ANAB Glossary for the Certificate Accreditation Program (CAP)

Attendants in an ANAB accredited certificate training course raising hands to participate.

Introduction to Certificate Accreditation Terms

“ASTM E2659-18,” “CIDP,” “Surveillance,” “Summative Assessment” … You would not be alone if you weren’t sure if these terms are password hints, names of medical tests, or government agencies.

However, these simply are the most common terms you will find in the ANAB documents needed to apply for certificate issuer accreditation, “CAP FR 304 Application for ANAB Accreditation under ASTM E2659-18” and “CAP FR-305 Certificate Issuer Annual Self-Assessment for Certificate Accreditation Under ASTM E-2659-18.” These terms and associated definitions are organized alphabetically and into three sections below: (1) “General Terms,” (2) “Section 5: Requirements for Certificate Issuers, and (3) “Sections 6-7: Requirements for the Certificate Program.”

We have designed this resource with organizations seeking certificate program accreditation in mind to make the process of completing the documentation easier and faster.

General Terms

ANAB AccreditationOfficial recognition from ANAB that a training program(s)/course(s) has met all the ANAB/ASTM E2659-18 standards.
CAP Assessment TeamCAP team comprising a lead assessor and co-assessor who are qualified to assess the applicant’s application for accreditation based on ANAB’s ASTM E2659-18 standards. The lead and co-assessor remain assigned to the certificate issuer for a five-year cycle after which a new assessor team is assigned to the Certificate Issuer. The assessment team may only perform an assessment role (i.e., they may NOT consult with the CI).
Accreditation CommitteeANAB group responsible for all decisions related to initial, reaccreditation, and surveillance except in cases where there are no nonconformities. The Certificate Accreditation Program Accreditation Committee (CAPAC) is responsible for the CAP program. The ANAB CFP Accreditation Committee (ACAC) is responsible for the CFP (Conference for Food Protection) program.
ApplicantLegal entity or government agency seeking accreditation from ANAB.
AssessmentProcess under which CAP assessors review the Certificate Issuer’s (CI) application and other documents to determine eligibility for ANAB accreditation. Four types of assessment are: (1) initial accreditation, (2) surveillance, (3) reaccreditation, and (4) scope extension.
CertificateOfficial document awarded to an individual by a Certificate Issuer (CI) that indicates achievement of training program learning outcomes (objectives). Certificates are issued for life or for a specific period and cannot be revoked. Certificates do NOT require renewal or ongoing maintenance. Typically awarded by non-degree-granting education institutions.
Certificate Issuer (CI)Legal business entity or government agency with ultimate responsibility to administer certificate program and issue certificates.
CertificationProcess through which non-governmental entities grant a time-limited recognition to individuals upon verification that they have attained competency or proficiency for specific occupations or professions. Valid for set period (vs. lifetime). Requires maintaining proficiency and competency. Can be revoked if ongoing requirements are not met. The CAP program does not cover certification programs.
Certificate ProgramA program that consists of a learning event and an assessment of competence based on defined learning outcomes for which a certificate is awarded upon successful completion.
Certificate Accreditation Program (CAP)ANAB division dedicated to accrediting training programs under the ANSI/ASTM E2659-18, Standard Practice for Certificate Programs.
Conformity Assessment Body (CAB)ANAB entity that operates certification of persons under the Conference for Food Protection Accreditation Standard and Certificate Issuers under the ASTM E2659 standard.
Evaluation Task Group (ETG)Small group of CAPAC members who conduct a detailed review of an assessment performed by the ANAB assessment team and make recommendations on accreditations, scope extensions or reductions, and suspensions or withdrawals of accreditations.
Initial AccreditationProcess performed by ANAB’s assessment team, ETG committee, and CAPAC committee in the first year of the five-year accreditation cycle during which certificate issuers apply for—and may be granted—initial ANAB accreditation for one or more certificate programs.
NonconformityDesignation issued by ANAB for specific standard requirements that do not meet the standard. Certificate Issuers must correct all nonconformities to become or remain accredited.
Opportunity for Improvement (OFI)Statement that describes requirements that a Certificate Issuer (CI) could more effectively address through enhanced processes or illustrated results. An OFI denotes compliance and is not a basis for a nonconformity if ignored.
ReaccreditationProcess performed by ANAB’s assessment team, ETG committee, and CAPAC committee in the fifth year of the accreditation cycle—prior to expiration of the accreditation—during which the certificate issuer reapplies for accreditation. At the beginning of a reaccreditation process, a new ANAB assessment team is assigned to the certificate issuer.
ScopePrecise range of competencies, actions, processes, and procedures covered by a Certificate Issuer’s certificate program.
ASTM E2659-18Requirements established by ASTM International as a model for exemplary certificate programs.
SurveillanceProcess performed by the CAP assessment team, an ETG committee, and CAPAC every year in the four years following initial accreditation during which certificate issuers must demonstrate ongoing compliance with ASTM E2659-18.

