ANAB is in the business of accreditation, ranging from laboratory, management systems, validation and verification, credentialing, product certification, and much more. Via third-party conformity assessment ANAB provides an independent assurance that products, services, or processes conform to specified requirements. The role of an accreditation body such as ANAB is to independently determine whether a body meets specified requirements by assessing its technical competence, the suitability of test methods, and/or the internal quality management processes. Hence, ANAB readily celebrates World Accreditation Day (WAD) and encourages the conformity assessment community to join June 9th in celebrating the theme Accreditation: Supporting the Future of Global Trade—a recognition of how accreditation supports the ongoing global supply chain restructuring and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
How ANAB Achieves the UN SDGs
Global trade and trade policy makers face more challenges now than ever before, such as supply chain disruption, cybersecurity, lack of leadership, regulations and compliance, and consumer sustainability concerns. Industry requirements are shifting to address these challenges, and ANAB is supporting policy makers by providing information and support during policy development and continuing engagement to ensure that accreditation programs meet evolving needs. ANAB assures its accredited organizations are conforming to the changing requirements while supporting the UN’s SDGs through its various accreditation programs, including:
ANAB offers laboratory accreditation programs based on ISO/IEC 17025 and multiple standards in many industry-specific programs. This includes a variety of environmental and water testing programs that help assure environmental testing laboratories produce the highest quality environmental data used for public health and environmental protection. In addition to internationally accepted and validated quality and technical standards, accredited labs employ the most advanced chemical and biological testing techniques to test a wide variety of environmental matrices including drinking water, non-potable water, solid and chemical materials, and air. ANAB utilizes remote accreditation assessments to decrease travel time, assure health and safety, and reduce the organization’s carbon footprint overall, supporting SDGs 3, 9, and 14.
Management system standards establish requirements and guidance to help organizations manage their policies and processes to achieve specific objectives. The management system of an organization can and should include objectives regarding relevant environmental, social, and governance. ANAB accredits certification bodies to management systems standards, such as ISO/IEC 27001, Information Security Management Systems, AS9100, Requirements for Aviation, Space and Defense, and ISO 14001, Environmental Management Systems, that support some of the challenges affecting global trade. Accredited certification of the management system establishes an assurance level that allows recognition of the good and services provided sustainably that is not restricted by physical or economic boundaries allowing recognition at a global level.
ANAB also instills confidence in consumers by participating in IAF CertSearch, a global database to search and validate accredited certificate status, supporting SDGs 3, 8, 9, 10, and 17.
Validation and Verification
ANAB’s validation and verification (VV) program focuses on ensuring conformity assessment bodies follow requirements to effectively confirm the accuracy and reliability of environmental claims. The VV program currently focuses on organizations validation and/or verifying claims related to greenhouse gas emissions, thereby supporting SDG 13. The VV program is committed to expanding its services to include accreditation for organizations validating and/or verifying other types of environmental information—carbon footprint of product, sustainability reports, water claims, and financial instruments intended to help develop environmental projects.
The UN has frequently highlighted the role of human resource development as a remedy for undeveloped and underdeveloped countries to overcome their economic deficits. Certification of persons and assessment-based certificates prepare people for current and “newer” jobs. ANAB has accredited over 125 credentialing bodies under ISO/IEC 17024 and ASTM E2659, instilling trust in credentials worldwide. In fact, there are over 5.2 million people who hold a credential from an ANAB accredited provider.
As an example, in response to the shortage of workers to support the rollout of 5G networks in the United States, National Wireless Safety Alliance developed certification programs for Telecommunication Tower Technicians. These programs accredited by ANAB play an important role in providing employment while assuring the safety and health of workers.
ANAB accreditation for product certification allows organizations to certify products, processes, and services based on ISO/IEC 17065 and other relevant scheme requirements. Accredited certification, inspection, and testing follows numerous voluntary aquaculture standards, schemes, and international agreements, assuring adherence to SDG 14—an essential interest considering that only 9% of all plastic has been recycled since 1950.
In support of SDG 8, product certification accreditation removes technical barriers to trade by preventing duplication with recognition across international borders—“Accredited once, Accredited everywhere.” Furthermore, accreditation ensures that stakeholders have confidence in the services that impact health and safety—like OSHA programs, testing for asbestos in buildings, salmonella in food, inspection of electrical systems, and licensing of personnel operating machinery.
There is no better example of value of accreditation in relation to SDG 3 than the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, reliable medical and food supply was especially critical. Accreditation of medical labs allowed for the deliverance of accurate results, certification schemes certified medical devices, and inspection services were provided for home care services.
Accredited conformity assessment ensured food was safe for consumption and safety of food supply. There are several accredited activities across the food production chain, from farm to fork, including the testing for contaminants (ISO/IEC 17025), the certification of food safety processes (ISO/IEC 17065), the inspection of a facility’s hygiene standards (ISO/IEC 17020), certification of food management systems (ISO/IEC 17021).
ANAB also remains involved in initiatives that remain essential to ensuring public health and reliable environmental stewardship like ICAO Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP).
World Accreditation Day (WAD) 2023
Every year, World Accreditation Day (WAD) is held on June 9th. The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperative (ILAC) established WAD: a global initiative to promote the value of accreditation. WAD is not only celebrated by all users of conformity assessment but also by any who wants to raise awareness to the importance of accreditation, which assures competence, reliability, and impartiality in an organization’s risk management and compliance requirements. IAF and ILAC will host a virtual event on June 9 in recognition of WAD to discuss how accreditation supports the future of global trade.
The theme of WAD 2023 is Accreditation: Supporting the Future of Global Trade in order to promote greater supply chain efficiency and resilience. This theme demonstrates how accreditation and accredited conformity assessment activities support the ongoing global supply chain restructuring that continues to be a source of trade normalization as organizations seek new markets and investment opportunities to build resilient and flexible supply. In addition, this theme focuses on how accreditation supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
- 1: No Poverty
- 2: Zero Hunger
- 3: Good Health and Well-Being
- 5: Gender Equality
- 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
- 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- 10: Reduced Inequalities
- 14: Life Below Water
- 17: Partnerships for the Goals
To learn more about WAD celebrations around the globe, follow @ANAB_ACCREDIT and the conversation on social media: #WAD2023.