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U.S. Conformity Assessment System: Introduction

Conformity Assessment

Conformity assessment is a term used to describe steps taken by both manufacturers and other parties to evaluate whether products, processes, systems, or personnel adhere to the requirements identified in a specified standard. Conformity assessment activities such as testing, certification, and accreditation are closely associated with standards and provide the consumer or end user with a measure of confidence in the products and services being purchased. For this reason, conformity assessment has become a critically important aspect of conducting business in the global marketplace. The results of conformity assessment may be made visible through product marking as well as marketing and promotional efforts.

The National Conformity Assessment Principles for the United States articulates the principles for conformity assessment that will allow consumers, buyers, sellers, regulators, and other interested parties to have confidence in the results and processes of providing conformity assessment, while avoiding the creation of unnecessary barriers to trade.

ANAB and ACLASS logos

The American National Standards Institute’s role in conformity assessment includes accreditation of organizations that certify that products and personnel meet recognized standards. The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) is the U.S. accreditation body for management systems. ANAB accredits certification bodies for ISO 9001 quality management systems (QMS), ISO 14001 environmental management systems (EMS), ISO 27001 information security management systems, ISO 22000 food safety management systems, ANSI/AIHA Z10 occupational health and safety management systems, and numerous industry-specific requirements. ACLASS, now an ANAB company, provides laboratory accreditation for testing and calibration laboratories to ISO/IEC 17025, reference material producers (RMPs) to ISO Guide 34, and inspection bodies to ISO/IEC 17020.

ANSI is involved in several international and regional organizations to promote multilateral recognition of conformity assessments across borders to preclude redundant and costly barriers to trade.


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