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Accreditation Policy for ANSI Greenhouse Gas Validation / Verification Body Accreditation Program

PUBLIC POLICY GHG-PL-701 Issued: 2019-5-1, Revision: 1

References ANSI-PL-100: ANSI Accreditation Services Management System Policy Manual
GHG-PL-702: Operating Procedures of the GHG Validation / Verification Body Accreditation Committee (GVAC)
IAF MD 6:2014, Application of ISO 14065:2013
ISO 14065:2013, Greenhouse gases - Requirements for greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies for use in accreditation or other forms of recognition
ISO 9000:2005, Quality management systems - Fundamentals and vocabulary
ISO/IEC 17000:2004, Conformity assessment - Vocabulary and general principles
ISO/IEC 17011:2017, Conformity assessment - Requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies
1.1This document is the high level policy for accreditation of greenhouse gas validation / verification bodies (V/VBs) in accordance with ISO 14065 and IAF MD 6.
2.1For the purpose of this document, the relevant definitions given in ISO/IEC 17000, Conformity Assessment – Vocabulary and general principles and ISO 9000, Quality management systems – Fundamentals and vocabulary, apply.
2.2ANSICA: ANSI Accreditation Services online process tracking and recordkeeping platform.
2.3CAB: Conformity Assessment Body.
2.4GHG PROGRAM: ANSI Greenhouse Gas Validation / Verification Body Accreditation Program.
2.5GVAC: Greenhouse Gas Validation / Verification Body Accreditation Committee.
2.6VALIDATION / VERIFICATION BODY (V/VB): A CAB that performs validations or verifications of GHG assertions in accordance with ISO 14065.
3General Provisions
3.1ANSI has established the policies and procedures to govern the accreditation of greenhouse gas validation / verification bodies. The principles and criteria of this Program are compatible with the existing ANSI framework for the accreditation of other types of conformity assessment bodies. The structure of ANSI's governance of the accreditation programs and the documented operations are intended to give confidence in ANSI's accreditations.
3.2The ANSI GHG Program operates in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011, Conformity assessment – Requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies. The requirements of this policy document provide the basis for a nationally recognized, open, disciplined and credible accreditation activity. ANSI accreditation provides added value to the validation / verification process by promoting a harmonized and independent process for assessing V/VB conformance to ISO 14065. ANSI accreditation is required by voluntary programs and also may be utilized in procurement and regulatory activities by government agencies which rely on ANSI accreditation to reduce or eliminate expenditure of public resources for monitoring greenhouse gas validation / verification activities.
3.3Policies and criteria that govern the GHG Program are laid out in this public policy document, other GHG policies and procedures as well as ANSI-PL-100: ANSI Accreditation Services Management System Policy Manual. Relevant international guides and standards are duly referenced throughout the Program documentation.
3.4The GHG Program requirements, assessments and decisions on accreditation shall be confined to those matters specifically related to the scope of the specific accreditation being considered, the specific requirements of ISO 14065, and other requirements of GHG programs and/or regulations.
3.5It is the responsibility of the GVAC to develop or adopt guidance documents or participate in their development. ANSI shall ensure that the members of the GVAC or external individuals involved in this process possess necessary competence, described in the GVAC Operating Policy (GHG-PL-702). Where international application or guidance documents are available, they shall be considered for use.
3.6The GHG Program shall publicize its accreditation actions including granting of initial accreditation, extension and reduction of scope, suspension, and withdrawal of accreditation. ANSI shall also make publicly available information about the current status of the V/VB accreditations that it has granted as well as the identity of applicants. This information shall be regularly updated.
3.7Consideration of extension of accreditation activities related to the GHG Program shall proceed in accordance with documented procedures that shall include all elements defined in ISO/IEC 17011, clause 4.6.4.
3.8GHG Program shall maintain the provisions related to impartiality, confidentiality and conflict of interest in conformance with ISO/IEC 17011, clauses 4.4 and 8.1 as well as relevant ANSI procedures.
3.9GHG Program is subject to the organizational provisions such as organizational structure, legal responsibility, impartiality, confidentiality, liability, financing, modification of accreditation activity and related requirements as well as the management system and personnel-related policies stipulated in ANSI-PL-100: ANSI Accreditation Services Management System Policy Manual.
3.10Any non-editorial modifications to this policy document must be approved by GVAC.
4Preliminary Application
4.1V/VBs interested in ANSI GHG Program accreditation shall be required to submit a preliminary application in which they shall demonstrate that they meet the fundamental criteria related to the GHG Program. These criteria shall include confirmation of the applicant’s status as a legal entity and a third party greenhouse gas validator/verifier, publicly available information describing the V/VB’s program, evidence of the management system and other criteria detailed in the GHG Program procedures.
4.2Upon receipt of the preliminary application, ANSI staff shall confirm receipt and conduct the review upon which the preliminary applicant may be approved, rejected or required to submit more information.
