ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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U.S. and Canada Cooperate on ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 Accreditations


Ottawa, Dec 12, 2002

In Canada and the United States, the market is demanding that registration certificates for Quality and Environmental Management Systems (ISO 9000 and ISO 14000, respectively) issued by accredited certification or registration bodies in either nation be recognized as equivalent. Today, in a joint announcement issued by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB), a Harmonization Committee has been formed to enhance a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between the two nations that holds the promise of meeting this demand.

Under the agreement, SCC and the ANSI-RAB National Accreditation Program (NAP) recognize as equivalent the ISO 9000 (Quality Management Systems) and ISO 14000 (Environmental Management Systems) registration certificates issued by both U.S. and Canadian accredited Certification/Registration Bodies (CRBs). Decisions to accredit a CRB in either country are based upon the same criteria, exemplified by each nation being a signatory to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MLA).

The Harmonization Committee will focus on accreditation body program operations, consistency in the application of accreditation requirements, and harmonization of accreditation body procedures. As a first action, the SCC and ANSI-RAB NAP will begin developing joint processes and procedures for sharing information and joint audit activity. The committee held its first meeting on November 27, 2002.

"The SCC ANSI-RAB Harmonization Committee is really about improving service to our customers and increasing value to the end users of conformance assessment services in the United States and Canada," said Lane Hallenbeck, vice-president of conformity assessment for the American National Standards Institute.

"Establishing joint procedures and processes leverages the strengths of both organizations and ensures a uniform level of competence. In addition to enhancing confidence between the SCC and the ANSI-RAB NAP, this will lead to the recognition of each others audit results, thereby decreasing duplication of activities," said Pat Paladino, Director of Conformity Assessment for the Standards Council of Canada.

To ensure that the views of all relevant parties are represented, the Harmonization Committee includes representatives from the SCC, the ANSI-RAB NAP, the International Association of Accredited Registrars (IAAR), the Canadian Conformity Assessment Conference (CCAC), and SCC and ANSI-RAB accreditation auditors.

About ANSI

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its 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 system. ANSI is the official U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). ANSI currently has offices in New York City and Washington, DC.

About RAB

The Registrar Accreditation Board operates accreditation programs for ISO 9000 and ISO 14001 registrars and auditor training course providers through the ANSI-RAB National Accreditation Program. RAB independently operates certification programs for quality and environmental management systems auditors.

About SCC

The Standards Council of Canada is a Crown corporation with the mandate to promote efficient and effective voluntary standardization, and is Canada's representative at ISO and an IAF-MLA Signatory. For more information on the Standards Council's Conformity Assessment Branch, please e-mail info@scc.ca.

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