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Accreditation Policy for ANAB Validation / Verification Body Accreditation Program

PUBLIC POLICY GHG-PL-701 Issued: 2022-7-22, Revision: 4

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 4, IAF Mandatory Document for the Use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Auditing/Assessment Purposes
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 9000:2015 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 validation / verification bodies (V/VBs) in accordance with ISO/IEC 17029, 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: ANAB Accreditation Services online process tracking and recordkeeping platform.
2.3Appeal: Request by a validation / verification body for reconsideration of any adverse accreditation decision related to the desired accreditation status (ISO/IEC 17011, 3.21). The appeal process is limited to reviewing whether applicable procedures have been followed in reaching the accreditation decision.
2.4CAB: Conformity Assessment Body.
2.5GHG PROGRAM: ANAB Greenhouse Gas Validation / Verification Body Accreditation Program.
2.6GVAC: Greenhouse Gas Validation / Verification Body Accreditation Committee including representatives from appropriate interested parties.
2.7Nonconformity (NCR) Challenge: Request by a V/VB for reconsideration of a nonconformity issued by ANAB.
2.8VALIDATION / VERIFICATION BODY (V/VB): A CAB that performs validations or verifications of GHG assertions in accordance with ISO 14065.
3General Provisions
3.1ANAB 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 ANAB framework for the accreditation of other types of conformity assessment bodies. The structure of ANAB's governance of the accreditation programs and the documented operations are intended to give confidence in ANAB's accreditations.
3.2The ANAB 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. ANAB accreditation provides added value to the validation / verification process by promoting a harmonized and independent process for assessing V/VB conformance to ISO 14065. ANAB accreditation is required by voluntary programs and also may be utilized in procurement and regulatory activities by government agencies which rely on ANAB 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 as well as other GHG policies and procedures. 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. ANAB 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. ANAB 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 validation or verification 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 ANAB 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 outlined in various ANAB policies and procedures.
3.10ANAB will seek input from the GVAC on any non-editorial modifications to this policy document.
4Application for Accreditation
4.1The formal application for accreditation under the GHG Program is available to the public on ANAB's website. The formal application shall be completed and submitted to ANAB by a duly authorized representative of the applicant V/VB.
4.2The applicant shall submit the application fee and agree to abide by ANAB's Terms and Conditions for Accreditation before ANAB commences the application review process.
4.3ANAB 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.
4.4In accordance with the GHG Program procedures, ANAB shall conduct a review of its capability to carry out the assessment in a technically competent and timely manner.
5Preparation for Assessment
5.1If 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.
5.2ANAB 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 and have no conflicts of interest with the applicant.
5.3The applicant shall be given an opportunity to review the assessment team candidates and provide an objection to one or more candidates. The objection will be considered by ANAB staff per ANAB's procedures.
5.4The 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.
5.5The assessment team shall conduct document review in accordance with the GHG Program procedures. Based on the document review, ANAB 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.
5.6ANAB 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.
5.7Sampling 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. ANAB shall assess all the V/VB premises where key activities are conducted.
5.8The assessment team shall work with the applicant 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 for the office assessment according to GHG Program procedures. Assessors need not develop and supply the applicant with an assessment plan for the witness assessment as the assessment follows the V/VBs validation or verification plan.
5.9The term, onsite assessment, can signify an assessment where assessors visit the physical location of the VVB or VVB's client and/or where assessors perform the assessment remotely using information and communication technology (ICT) in accordance with IAF MD 4.
6Onsite Assessment
6.1The ANAB 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 conformance with ISO 14065, other applicable international documents as well as ANAB policies and procedures.
6.2The ANAB 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.
6.3The ANAB assessment team shall refer back to ANAB staff whenever the decision on findings cannot be reached or clarification is needed.
7Assessment Report
7.1Subsequent 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). ANAB shall bear ultimate responsibility for the assessment report.
7.2The reports shall be provided to the applicant V/VB with the invitation to comment on their factual accuracy.
7.3V/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. ANAB 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.
7.4V/VB may challenge one or more NCRs per ANAB's NCR Challenge procedure.
8Decision on Accreditation
8.1When 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.
8.2For 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.
8.3The GVAC members, without conflicts of interest, will make the accreditation decision. An executive summary completed by ANAB staff as well as access to the assessment report and results of resolution of NCRs shall be provided to the GVAC members. This review may take place during the GVAC meetings or remotely. 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.
8.4ANAB staff shall promptly notify the applicant V/VB of the GVAC decision.
8.5If accreditation is granted, ANAB 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 ANAB on the newly accredited V/VB.
8.6ANAB may withhold actions outlined in items a) through c) of clause 9.5 until the V/VB has paid all outstanding invoices owed to ANAB.
8.7If accreditation is not granted, the V/VB shall be notified of its further options including its right to appeal the GVAC decision.
8.8Appeals against the decisions of the GHG Program shall be processed in accordance with ANAB's appeal procedure.
9Continuing Accreditation – Surveillance and Reassessment
9.1GHG Program operates based on a 5 year cycle. Therefore, reassessment activities shall be conducted during year 5 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.
9.2Surveillance 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 conformance of accredited V/VBs with the international standards, appropriate guidance documents and ANAB policies and procedures.
9.3Surveillance 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 ANAB staff in consultation with technical assessor(s) if necessary. Surveillance onsite assessments shall be planned taking into account other surveillance activities.
9.4All V/VB premises from which one or more key activities are performed shall be assessed at least once within the accreditation cycle.
9.5ANAB 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.
9.6ANAB decisions on maintaining accreditation shall be made by ANAB staff, except for reaccreditation which is made by the GVAC in accordance with GHG-PL-702 and GHG Program procedures.
9.7ANAB 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.
9.8The 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.
9.9Accredited V/VBs shall be assessed annual fees in accordance with GHG Program fee schedule.
10Conditions for Extending, Reducing, Suspending, Withdrawing or Accreditation
10.1The V/VB may apply to request extension of the scope of ANAB accreditation. ANAB shall conduct due assessment based on the requirements of the new scope(s) which may include an onsite assessment.
10.2Decision 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.
10.3Based 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 ANAB policies and procedures.
10.4The V/VB may request ANAB to reduce or suspend its scope of accreditation or voluntarily withdraw from accreditation.

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