4.3Approved preliminary applicants shall be invited to submit a full application. GHG Program procedures shall determine a finite period of validity of the preliminary approval. If a preliminary applicant has not submitted a full application within the timeframe of validity, a new preliminary application shall be required.
5Application for Accreditation
5.1A formal application for accreditation under the GHG Program shall be made by a duly authorized representative of the applicant V/VB. The application shall as a minimum cover:
a)general features of the V/VB, including corporate entity, name, addresses, legal status, and human and technical resources;
b)general information concerning the V/VB such as its activities, its relationship in a larger corporate entity if any, and address of all its physical location(s) to be covered by the scope of accreditation;
c)a clearly defined, requested, scope of accreditation;
d)a description of the validation / verification services that the V/VB undertakes including limits of capability where applicable and a clearly defined requested scope of accreditation;
e)a copy (on paper or in electronic form) of the quality manual of the CAB, and relevant associated documents and records;
f)an agreement to fulfill the requirements for accreditation and other obligations of the V/VB, as described in 4.2 of ISO/IEC 17011.
5.2The applicant shall be required to submit the application fee and executed Accreditation Agreement before ANSI commences the application review process.
5.3ANSI shall review the application materials for completeness and request additional information if necessary. Failure of the V/VB to supply adequate materials shall be grounds for dismissal of the application.
5.4In accordance with the GHG Program procedures, ANSI shall conduct a review of its capability to carry out the assessment in a technically competent and timely manner.
6Preparation for Assessment
6.1If a decision is made to subcontract the assessment, such subcontracting shall be undertaken in accordance with GHG Program procedures and in full conformance with ISO/IEC 17011.
6.2ANSI staff shall formally appoint the assessment team in accordance with the GHG Program procedures. The appointed assessment team shall be competent to undertake the assessment of the applicant.
6.3The applicant shall be given an opportunity to review the assessment team candidates and reject one or more candidates. Selected members of the assessment team should have no conflicts of interest with the applicant; assessors that have provided consultancy to the applicant shall not be chosen.
6.4The approved assessment team shall be provided with all the necessary information, including the copy of the application, in order for them to conduct the document review and the subsequent assessment of the applicant V/VB.
6.5The assessment team shall conduct document review in accordance with the GHG Program procedures. Based on the document review, ANSI may decide not to proceed with the onsite assessment, in which case the applicant V/VB shall be provided with the nonconformities (NCRs) identified during the document review.
6.6ANSI may conduct a preliminary visit in agreement with the applicant in accordance with the GHG Program procedures. No consultancy shall be provided during such visits.
6.7Sampling of the sites to be visited and the witness assessment(s) to be conducted shall be determined in accordance with GHG Program scoping policies. Such policies shall ensure that a representative number of assessments have been conducted to ensure the competence of the applicant V/VB. ANSI shall assess all the V/VB premises where key activities are conducted.
6.8The assessment team shall work with the applicant in order to schedule the onsite (headquarters and key locations as applicable) and witness assessment visit(s). Assessors shall develop and supply the applicant with the assessment plan in accordance with the GHG Program procedures.
7Onsite Assessment
7.1The onsite assessment shall commence with the opening meeting based on the requirements of GHG Program procedures.
7.2The ANSI assessment team shall conduct the onsite assessment(s) and witness assessment(s) in accordance with the GHG Program procedures, gathering sufficient evidence about the applicant V/VBs competence and compliance with ISO 14065, other applicable international documents as well as ANSI policies and procedures.
7.3The ANSI assessment team shall analyze the findings and prepare the statements of NCRs and or opportunities for improvement (OFIs), if applicable. OFIs shall not constitute consultancy.
7.4The ANSI assessment team shall refer back to ANSI staff whenever the decision on findings cannot be reached or clarification is needed.
7.5The ANSI assessment team shall conduct a closing meeting at which the results of the assessment, including the NCRs and OFIs shall be presented to the applicant V/VB.
8Assessment Report
8.1Subsequent to the onsite assessment or a witness assessment, assessors shall prepare appropriate reports (lead assessor, technical, or witness assessment reports) in accordance with the GHG Program procedures. These reports shall document the assessments conducted and include the reference to any NCRs or OFIs identified. The lead assessor report shall cover the items a) through j) of ISO/IEC 17011, clause 7.7.3 with the exception of item h). ANSI shall bear ultimate responsibility for the assessment report.
8.2The reports shall be provided to the applicant V/VB with the invitation to comment on their factual accuracy.
8.3V/VB shall be required to provide the proposed corrective action plans as well as submit evidence of implementation of these plans for the NCRs identified. OFIs do not require corrective action response; however, the applicant is encouraged to address them. Assessors shall review the corrective actions and provide their responses to the applicant. ANSI may require that subsequent follow-up assessment(s) are conducted based on such factors as severity of the NCRs identified or the timeframe in which the corrective actions were implemented as detailed in the GHG Program procedures.
