Interesting Discussion The proliferation of Accreditation Bodies in the USA

Sidney Vianna

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When we go to the IAF website page where they list the different countries where they have signatory accreditation bodies, we can then, drive down in the different countries. Gone are the days of ANAB's monopoly in the USA. As of today, there are 3 accreditation bodies, based in the US granting approvals to registrars all over the World. I just checked to see if this trend was also happening in other countries such as the UK, China and Mexico. Interestingly, in those countries the IAF database only displays a single AB, each.

As I said elsewhere in this forum, the low cost approach to "ISO certification" (I know, I know, there is no such thing) has reached the accreditation body layer. Cost effective cheap accreditation + cost effective cheap certification = certificates recognized everywhere. But recognized as WHAT? One of these US based accreditation bodies accredit management system certification bodies in countries outside the USA. One should ask the question: why would a CB in Taiwan, or South Korea, Lebanon, Turkey or Pakistan, etc...engage with an AB in the USA? Why not use a local, culturally-aligned, language spoken, no excessive travel costs auditor from the local accreditation body? Smells fishy?

Maybe one of these days even the IAF will find itself having to deal with a competitor...:naughty:
 
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Sidney Vianna

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Just for the sake of it, I checked a few websites of some CB's accredited by the up-and-coming US based AB's. One of them, actually based in the USA claims they can certify organizations to ISO 26991-Social Responsibility . That's quite a feat; especially because such standard does not exist.
The key message is: The "traditional" CB's should be running scared. They've competed on price amongst themselves for 3 decades now, driving down profit margins and fueling the downward spiral of commoditization and trivialization of management system certificates. Now, in addition to the unaccredited, alternatively accredited and pseudo accredited CB's, they will have to compete with this new wave of "IAF-umbrella-accredited-even-lower-cost" CB's

Recognized everywhere; yeah, right.....:sarcasm:
 

Sidney Vianna

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They were probably "thinking" of ISO 26000, which, technically is NOT a management system standard, nor certifiable. One of the few documents that ISO themselves were forced to state and "prohibit" certificates to be issued against. Some of the that is captured on page 17 of the decade-long thread I started and managed concerning ISO 26000. Link @ ISO to develop a Guidance Document (ISO 26000) on Social Responsibility - some object
 

Sidney Vianna

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A slippery slope as soon as a country has more than one national accreditation body.
I agree and it seems to me that, in Europe, there are regulations that limit the number of accreditation bodies in each country. We have a thread here about that, but, in the USA, there are no laws prohibiting such proliferation of AB’s. So, it seems that the IAF has to accept applications of any established AB.

However, just like in the case of a “duly accredited” CB that I pointed out above, offering certification to a non existing standard, you know that some CB's are becoming really creative to devise ways to make fools part with their money.
 
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