Have Remote Assessments Affected Accreditation Activities?

Signing accreditation form during product certification remote assessment process illustration.

In response to travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ANAB moved to a predominantly remote assessment model to continue to provide accreditation services to its customers, both established and new. Prior to the pandemic, ANAB had an established, effective remote assessment program, but remote assessments were typically performed as a surveillance activity. During the pandemic, ANAB used remote assessments for initial accreditation assessments and reaccreditation assessments.

ANAB Analysis on Remote Assessments in the Product Accreditation Program

In an effort to ensure quality during these remote assessment activities, ANAB commissioned a study on remote assessments in the product accreditation program through quantitative and qualitative techniques. The study was coordinated by the ANAB Vice President Conformity Assessment Strategy, Reinaldo Figueiredo, and was conducted by two ANAB Technical Assessors. They sought to answer the question:

“Did moving to a primary remote assessment model in 2020 affect the ability of ANAB’s assessment process to deliver quality assurance and assessment in the accreditation process?”

Results of the Remote Assessment Study

The quantitative analysis found no statistically significant difference between the number of findings for ISO/IEC 17065 assessments issued during a primarily onsite assessment period (2019) and a primarily remote assessment period (2020). The qualitative analysis consisted of a survey of stakeholders, including ANAB product certification bodies, product assessors, and ANAB accreditation committee for product certification bodies (ACC) members. Stakeholders had an overwhelmingly positive experience with remote assessments.

In addition to the quantitative and qualitative analysis, a case study was analyzed comparing remote and onsite assessment results for the same certification body on two separate occasions. This comparison demonstrated a degree of confidence that remote assessments can provide an effective alternative for or complement to onsite assessments.

Read the full report, Analysis of ANAB Remote Assessments in the Product Accreditation Program through Quantitative and Qualitative Techniques, or learn more about ANAB Product Certification Accreditation.

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