The US ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) has announced that it is inviting certification bodies to submit applications for accreditation for the Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Certification (PS-Prep) program. It has also detailed the requirements for this.
The PS-Prep program is a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the private sector that came about following a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to improve private sector preparedness for disasters and emergencies. Title IX of Public Law 110-53 required that DHS establish a voluntary certification program for the private sector to improve preparedness for disasters and emergencies.
Under an agreement with DHS, the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board is offering independent ANAB accreditation to certification bodies that conform with ISO/IEC 17021, the international requirements for such bodies that provide audit and certification of management systems.
The ANAB accreditation process includes a review of the certification body's documented processes and procedures, followed by an on-site assessment and witnessing a team of certification body auditors conducting an audit at an organization seeking certification. If concerns are raised during the process, the certification body must provide evidence of correction, root cause analysis, and corrective action before a decision regarding accreditation is made. The accreditation decision is made by an independent committee of volunteers with appropriate expertise. Accreditations are valid for a four-year period, during with accredited certification bodies are subject to ongoing surveillance by ANAB.
ANAB-accredited certification bodes will issue certificates of conformance to organizations that are found to comply with any or all of three standards designated by DHS for the PS-Prep program. The business continuity standards - ASIS SPC.1, BS 25999, and NFPA 1600 - were developed by ASIS International, the British Standards Institution, and the National Fire Protection Association, respectively.
ANAB worked closely with DHS and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to develop the program. In addition to regular meetings of the DHS-FEMA PS-Prep Working Group to determine the best way forward for the program, the development process included numerous public meetings and public notices to solicit input.
ANAB also drew on its 20 years of experience in management systems accreditation and worked with preparedness experts and stakeholders to develop a credible and robust voluntary program for accredited certification available for private sector businesses.
Current information on ANAB's PS-Prep program, including the Accreditation Rule that specifies requirements, is available here. A publicly accessible list of organizations with accredited PS-Prep certification will be maintained on the site when certification bodies become accredited and begin issuing certificates.
•Date: 24th Sept 2010 • Region: US •Type: Article •Topic: BC general
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