ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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First Accreditations Awarded Under New ANSI Program for Personnel Certification Bodies

New York, Mar 13, 2003

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system, has awarded the first two accreditations under its landmark Accreditation Program for Personnel Certification Bodies. The U.S. is the first nation to implement an accreditation schema based upon the new international standard, ISO/IEC 17024, General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification Systems of Persons. On behalf of the United States, ANSI announced the launch of its accreditation program on March 3, 2003.

Although the official launch of the program began this month, the American Society for Nondestructive Testing, Inc. (ASNT) and the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT) had participated in a comprehensive pilot of the formal accreditation program that was launched by ANSI in October 2002. The accreditation process includes the submission of documentation for each of the requirements identified in the international standard, an on-site audit, and the correction of any non-conformities (i.e., requirements that have not been met).

“Accreditation allows us – by the way of an independent third party – to prove that we’re a quality certification program, within our industry and to our user industries,” said ASNT senior membership and marketing manager Betsy Blazar. “The annual review feature also helps to keep us diligent and cognizant of the process itself. Continuous quality improvement is a strong reinforcement.”

“Attaining accreditation from a well-respected independent organization like ANSI sends a very positive message about NBCOT to patients, clients, and other consumers of services provided by the Occupational Therapist OTRâ and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant COTAâ,” said Dr. Randy Strickland, president of NBCOT.

As an impartial assessor, ANSI accreditation protects the integrity of a certification process, enhances consumer and public confidence in a certification program and the personnel who complete it, and facilitates the mobility of certified personnel across borders. “The pilot study was created to ensure the policy and procedures for the program are valid,” noted Dr. Roy Swift, director of ANSI’s accreditation program. “Based on an internationally recognized framework and evaluation system, the program will confirm that a certification body has met all of the requirements identified in the standard.”

The American Society for Nondestructive Testing is the world's largest technical society for nondestructive testing (NDT) professionals. Through its organization and membership, ASNT provides a forum for exchange of NDT technical information; NDT educational materials and programs; and standards and services for the qualification and certification of NDT personnel. ASNT promotes the discipline of NDT as a profession and facilitates NDT research and technology applications.

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy is a certification agency for the occupational therapy profession. NBCOT works closely with state regulatory authorities providing information on credentials, disciplinary actions and regulatory and certification renewal issues. Its certification process reflects the current standards of competent practice in occupational therapy.

For additional information about ANSI's Accreditation Program for Personnel Certifiers, please contact Dr. Roy Swift at 202.331.3617 or

 Homeland Defense and Security Standardization Collaborative