificate programs will be evaluated for potential accreditation. The ANSI program seeks to accredit organizations that issue education and training certificates to U.S. workers.

“ANSI-CAP and its Accreditation Committee are pleased to take this next step in developing this new accreditation program,” said Dr. John Roecker, chair of the Accreditation Committee. “ASTM International has developed an exemplary American National Standard (ANS) that has met this Committee’s stringent criteria for selection. We look forward to using this ANS in our evaluation of certificate programs.”

The ASTM International American National Standard was selected earlier this week by the ANSI-CAP Accreditation Committee, a group of volunteer leaders who were chosen for their expertise in the field. The Committee reflects a balance of interested personnel certificate entities that represent diverse industries and stakeholders. The Committee made its decision after hearing presentations from organizations that have developed American National Standards in this area. Following a written comment period where each organization had an opportunity to respond to specific questions, the Committee evaluated each proposed standard against a series of criteria, including:

  • Content of the standard, including comprehensiveness; alignment with the training and education community; the degree to which requirements are easily understood, applied, and measureable; and the degree to which the standard will contribute to an overall increase in quality for training and education programs

  • Usefulness of the standard, including its capacity to lessen the confusion between certificate and personnel certification programs and its requirements regarding use of designations and the validation period of a certificate

  • Standard development and maintenance process, demonstrated use of systemic, evidence-based research and reference to best practices within the training and education industry; broad participation by appropriate stakeholders; and overall degree of experience with the standards development process

“The high quality of the standards made the selection process very difficult. However after careful review, the ASTM International standard was best aligned to the Committee’s evaluation criteria,” continued Dr. Roecker. Now that the ASTM International standard has been selected, ANSI expects to launch the pilot accreditation program during the summer of 2009.

ASTM E2659-09 was developed by ASTM Committee E36 on Laboratory and Inspection Agency Accreditation. In addition to the specific requirements identified in ASTM E2659-09, ANSI-CAP will also follow the accreditation process outlined in the international standard ISO/IEC 17011, General Requirements for Accreditation Bodies Accrediting Conformity Assessment Bodies. This process includes using specially trained assessors to review documents submitted by applicants against defined requirements, conducting on-site assessments of all applicants, and making recommendations to the ANSI-CAP Accreditation Committee that is responsible for making the accreditation decisions.

ANSI accreditation under the Certificate Accreditation Program will provide a neutral, third-party attestation that a given certificate program promotes better educated and qualified workers. The activity is also expected to provide quality benchmarks for the design of future certificate programs.

“With the pilot program nearly ready for launch, we welcome input from educators, trainers, industry, ANSI-accredited standards developers, and government experts to facilitate the development of a certificate accreditation program that is based on continual quality improvement,” said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. “An active partnership with our stakeholders will lead to a successful and impactful program for employers and employees alike.”

About ANSI
The American National Standards Institute (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.

The Institute 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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