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ANSI announces launch of Certificate Accreditation Program.

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February 26, 2009 - ANSI Certificate Accreditation Program (ANSI-CAP) was launched with first meeting of ANSI-CAP Accreditation Committee on Friday, February 13, 2009. Accreditation under the program will provide neutral, 3rd-party evidence that given certificate program leads to better educated and qualified workers. Committee members were announced in November 2008 and will serve 3 yr terms. They will initially work on selecting standard against which certificate programs will be evaluated.

ANSI Announces Official Launch of New Certificate Accreditation Program


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American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
11 West 42nd St., 13th Flr.
New York, NY, 10036
USA



Press release date: February 20, 2009

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 kicked off a new accreditation program for organizations that issue education and training certificates to U.S. workers.

Termed the ANSI Certificate Accreditation Program (ANSI-CAP), the first meeting of the ANSI-CAP Accreditation Committee was held on Friday, February 13, 2009, marking the official launch of the program.

"Currently, there is no nationwide regulation, oversight or monitoring consistently applied to all education and/or training bodies that offer certificates - nor is there a nationally recognized set of criteria/requirements to evaluate the quality of these programs," explained Dr. Roy Swift, ANSI program director. "Consumers are unclear about the meaning of certificates, how to differentiate among certificate programs with varying levels of rigor, and how they differ from personnel certifications."

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

In November 2008, the Institute announced a formal nomination process to seek volunteer leaders to serve on the ANSI-CAP Accreditation Committee. A Nominations Committee, which was comprised of experts from the fields of education, training, government and private industry, reviewed all nominations against rigorous criteria and provided recommendations to ANSI leadership. Today, ANSI is pleased to announce the following members of the committee:

Keith W. Bird, Kentucky Community and Technical College System (chairman)
John T. Roecker, Project Management Institute (vice-chairman)
Michael A.P. Barker, Professional Ropes Course Association and Risk Manager, City of New Haven, Connecticut
John H. Bridges, III, Department of Homeland Security (FEMA) and Board of Governors, The National Graduate School of Quality Management
Ellen C. Fagan, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Beth Holst, Green Building Certification Institute
Sara Meier, International Association for Continuing Education and Training
Kathleen Mihelich, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials

According to the committee's operation procedures, these individuals shall serve for a term of three years and are eligible for reappointment for one additional term. Their responsibilities include: recommending policies and procedures for the accreditation program; determining the accreditation status of certificate issuers that have applied for initial accreditation and/or are undergoing annual surveillance; and providing suggestions to ANSI staff regarding program-specific marketing strategies.

"Membership on the ANSI-CAP Accreditation Committee reflects a balance of all interested personnel certificate sectors and entities that utilize personnel certificates," said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. "We are very pleased to welcome this prestigious group to the table and look forward to working with them closely to launch the pilot ANSI-CAP later this year."

In the immediate term, the committee has been tasked with the selection of a standard against which certificate programs will be evaluated for potential accreditation under the ANSI-CAP. During the February 13 meeting, the committee heard presentations from two organizations who have been working to develop American National Standards in this area. The committee is currently determining which standard can best meet the needs of the accreditation program. ANSI expects to begin the pilot program during spring 2009.

In addition to the American National Standard selected by the committee, the ANSI-CAP will also follow the evaluation 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, conduct on site assessments of all applicants, and make recommendations to the ANSI-CAP Accreditation Committee that is responsible for making the accreditation decisions.

"ANSI is committed to an active partnership with 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," added Dr. Swift. "We welcome comments and suggestions from any interested stakeholders and encourage their active participation as we work toward a successful launch of the ANSI-CAP."

About ANSI
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.

ANSI is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and 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).

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