8.4V/VB may appeal one or more NCRs.
9Decision on Accreditation
9.1When assessors determine that the applicant V/VB has satisfied all the requirements for accreditation, GHG Program staff shall develop and provide an executive summary of the assessments to the GVAC and provide the GVAC with all the necessary information, including the assessment reports, results of resolution of NCRs and any other pertinent information.
9.2For those cases when an assessment was conducted by, or with participation of another accreditation body, GHG Program procedures shall ensure that that accreditation body operated in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011 and in a manner acceptable to the GHG Program.
9.3The executive summary shall be reviewed by GVAC, whose members, barring the exceptions due to conflict of interest and confidentiality, shall be provided with the assessment reports and results of resolution of NCRs. This review may take place during the GVAC meetings or remotely by individual members. After GVAC members have ensured that all the necessary information has been provided to them, the GVAC will then vote without undue delay on accreditation of the applicant in accordance with GHG-PL-702 and GHG Program procedures.
9.4ANSI staff shall promptly notify the applicant V/VB of the GVAC decision.
9.5If accreditation is granted, ANSI shall:
a)issue a certificate of accreditation in accordance with the GHG Program procedures. This certificate shall conform with ISO/IEC 17011, clauses 7.8;
b)update ANSICA and the accreditation directory in accordance with GHG Program procedures;
c)publicize the accreditation action in accordance with GHG Program procedures. If warranted, feedback received from the public may become the basis for an extraordinary assessment by ANSI on the newly accredited V/VB.
9.6ANSI may withhold actions outlined in items a) through c) of clause 9.5 until the V/VB has paid all outstanding invoices owed to ANSI.
9.7If accreditation is not granted, the V/VB shall be notified of its further options including its right to appeal the GVAC decision.
9.8Appeals against the decisions of the GHG Program shall be processed in accordance with ANSI appeals procedures.
10Continuing Accreditation – Surveillance and Reassessment
10.1GHG Program operates based on a 3 year cycle. Therefore, reassessment activities shall be conducted during year 3 of the V/VB’s accreditation in accordance with the GHG Program procedures. Reassessment shall proceed similar to initial assessment except that experience gained during previous assessments shall be taken into account. ANSI shall ensure that the assessors are provided with these relevant records.
10.2Surveillance assessment on accredited V/VBs shall be conducted every year in accordance with the GHG Program procedures other than the years during which the V/VB undergoes reassessment per clause 10.1. The purpose of surveillance assessments is to monitor the continued compliance of accredited V/VBs with the international standards, appropriate guidance documents and ANSI policies and procedures.
10.3Surveillance assessment shall be less comprehensive than initial assessments and reassessments but shall include document review, onsite assessment and at least one witness assessment. Specific number of witness assessments and sites to be visited shall be determined by ANSI staff in consultation with technical assessor(s) if necessary. Surveillance onsite assessments shall be planned taking into account other surveillance activities.
10.4All V/VB premises from which one or more key activities are performed shall be assessed at least once within the 3 year accreditation cycle.
10.5ANSI requires the V/VB to propose the corrective action plan and a target implementation date within a limited timeframe for all NCRs identified during reassessment and surveillance activities.
10.6ANSI decisions on continuing accreditation shall be made by the GVAC based on the results of reassessment or surveillance and in accordance with GHG-PL-702 and GHG Program procedures.
10.7ANSI may conduct extraordinary assessment(s) on accredited V/VBs for the following reasons:
a)significant organizational changes;
b)request for scope extension;
c)increased verification / validation activity;
d)severity and/or multitude of NCRs identified during previous assessments;
e)complaints received against the subject V/VB;
f)relationships that cause real or perceived conflict of interest;
g)other conditions deemed appropriate by the GVAC.
10.8The provision related to extraordinary assessments shall be incorporated into the agreement of accreditation with the V/VBs in order to inform them of this possibility.
10.9Accredited V/VBs shall be assessed an annual fee in accordance with GHG Program fee schedule.
11Conditions for Extending, Reducing, Suspending, Withdrawing or Accreditation
11.1The V/VB may apply to request extension of the scope of ANSI accreditation. ANSI shall conduct due assessment based on the requirements of the new scope(s) which may include an onsite assessment.
11.2Decision on extension of scope of accreditation shall be made by the GVAC in accordance with GHG Program procedures once the V/VB has satisfactorily closed all the NCRs related to the new scopes and paid all the fees related to scope extension.
11.3Based on GHG Program procedures, accreditation of the V/VB may be reduced, suspended, or withdrawn by the GVAC for a persistent failure of the accredited V/VB to abide by relevant standards and ANSI policies and procedures.
11.4The V/VB may request ANSI to reduce or suspend its scope of accreditation or voluntarily withdraw from accreditation.