ANSI ISO/IEC 17024 accreditation is an internationally recognized standard for the accreditation of personnel certification bodies. That is, it is a stamp of approval from an independent audit which says your certification is good quality. ANSI stands for the American National Standards Institute, while ISO refers to the International Organization for Standardization. The portion of ANSI which carries out the accreditation process is the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB).
What does ANSI ISO/IEC 17024 cover?
ANSI ISO/IEC 17024 specifies the requirements for bodies operating certification programs for individuals, ensuring that the certification processes are fair, valid, and reliable. The standard outlines the general principles and requirements for the certification of personnel across various fields, including but not limited to healthcare, information technology, engineering, and safety.
The standard covers a wide range of aspects related to certification bodies, including:
- Impartiality and independence: Certification bodies must demonstrate impartiality and avoid any conflicts of interest.
- Certification program development: The standard sets criteria for developing certification programs, including defining competencies, establishing eligibility requirements, and developing examination processes.
- Examination processes: It outlines guidelines for the design, development, and administration of examinations to assess individuals’ knowledge, skills, and competencies.
- Certification process: The standard addresses the application process, evaluation of candidates, decision-making on certification, and ongoing certification maintenance.
- Management system requirements: ANSI ISO/IEC 17024 includes requirements for the management system of the certification body, including document control, record keeping, and continual improvement processes.
What does ANSI ISO/IEC 17024 mean?
Accreditation to ANSI ISO/IEC 17024 provides assurance to stakeholders that the certification programs and processes are conducted in a consistent, competent, and reliable manner. It enhances the credibility and acceptance of certifications issued by accredited certification bodies, helping individuals demonstrate their professional competence and expertise in their respective fields.
Should my organization pursue accreditation?
That is a business question for you. In some cases, you are required; in some professions, there might be a law that candidates do not receive federal funding or do not have certifications recognized if their certification is not accredited. However, for many professions, accreditation is optional. In those cases, if there are two certification bodies, it is a competitive advantage for one to become accredited. But for small certification bodies with no competitors, accreditation is often not worth the great expense.
Here are some reasons to consider pursuing accreditation.
- Global Recognition: ISO 17024 accreditation provides global recognition and credibility to a certification program. It demonstrates compliance with internationally recognized standards, which can enhance the reputation of the certification and increase its acceptance worldwide.
- Quality Assurance: ISO 17024 accreditation ensures that the certification program follows rigorous processes and standards for the development, administration, and evaluation of assessments. This helps maintain the quality and reliability of the certification, giving stakeholders confidence in its validity and fairness.
- Competitive Advantage: Accreditation under ISO 17024 can serve as a competitive differentiator for the certification program. It distinguishes the certification from others in the market by indicating a commitment to high standards of professionalism, competence, and integrity.
- Stakeholder Confidence: Accreditation provides assurance to stakeholders, including employers, professionals, and regulatory bodies, that the certification meets recognized criteria for competency assessment. This builds trust and confidence in the certification, leading to increased participation and recognition within the industry.
- Continuous Improvement: ISO 17024 accreditation fosters a culture of continuous improvement within the certification program. Through regular assessments and audits, organizations can identify areas for enhancement and implement best practices to enhance the effectiveness and relevance of the certification over time.
Note that ANSI ISO/IEC 17024 is not the only show in town. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies also accredits certifications, though they define it per certification program, not certification body.
Do I need to do all this work myself?
No! Much of it, yes, you need to do, because no one else has the specific knowledge of your profession and content area. But we can certainly help with some portions, especially the exam development and psychometrics. We can also provide the item banking and exam delivery platform to securely administer your exams and report the results.