ANAB Seeks Comments on OHSMS Accreditation Rule

| August 29, 2008

The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) is seeking public comment on its Draft Accreditation Rule A on OHSMS Program.  ANAB is the U.S. accreditation body for a number of different management system standards, including ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ANSI/AIHA Z10.  ANAB has posted a link on its web site (under Public Ballots) that provides access to this draft rule.

This draft accreditation rule sets out the requirements for certification bodies to obtain accreditation to their choice of –

  • ANSI/AIHA Z10, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (the US standard)
  • CSA Z1000, Occupational health and safety management (the Canadian standard)
  • BS OHSAS 18001, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements (the British standard, which is identical to the international OHSAS 18001:2007 standard)

The overall impact of this rule would be to provide certification bodies (registrars) the ability of obtaining ANAB accreditation of their OHSAS 18001 certification services, something ANAB does not currently offer.  Although some registrars are currently accredited to offer this certification by non-U.S. accreditation bodies, many registrars currently offer non-accredited certification to OHSAS 18001.

The Due Date for providing public comment on this draft rule is September 14, 2008.

The draft rule is short – 3 pages. 

The key points –

  • An applicant must be already accredited as conformant to ISO/IEC 17021.
  • ANAB plans to leave it up to each certification body to develop its own OHSMS auditor competency criteria.

The draft rule does not provide specific guidance as to what this OHSMS auditor competency criteria needs to be.

This is disappointing since ANSI just completed a revision of the U.S. supplement to ISO 19011 (ANSI/ISO/ASQ QE 19011S-2008, Guidelines for management systems auditing – U.S. Version with supplemental guidance added, published May 19, 2008) which includes guidance on the competencies that OHSMS auditors should possess.  The requirements in the ANSI standard are based on a position paper jointly developed by AIHA, ASSE and ABIH in 2005.

At a minimum, certification bodies should have to consider the guidance set out in this ANSI standard if they want accreditation by an ANSI-ASQ accreditation body.

If you agree, log on and let ANAB know.

© ENLAR® Compliance Services, Inc. (2008)

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Category: Standards & Certification

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