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Issue Number: Council II 031


Adoption of ISO/IEC 17024 Standard for Personnel Certification Programs

Issue you would like the Conference to consider

The Conference should consider adopting ISO/IEC 17024 - Conformity Assessment: General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons as a Standard that is equivalent to the Conference for Food Protection Standard for Accreditation of Food Protection Manager Certification Program.

The American National Standard has deemed the two standards to be equivalent. Based on the equivalence of the standards, the Conference should consider accepting Certification Organizations who are accredited to ISO/IEC 17024 by the American National Standards Institute as also meeting the Conference's Standard.

Attached to this issue are three files that should be reviewed in consideration of this issue. The first is the application for accreditation. This file is attached because it contains the language of the ISO/IEC 17024 standard. Because the standard is a copyrighted standard, it is not allowed to be placed in this issue for presentation to the entire conference. However the text of the standard does appear in the application so the conference may review the clauses of the standard by reviewing the application. The second file that is attached is a letter from the American National Standards Institute attesting to the comparability of the two standards. The third file attached is the language from the introduction of ISO/IEC 17024 that describes the purpose of the standard to illustrate that the standard has the same purpose as the Conference's standard (a standard of best practice for certification programs).

Public Health Significance

The safety of food in the United States is dependent upon Food Managers who understand and implement basic food safety concepts. The Conference has established a standard and an accreditation process against that standard to ensure that Food Manager Certification Programs attesting to the knowledge and skills of Food Managers are valid, reliable and legally defensible. When the Conference standard was developed, no equivalent standard was available for use by the Conference. Since that time, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed a standard that is not only equivalent, but is of higher quality than the Conference standard. This standard is ISO/IEC 17024 - Conformity Assessment - General Requirements for bodies operating certification of persons and certification bodies are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) against this standard. Certification Organizations seeking accreditation by ANSI against ISO/IEC 17024 must also submit for accreditation by ANSI against the Conference Standard. This results in a duplication of effort. ANSI must send out auditors to audit the same Certification Organization Food Manager program against two similar standards and the Certification Organization must pay twice. This results in an increase cost to the industry. If costs to verify the knowledge of Food Managers increase, the risk to the public is that Food Managers will not seek certification.

Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...

adoption of ISO/IEC 17024 "Conformity Assessment: General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons" as an equivalent standard to the "Conference for Food Protection Standard for the Accreditation of Food Protection Manager Certification Program" and grant immediate reciprocal accreditation acceptance of a certification organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) against ISO/IEC 17024 as meeting the Conference standard. Thus an organization achieving accreditation by ANSI against ISO/IEC 17024 would also simultaneously receive accreditation against the Conference Standard.


Submitter Information

Name Cynthia D. Woodley
Organization Professional Testing Inc.
Address 7680 Universal Blvd. Suite 300
Orlando, FL 32819
Telephone 407-264-2993 / 407-620-3645
Fax 407-264-2855
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