If your organization is preparing to implement an ISO management system, you might have seen a reference to the ANAB. It plays a central role in the US certification landscape, acting as a pivotal link between standards setters, assessment bodies, and companies seeking certification.
Read our guide to learn what ANAB accreditation is, why it’s important to use an ANAB-accredited certification company, and how to find an accredited certification body.
What is ANAB?
ANAB—or ANSI National Accreditation Board—is a non-government agency that provides accreditation and training services.
It’s the largest multi-disciplinary accreditation body in North America, working across a range of standards, including:
Any organization seeking certification to one of these management system standards should ensure that its assessment provider is accredited. It is the US’s most widely recognized accreditation body and operates in over 75 countries worldwide through the recognition of its accreditation by organizations and entities in other countries, rather than through direct operations or offices in those countries.
It’s important to note that while ANAB is widely recognized worldwide, its primary accreditation activities are focused within the US.
What’s the Difference Between ANAB and ANSI?
In addition to ANAB, there is another major organization in the US certification landscape—ANSI (American National Standards Institute).
The two bodies are closely related, and it’s easy to confuse them, given the similarity between their roles and names. In fact, ANSI represents the first ‘A’ in ANAB, which can make it even harder to distinguish between them.
Nonetheless, they are distinct organizations with different responsibilities. ANSI is the top-level supervisory authority in the US for voluntary standards, such as those issued by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization). It’s a non-government agency that manages the standards assessment system.
ANAB sits within that structure. It’s a nonprofit subsidiary of ANSI, providing practical support for certification bodies. Its service includes accreditation assessments and training programs to help explain certification and audit requirements.
ANSI and ANAB are each responsible for how voluntary standards are issued in the US. You should expect to see both names whenever you’re looking to gain certification for your management system.
However, ANSI focuses on developing and maintaining standards, whereas ANAB is the body that issues accreditation. If you want a trusted certification body to assess your management system, you should look for one that’s ‘ANAB-accredited.’
What Does ANAB do?
ANAB provides accreditation and training services across international, national, and industry-specific standards.
You can think of ANAB as a bridge between ANSI and individual certification bodies. It takes the frameworks set by ANSI and ensures that assessors apply those guidelines consistently and reliably.
It doesn’t conduct certification audits or issue certificates but ensures that third-party organizations perform these assessments to a high standard. An organization that’s ‘ANAB accredited’ has undergone a rigorous evaluation of its certification assessment and proven that its certificates can be trusted.
In addition to its accreditation assessments, it offers training courses to help assessors and other industry professionals learn more about the certification process. These programs cover best practices and interpretive guidelines, ensuring that practitioners have the skills to evaluate an organization’s systems against the specifications of a particular standard.
Learn more with our Steps to ISO certification guide.
Benefits of ANAB Accreditation
Any organization that’s seeking a certification service should look for one that’s been accredited. The main benefits of this are to increase your confidence in the assessment process and to reduce the risk of mistakes or unprofessional behavior.
In this regard, accreditation is effectively a seal of approval. It assures you that independent experts have approved the services you’ll receive, and they meet high standards for quality.
You can also be confident that an accredited certification body will be professional and reliable. It’s unlikely to cut corners, have hidden fees or provide substandard services that could jeopardize your organization’s reputation.
ANAB is the primary accreditation body in the US, but it also operates internationally. It has accredited more than 2,500 certification bodies, making it a globally recognized name that can inspire trust among stakeholders no matter where they’re based.
By selecting an ANAB-accredited assessment provider, you can ensure that you’ll receive an accurate and respected certification service.
How To Find an ANAB-Accredited Certification Body
ANAB’s directory search tool makes it easy to find accredited certification bodies. This page allows you to look for accredited organizations based on the type of certification or standard they offer and the location where they’re authorized to perform assessments.
It’s worth checking that this information is up to date by visiting the organization’s website directly. Certification providers usually publicize that they are accredited and might even display an ANAB accreditation logo prominently on their website.
For example, at Orion Registrar, we list our ANAB accreditation across our website. You can also browse our services to find standards that we’re authorized to issue ANAB-accredited certificates for.