Section 5: Requirements for Certificate Issuers

Advisory GroupFormerly known as the “Oversight Committee,” this team is responsible for advising certificate program management on creating and maintaining a certificate program. The team must comprise members both internal and external to the Certificate Issuer’s (CI) business.
AppealWritten request by a primary stakeholder such as a learner or a sponsoring company to the Certificate Issuer (CI) to reevaluate any decision unfavorable to the primary stakeholder which is related to program requisites or the process of the certificate program.Request by a Certificate Issuer (CI) to ANAB for reconsideration of any adverse accreditation decision related to the Certificate Issuer’s status.
Certificate Issuer (CI)Legal business entity or government agency responsible for administering a certificate program and issuing certificates to individuals who successfully complete the training program or course (i.e., meet the certificate program’s requisites).
ComplaintRequest from an applicant for a certificate or current certificate holders for corrective action by Certificate Issuer (CI) to remedy a problem(s).
Corrective ActionCertificate Issuer’s (CI) actions to eliminate causes of problems or non-conformities.
Designated AuthorityPerson(s) assigned by the Certificate Issuer (CI) to administer the certificate program and ensure compliance with the associated provisions; typically designated as the “Certificate Program manager.”
Document ControlCertificate Issuer’s process that addresses (1) how documents are created, approved, revised and reapproved, and distributed, (2) how proper version control is ensured, and (3) how obsolete document use is prevented. Note: documents differ from records in that documents (e.g., final exam) may change while records (e.g., meeting minutes) never change.
Document ReviewProcess by which the ANAB assessment team reviews the application and accompanying documentation for conformity with the ANSI/ASTM E2659-18 standard.
Internal AuditAnnual review by the Certificate Issuer (CI) of its policies and procedures to ensure compliance with ANAB’s policies. See the post The Three Pillars Supporting Your Certificate Program: Internal Audit, Program Evaluation, and Management Review for more details.
Job Task AnalysisCertificate Issuer’s (CI) process for assessing an individual’s KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities) that are required to perform specific functions.
Legal EntityCompany or organization that has legal rights and obligations. All applicants for ANAB accreditation must be a legal entity.
Management ReviewCertificate Issuer’s (CI) formal documented review of all aspects of its management system. See the post The Three Pillars Supporting Your Certificate Program: Internal Audit, Program Evaluation, and Management Review for more details.
Management SystemCertificate Issuer’s (CI) formalized system to document processes, procedures, and responsibilities for achieving quality and complying with all requirements of the ASTM Standard E2659-18.
Outsourcing and Commercial SupportRefers to a Certificate Issuer’s (CI) use of contractors for development and maintenance of the certificate program as well as any commercial support the Certificate Issuer (CI) may receive.
Preventive ActionCertificate Issuer’s (CI) actions to eliminate causes of problems or nonconformities associated with the program and actions to eliminate potential problems or nonconformities before they occur.
Primary StakeholdersAudience of people, groups, or organizations the certificate program targets and for whom the intended learning outcomes are developed.
Program EvaluationCertificate Issuer’s (CI) formal annual evaluation of the certificate program to measure (1) the quality, effectiveness, and value of the program against stated program performance objectives, (2) the quality and effectiveness of learner assessment methods and instruments, ability for learners to provide feedback on the program design, content, delivery, and assessments, (3) availability and use of mechanisms to monitor and identify the need for changes to the program’s purpose, scope or learning outcomes, (4) evidence of mechanisms to ensure the program is revised in a timely manner to reflect needed changes. See the post The Three Pillars Supporting Your Certificate Program: Internal Audit, Program Evaluation, and Management Review for more details.
Records ControlCertificate Issuer’s process and procedure that describes which and how records are kept, by whom, for how long, and how they are disposed. Note: records differ from documents in that records (e.g., meeting minutes) never change while documents (e.g., final exam) may change.

