What Sets ANAB Apart

ANAB has been in business since 1989, having recognized early on the need for accreditation bodies to oversee the work of third-party certification bodies and thus provide credibility and confidence for those relying on certification. ANAB was the first - and for most of our history the only - management systems accreditation body in the United States.

ANAB issued its first accreditation for ISO 9001 in 1991 and its first accreditation for ISO 14001 in 1997. ANAB was the first to offer accreditation for the AS9000 aerospace standards and TL 9000 for telecommunications, and remains the only North American accreditation body offering such accreditation.

ANAB’s maturity as a management system accreditation body speaks for itself! Our reputation for customer-focused service has led to our accreditation symbol being recognized and sought after around the world and by numerous industries. This is due in no small part to the competence, knowledge, and experience of our employees, contract assessors, technical experts, and the volunteers who serve on our Board of Directors, Management Systems Accreditation Council, and Committees of Experts. It is also a reflection of our organizational culture.

ANAB was one of the original organizers of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), established to promote cooperation among national accreditation bodies. We were among the first accreditation bodies to sign the IAF multi-lateral recognition arrangements (MLAs) for quality management systems (in 1998) and environmental management systems (in 2004).

Just as we have from the start, ANAB continues to focus on customer needs while ensuring conformance with requirements. ANAB also is committed to working internationally to promote sound, rigorous, and harmonious accreditation processes.  

Accreditation Process

ANAB accreditation is based on conformance to ISO/IEC 17021-1. ANAB assesses and accredits certification bodies (CBs) that demonstrate competence to audit and certify organizations conforming with management systems standards.* Accreditation by a recognized and respected body such as ANAB ensures the impartiality and competence of the CB and fosters confidence and acceptance of the CB's certifications by end users in the public and private sectors.

The accreditation process is illustrated below:



Refer to How to Become an ANAB-Accredited CB

*You can purchase many management system standards from ANSI and ASQ, both of which offer member discounts.

Is Your Certificate Accredited?

A certificate issued by an ANAB-accredited certification body (CB) that includes the ANAB accreditation symbol is an accredited certificate. An accredited certificate includes both the CB's symbol and the accreditation symbol of the accrediting body. Be sure to look for both.

Why does this matter? Accreditation is the means by which an authoritative body, such as the ANAB, gives formal recognition that an organization, such as a CB, is competent to carry out specific tasks. Accreditation provides assurance to a CB's customers that the CB continues to operate according to internationally accepted criteria.

Naturally, an organization considering certification wants to know about the reputation and competence of the CB it selects. The organization wants assurance that the CB is competent to evaluate its systems and that their customers will value the CB's judgment, no matter where their customers are located.

Unaccredited CBs may not operate according to international requirements. Unscrupulous CBs may offer a certificate without an audit or without any real understanding of an organization's processes. Such a certificate is of questionable value for the certified organization and its customers.

In addition to offering accredited certificates, an accredited CB may also offer unaccredited certificates or certificates for standards for which the CB is not accredited. If you want to rely on a certificate, you should understand the qualifications of the CB that issued the certificate and whether or not the CB (and certificate) is accredited.

The International Accreditation Forum, a global association of accreditation bodies, has published a report on the value of accredited certification

Making the Case for Certification

Need help deciding or convincing others that certification is right for your organization? You can find case studies and research on the benefits for business at the Business Benefits and Public Sector Assurance websites.