ANSI Approved as Accreditation Body for EPA WaterSense Program
On June 1, 2009, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to mark ANSI's acceptance as an Accreditation Body (AB) to participate in the EPA WaterSense Program.
The WaterSense program helps consumers to identify products that conserve water while maintaining high performance levels. Products certified by accredited certification bodies may carry a WaterSense label, giving consumers an easy way to identify quality, water efficient products.
As the first AB approved to perform accreditation services under the WaterSense program, ANSI is pleased to announce the launch of a new pilot accreditation program for EPA-licensed certification bodies. ANSI accreditation adds value to the certification process, assuring that certification bodies demonstrate compliance with the WaterSense product certification system and are capable and competent to carry out their responsibilities.
Applications for the pilot program will be accepted from June 1 to June 30, 2009. Applications received beyond the June 30 due date will be considered for accreditation following the completion of the pilot program.
"Managing water conservation continues to be a growing concern in the United States," explains Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. "ANSI is proud to add value to EPA's WaterSense program through independent, third-party accreditation, as it enhances market confidence for water-efficient products, programs and practices."
Specifically, ANSI will assess the competence of certification bodies against the requirements set forth in:
- International Standard ISO/IEC Guide 65, General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC);
- International Accreditation Forum - Guidance on application of ISO/IEC Guide 65, and
- U.S. EPA's own requirements as defined in the WaterSense Product Certification System.
ANSI understands and has demonstrated the importance of accreditation in supporting consumer safety and international trade. The Institute's portfolio of accreditation services includes programs for all types of certification and verification bodies, including those for products, personnel, greenhouse gas emissions, as well as standards developers.
"ANSI is acknowledged for its long and successful track record in accrediting certification programs for a wide variety of products, personnel, and services," continued Hallenbeck. "We are pleased to be the first Accreditation Body recognized by EPA under its WaterSense initiative, and we look forward to the continued growth of this exciting program."
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