IAS Issues First Management System Certification Body Accreditations

International Accreditation Service (IAS) has issued the first two accreditations under it’s new Management System Certification Body (MSCB) Accreditation Program to Paragon Group Registrar (PGR) and Government Military and Certification Systems (GMCS). Launched on July 1, 2013, the IAS accreditation program is based on ISO/IEC Standard 17021: 2011 Conformity assessment–requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems. The program accredits MSCBs that in turn provide audits and certification in sectors like quality management systems (ISO 9001), environmental management systems (ISO 14001), food safety management systems (ISO 22000), information security management systems (ISO 27001), occupational health and safety management systems (OHSAS 18001), energy management systems (ISO 50001), and medical device quality management systems (ISO 13485). IAS is carefully considering the addition of Greenhouse gas (ISO 14065) into the current suite of disciplines under this accreditation program.

The Paragon Group Registrar (PGR), a Certification Body based in California, has become the first organization to earn Management System Certification Body (MSCB) accreditation from IAS with accreditation number: MSCB-100. The accreditation verifies that PGR complies with ISO/IEC Standard 17021 for the appropriate scope of accreditation as listed under IAS website: www.iasonline.org/MSCB/.

“When it comes to accreditation, speed, cost and service are critical factors to a company like ours that is agile and technology-driven,” says Joe Heath, president of PGR. “We can’t afford to wait months for an accreditation agency to, hopefully, put us on the list for evaluation. IAS takes a more customer- and service-focused approach to complete the rigorous and detailed accreditation process.”

The second accreditation was recently granted to Government Military and Certification Systems (GMCS) based in Washington DC under accreditation number: MSCB-101. Again, the accreditation recognizes GMCS as compliant with ISO/IEC Standard 17021 and the approved scope of accreditation in the discipline of quality management systems.

“Having looked at both domestic and international accreditation options, I was very pleased to learn about the IAS and its foray into management system accreditation,” stated Leigh Andrew Brand, President of GMCS. “The US needs more accreditation bodies in this area to ensure that a harmonized approach is taken to interpreting requirements and improve accreditation service times. IAS is a very professional organization with an international perspective. Their entry into the management system accreditation market is most welcomed.”

These successful applicants submitted their applications to IAS for MSCB accreditation in July and August 2013, respectively. After a comprehensive review of their management system documents, IAS scheduled an on-site office assessment at the CB’s location and witnessed Stage 1 and Stage 2 field audits conducted by the CB on their clients. This was to evaluate the auditor’s expertise and compliance of the applicant’s requested disciplines of accreditation to the relevant standards.

Heath adds, “IAS’s process is more straightforward, less bureaucratic, than other MSCB accreditation agencies. The cost was reasonable, as well. We’re very pleased with the overall accreditation program, especially the responsiveness of the assessors. ”

Per the accreditation requirements, accredited MSCBs will undergo on-site surveillance visits one year after initial accreditation. After the surveillance, all accredited MSCBs will be reassessed on 2-year intervals (from the surveillance date), which includes a witness assessment of the certification body’s client. IAS policy is to ensure that each discipline under a certification body’s scope is assessed over 2 or 3 accreditation cycles.

Chuck Ramani, IAS President, says, “We’re are pleased that our accredited organizations value the IAS MSCB accreditation program. Since the initiation of the program earlier this year, we’ve had numerous requests for assessments in the various MSCB disciplines and expect our program services to grow considerably. IAS supports and provides the marketplace and stakeholders with a conformity assessment structure that is both reliable and competent. Our history proves that our goal has always been to assist not only large organizations but the small and medium enterprises, as well. “

For more information about the IAS MSCB program, visit www.iasonline.org