Press release - Reston, VA – April 16, 2009
BSI Management Systems, a global leader in developing business standards and one of the world's largest certification bodies, chose the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board as its accreditation body in late 2008.
Under the new agreement, the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board will provide BSI with global accreditation services, enabling BSI to provide its clients with certification services that are accepted around the world.
The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board, the national accreditation body of the United States, is an organization that provides accreditation services under the ANAB and ACLASS.
Under the ANAB brand, the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board accredits certification bodies for ISO 9001 quality management systems; ISO 14001 environmental management systems; ISO 22000 food safety management systems; ISO/IEC 20000-1 information technology service management systems; ISO 27001 information security management systems; and ANSI/AIHA Z10, CSA Z1000, and BS OHSAS 18001 occupational health and safety management systems, and numerous industry-specific requirements.
And under the ACLASS brand, the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board accredits certification bodies for ISO/IEC 17025 testing and calibration laboratories, ISO/IEC 17020 inspection bodies, and ISO Guide 34 reference material producers.
Certifications can be ineffective if they are not recognized and accepted by the customers, costing organizations valuable time, money, and resources in an effort to demonstrate compliance to business standards. As an accreditation body and a member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and a signatory of the IAF and multilateral recognition arrangement, ANAB provides its clients with accreditation services that are recognized and accepted by other accreditation bodies as well as an organization's clients. The goal of the IAF is to certify an organization once and have that certification be accepted everywhere, and its aim for conformity assessment services is to create confidence between suppliers and their clients.
As clients become more and more sophisticated and more aware of the needs to become more responsible in the global marketplace, their needs for business management systems adjust to address the ever changing marketplace and consumer needs. Typically, one of their new requirements is gaining certification to applicable business standards and management systems, such as the quality management system standard, ISO 9001, and the environmental management system standard, ISO 14001. "Our clients are increasingly seeking accredited certificates for several different product areas (e.g., quality, environment, business continuity, information security, and so on) that span international boundaries and cover complete businesses," said Flemming Norklit, Managing Director of BSI Management Systems.
Staying on top of market and client demands is critical to ensuring a certification body's business remains strong. Many certification bodies seek accreditation from an accreditation body to demonstrate that an independent party has confirmed the certification body's competence. This accreditation indicates that a certification body has been assessed to international requirements and deemed competent to carry out certification in specified business sectors by a national accreditation body.
In an effort to meet market and client demands, BSI conducted an extensive evaluation of numerous accreditation bodies in 2008. BSI's primary objective of the evaluation was to find an accreditation body that could manage its accreditations across the globe, making maximum use of the IAF Multilateral Agreement (MLA), the IAF Cross Frontier Accreditation, and the ANAB-initiated Multilateral Cooperative Accreditation Arrangement (MCAA). The use of the multilateral agreements and the cross frontier accreditation ensures accredited certifications are accepted both nationally and internationally and that the practices of all parties involved are consistent.
ANAB demonstrated its ability to meet BSI's objectives which resulted in an agreement under which ANAB will provide BSI with accreditation services around the world to support BSI's international clients. An important feature of the ANAB service is close interaction with foreign accreditation bodies in order to provide accredited certification services to clients all around the globe. "ANAB is a thought leader in international accreditation. It has demonstrated to us that it can provide a truly global service and it has practical means for working with other accreditation bodies, around the world to provide both local and global accreditation," Norklit explained.
In September 2008, BSI achieved global ANAB accreditation for ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. With its new accreditation to these standards, BSI is focused on constantly improving and expanding its certification capabilities. BSI anticipates its partnership with ANAB will enable it to provide valuable accredited certification services to its local and international clients for all of its major products (i.e., quality, environment, business continuity, and information security).
“BSI and ANAB consider this agreement and opportunity to demonstrate that close cooperation among IAF-member accreditation bodies can deliver cost-effective accreditation of certification bodies,” said Randy Dougherty, Vice President of ANAB. “The agreement also includes some innovative features for demonstrating accredited certification that fulfills the expectations of end users.”
Since ANAB will be responsible for managing BSI's overall accreditation program and for liaising with other accreditation bodies, BSI also anticipates a reduction in time spent managing multiple accreditation bodies over the coming months which will allow BSI to place more focus on providing more valuable, and a wider range of, accredited certification services to its clients. "The scope of our ANAB accreditation has been expanded considerably and will continue to grow as new standards are developed and the ANAB expand their program of accreditation," Norklit said.
One of the values of partnering with an accreditation body is in the use of a rigorous program of oversight assessments to ensure the ongoing competence of certification bodies and their auditors. The working relationship between BSI and ANAB will ensure BSI and its auditors remain competent and capable of providing its clients with the best possible certification and auditing services.
While the partnership's primary objective is to provide globally-recognized certification services to BSI's international clientele, BSI will review its local United States accreditation arrangements as ANAB services grow. "For the time being, there will be no change to BSI's local accreditation arrangements but this will be reviewed in the longer term, as markets develop and as the ANAB brand grows internationally. BSI remains committed to providing accredited certification and to offering the appropriate accreditation to meet the market demand," Norklit said.