ACLASS Appeals Procedure
ACLASS has a procedure to ensure that appeals are handled in a
fair and equitable manner, regardless of who makes the appeal or
complaint. The procedure is described in ACLASS Document
3 and summarized here. Any party with an interest
in an action, decision, or report can file an appeal.
Most appeals to ACLASS are made by accredited customers or
applicants for accreditation with regard to adverse decisions taken
in some step of the accreditation process.
Level 1 appeals are heard by a three-person panel of staff
and/or accreditation assessors who were not involved in the
assessment. An appeal of an assessment nonconformance is normally a
level 1 appeal.
Level 2 appeals are heard by a three-person panel of the ACLASS
Accreditation Council. This is the first level for an appeal of an
accreditation decision or other decision of the Accreditation
Council, and the second level of appeal if the appellant or ACLASS
is not satisfied with the decision of a level 1 appeal panel.
An appeal must be made in writing no more than 30 days after the
customer is notified of the decision or action, or when the appeal
panel can reasonably assume the decision or measure in question was
known to the appellant.
Appeals must be made using Form 18 - Appeal Form
and should include appropriate substantiation of the appellant's
The ACLASS Vice President and/or Director of Accreditation
appoint panel members for level 1 appeals. The chair of the
Accreditation Council appoints panel members for level 2 appeals.
One of the three appeal panel members serves as chair. The
appellant and ACLASS are informed of the members of the panel and
can object to the selection(s).
Appeals are not legal proceedings, and ACLASS must be notified
at least 10 days in advance if the appellant intends to have legal
counsel present to ensure ACLASS has sufficient advance notice so
that it can also have legal counsel present.
Normally, the appeal is heard within 60 days.
Level 2 appeal hearings normally consist of introductions, a
presentation by the appellant (30 minutes maximum), a presentation
by ACLASS (30 minutes maximum), rebuttals (10 minutes per party),
questions by the panel, and closing. During the closing, the chair
makes a formal projection regarding the expected time frame for
communicating the final decision (normally not to exceed two
weeks), informs all parties that the appeal may be escalated to the
next level within 30 days of receipt of the decision, and dismisses
Following the hearing, panel members deliberate privately. The
chair documents the panel's decision and sends it concurrently to
the appellant and ACLASS.
If a level 2 decision is unfavorable to the appellant, the
appellant may lodge a final appeal in writing to ACLASS. ACLASS
will transmit the appeal to the American National Standards
Institute (ANSI) for consideration and action by the ANSI
Appeals Board. The process is described in the ANSI Appeals Board
Operating Procedures (available at www.ansi.org). ANSI
will communicate the decision of the ANSI Appeals Board to the
appellant and ACLASS.