Sections 6-7: Requirements for the Certificate Program

Assessment SecurityProcedures the Certificate Issuer (CI) establishes to ensure all examinations are protected from viewing prior to examination time and that cheating is prevented during exam administration.
Certificate Instructional Design Plan (CIDP)Specific plan associated with the training course for which the Certificate Issuer seeks ANAB accreditation. Minimum elements include: (1) instructional design model and processes, (2) needs analysis results, (3) course alignment, and (4) version consistency.
Certificate Term of ValidityDuration of time the Certificate Issuer (CI) determines that the certificate will be in effect. May be any length up to lifetime. See the post Certificate Term and Its Rationale in Relation to ASTM E2659 for more details.
CEU CreditContinuing Education Units awarded by institutes of higher learning (e.g., college) or other third parties (e.g. AACET).
Digital BadgesA type of digital link that verifies a student’s achievements with metadata such as the course name and date it was completed. Digital badges may be used in addition to or in place of paper certificates.
Instructional Design ModelConceptual and procedural model that is based on adult learning principles in which learner needs are assessed, and then a delivery system is designed, developed, implemented, and evaluated to meet those needs (e.g., ADDIE, SAM/Agile, Dick & Carey, and Gagne). See the post “Instructional Design Model” Referenced in ASTM E2659-18 Section 6.1.1 for more details.
Learning Outcomes (also called “terminal objectives”)The knowledge, skills, and abilities that learners need to be able to demonstrate upon completion of the training program. Defined learning outcomes include three requirements: (1) performance – what learners are expected to be able to do, (2) criterion – how well they are expected to perform (e.g., percent accuracy on written test), and (3) condition – context or circumstances under which performance will occur. Examples: ANAB certificate issuers will, on an annual basis (condition), furnish ANAB with financial statements (performance) that meet the ASTM E2659-18 standard to demonstrate financial viability of the certificate program (criterion).
Needs AssessmentProcess the Certificate Issuer (CI) uses to identify learner needs. Approaches include: (1) Job task analysis, (2) expert panel, (3) performance analysis, and (4) DACUM.
Passing ScoreScore selected by the Certificate Issuer (CI) along with evidence that the score was determined using criterion-referenced assessment methodologies such as the Angoff Method.
Program AlignmentAlignment of course content and proficiency assessments to learner needs.
RequisitesThe requirements to pass a course (i.e., learner participation in the certificate program learning event and a passing score on the formal examination).
Summative AssessmentCertificate Issuer’s (CI) formal examination of or learner demonstration of acquired competencies (vs. formative assessment such as homework and projects). Certificate Issuer’s summative assessment plan must include evidence of how the assessment scoring was developed and managed, as well as policies and procedures related to establishing, maintaining, and defining the passing score.
Training and Education Industry Generally Accepted Practices“Best practices” regarding training and education that are published in professional training and education literature and standards.
Version ConsistencyEach version of the Certificate Issuer’s (CI) course must meet learner needs and accomplish course objectives whether the course is taught online, in the classroom, by multiple instructors and/or in multiple languages.

You can learn more about the ANAB certificate accreditation program here and how to apply for certificate issuer accreditation here.

Contributing Author: Jeffry Finkel

Jeffry Finkel, M.Ed., CEO of Finkel and Associates Corporate Training Services, LLC, is an assessor for ANAB’s Certificate Accreditation Program (CAP). Jeff’s advanced degrees and certifications in education / instructional design allow him to specialize in the areas of training and job performance improvement in the corporate and university environments. He works with domestic and international clients. In addition to serving as a contract assessor for ANAB, Jeff develops customized training courses on a wide array of topics including oil and gas exploration, manufacturing, banking, customer service, leadership, and medical practices. Jeff is a member of the Association for Talent Development (ATD). You can reach him at or through LinkedIn at

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