The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board is moving to the single brand ANAB from the current three brands: ANAB, ACLASS, and FQS. This customer-driven change comes on the 25th anniversary of the organization’s incorporation.
When established by the American Society for Quality on November 13, 1989, the organization was known as the Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB). On January 1, 2005, the auditor certification and training operations were split off and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board replaced RAB to continue offering the original accreditation services for management systems certification bodies under the ANAB accreditation symbol.
With the acquisition of ACLASS in October 2007, the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board expanded its services to include accreditation of testing and calibration laboratories, inspection bodies, reference material producers, and proficiency testing providers. The acquisition of FQS in November 2011 brought a further expansion of services to include accreditation of forensic testing and forensic inspection agencies.
While the expansion of services has been good for business, allowing customers to obtain accreditation services from a single source, the use of three different brands has caused confusion in the marketplace. ACLASS and FQS have not always been understood to be part of the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board.
“It’s much more important to focus on serving our customers’ accreditation needs rather than spending time and energy explaining who we are,” John Knappenberger, ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board President and CEO, said. “If we can reduce complexity and increase understanding, everyone wins.”
The return to the single ANAB brand reinforces the company’s position as the American national accreditation body.
“Operating as a single brand just makes sense given the breadth of our programs and our global reach as a full-service accreditation provider,” Knappenberger said. “We don’t intend to ever lose our focus on having the skills and knowledge to serve customers, no matter what type of accreditation they’re seeking.”
The ANAB re-branding will take place over an extended period to avoid placing a burden on customers as they move from using the current accreditation symbols to the new ANAB accreditation symbols. The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board will make the change internally effective January 1, 2015, and will begin replacing the current multi-brand accreditation symbols with new ANAB symbols. In most instances, the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board will provide accreditation documents with the new ANAB symbols during the normal accreditation and/or reaccreditation cycles. Customers will have a multi-year period to transition all documentation to the new ANAB symbols.