What's the Difference Between ANAB and ANSI Accreditation?

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private, non-profit organization that manages and supervises the U.S. voluntary standards and conformity assessment system. The ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) is a non-governmental organization owned by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). With extensive information available, it can be overwhelming trying to understand the differences between ANAB and ANSI accreditation, that’s why in this post, we’re going to explain the meaning of each and examine the difference between ANAB and ANSI accreditation.

What does ANAB stand for?

ANAB stands for the ANSI National Accreditation Board and offers accreditation services and training to organizations in the public and private sectors, serving the global market. ANAB is the largest multidisciplinary accreditation body in North America and provides services in more than 75 countries.

What is ANAB?

In further detail, ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accredits management systems certification bodies, calibration and testing laboratories, forensic test and calibration service providers, inspection bodies, police crime units, reference material producers, and proficiency test providers. 

In addition to offering professional accreditation services and a customer-focused accreditation process, ANAB offers training to people and businesses looking to increase their knowledge with highly qualified instructors and experienced industry professionals.

What is ANSI?

As mentioned, the U.S. voluntary standards and conformity assessment system is administered and coordinated by American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The Institute, which was established in 1918, works together with stakeholders from businesses and government to find and develop solutions based on standards and conformance to national and global concerns.

ANSI is the U.S. leader in maximizing the potential for the benefit of organizations across every sector and consumers worldwide. ANSI, itself, is not a standards-developing organization. Instead, the Institute provides a structure for fair standards development and quality conformity assessment methods and works tirelessly to protect their integrity. Additionally, the Institute brings together experts and stakeholders from the public and private sectors to conduct collaborative standardization efforts that address national goals as a neutral hub for the coordination of standards-based solutions.

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ANAB Accreditation vs ANSI Accreditation

The ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) provides accreditation and training services for a wide range of industry-specific certification programs. Certification bodies (CBs) that display competence to audit and certify businesses adhering to management systems standards are evaluated and accredited by ANAB. Accreditation from a prestigious and respected organization such as ANAB, ensures the impartiality and competence of the CB and fosters confidence and acceptance of the CB's certifications by users in the public and private sectors.

According to ANAB, they accredit two types of personnel credentialing programs:

  1. Certification Program

Accreditation under the Certification Program is based upon ISO/IEC 17024 (Conformity assessment – General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons) or the Conference for Food Protection (CFP) Accreditation Standard for food protection managers.

  1. Certificate Program

Accreditation under the Certificate Program is based on ANSI/ASTM E2659-18, Standard Practice for Certificate Programs.

All candidates seeking ANAB certification accreditation as a certifying organization must adhere to ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015. A completed copy of the ISO/IEC 17021-1 Requirement Matrix is required from applicants.

ANAB is a wholly owned subsidiary of ANSI, registered as a separate legal entity and renamed the ANSI National Accreditation Board. 

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) currently administers accreditation programs for personnel certification agencies. In other words, ANSI “certifies the certifier” or is the “certification of a certification.” They are a third-party body that accredits quality and credible certifications to ensure fairness and transparency from companies.

Certification bodies tell companies what standards they need to meet to earn their marks to use after their name, but many certification bodies don’t go through that process themselves, so ANSI is there to “certify the certifier.” 

The international standard (ISO/IEC 17011) serves as the foundation for the procedure followed by ANSI to accredit certification bodies. The ANSI process complies with the highest certification level and exemplifies best practices in accreditation, this is ensured by its strict adherence to a globally recognized accreditation process. 

A completed ANSI certification serves as proof of compliance with the accreditation standard ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024. This certification is significant to its recipients because it confirms the recipient's distinction, from a reliable accredited program, in the industry the individual is pursuing. This certification can be obtained through a range of recognized programs, from oil and gas industry training to food handlers training programs. Employers, credential holders, recruiting managers, and industry leaders are the ones most interested in seeing this result for individual employees.

An ANSI certification is extremely valuable to attain for the following reasons:

  • Reduced liability insurance cost due to the ANSI process of increased accountability and transparency requirements.
  • It serves as a strong legal defense in the case of false allegations made against the certification holder.
  • Many government agencies rely on this type of certification to assure that the program in question provides appropriate training. 
  • Lastly, these certifications are respected because they demonstrate to employers that the certification holder underwent a reliable assessment in their own ability to practice certain skills or expertise.

Moreover, to verify the information submitted by each applicant, the ANSI accreditation procedure includes both a review of a paper application and the completion of an assessment, including an on-site inspection. ANSI is the only organization that uses an on-site evaluation to accredit organizations that issue personnel certifications.

For more information about ANAB, refer to the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) website. For more information about ANSI, refer to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) website.

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